As Billy Beane put it, "a blog spends two months assessing what its team has, two months clamoring for what it should have, and two months lamenting the Heathcliff Slocumb trade."
Except that in 2016 it has all fallen into place like a Yoo-Hoo shower. SSI spent June yowling for a Lee-Lind lineup while the M's were throwing away 10 games from ahead on the scoreboard. But exactly one week ago, Jerry DiPoto grabbed Nori Aoki by one elbow and signalled forcefully down the I-5 highway. Since then, he's 5-and-2. Let's hope that Jerry DiPoto is as good at deriving cause-and-effect patterns as we are. ....
Lessee, after yesterday's golf shot, Lee is batting .295/.337/.527 with a 133 OPS+ in Safeco and he's on pace for 37 homers and 114 RBI per 550 at-bats. He is hitting right hand pitchers better than he is hitting lefties, which is a fact we presume that M's rocket scientists will have noticed.
Pre-season, we egged the M's on to "gamble" the $1-4 mill because, let's say that Lee is the next Jung-Ho Kang, how would you ever forgive yourself? You wouldn't. That's obvious. Which leads us to a disposable microwave chart:
|Big-Time non-MLB(TM) Player, Once He Got to MLB(TM)
|Jung-Ho Kang, 2015-16 (565 AB)
Make you a list of MLB(TM) batters with fewer than 6.4 runs created per 27 outs, and you'll need some tractor paper to feed through and fold over.
Robinson Cano's lifetime RC/27 is 6.1, Nelson Cruz' is 6.1, Kyle Seager's is 5.1, and Dr. D did not cherrypick those three names because they were the likeliest to slot in at a lower rung than Lee's.
It took the Mariners not quite three months to decide that they could afford to dip a toe into the Dae-Ho Lee Fulltime water, and since then he has (1) raked, and then (2) raked some more.
Pregame lineup has the Big Boys in there again, with Zunino catching Zeus.