Still Life
Oldest trick in the book, it can still get the pernt across


"Still Life" art has been around since, oh, about the time the alligators were chasing the Egyptians back into the pyramids.  In fact if you want interesting Still Life, that's about how far back you have to go.

Personally I never cared for "Still Life" art much, as it is based on the artist's own arrangement of life components as he wishes them to be.  I especially don't care for it as it pertains to postgame blogs, wherein the article pretty much consists of a simple description of what we all just watched.

Life isn't simple, though, and nothing is absolute.  There are times when Still Life is so compelling that the author would take things backwards to do anything other than just hit "record" and then play it back for the success-hungry Mariner fan.  Take Saturday's first inning against Colin McHugh:


SETH SMITH struck out swinging.  Refer to usual Still Life portrait, above.

But AUSTIN JACKSON took a little two-hand cut swing and lined an outside slider neatly back up the middle.  This wasn't a BABIP happenstance; this was a ground ball zinged back up the middle if there ever was one.  A Still Life model of Jackson's "HIT" ability.

ROBINSON CANO, using his new quickie front-heel stamp, cleared his front hip on a JAM pitch and sizzled a line drive over the right fielder's head.  This too was a "Still Life" picture of everything that Cano's season has been about.  And with two men in scoring position, we needed a new portrait:




Probably you can't see this without cranking your screen mag to "crossgalactic," but it's an orange so juicy that it seems ready to consume itself.  If you need help connecting the metaphor, see the P-I boards.  The Mariners' 1-7 hitters, all "name" veterans, suddenly seemed to drool at the prospect of hitting against a TOR starter.

NELSON CRUZ got a jam pitch, down-and-in, and Kept His Bat In the Zone a Long Time (KBIZLT), hitting the inside half of the baseball.  He skworched it at 102* MPH into right field.  This, gentlemen, is a Cleanup Hitter.

>:- {    Dr. D, muttering, is still tempted to tear that "Worthless May" piece limb-from-limb.  (Just for starters, suppose Stephen Curry gets 19 in the first quarter and 2 in the second?  The "2" was the Real Stephen Curry?)  Oh well whatever nevermind.  We'll just soothe ourselves with a warm gaze at Nellie's +3.87 Wins Above Average (not above replacement) and move on, brooding.

KYLE SEAGER got a really smart pitch from McHugh, an outside fastball on the black, designed to make a greedy RBI King pull the ball and roll it over into a double play.  Instead, Hawt Korner hit a 502-foot "sacrifice fly" into left-center.  Whale of a play from their center fielder.  And another Still Life:  Kyle racks up these clutch stats precisely because -- his words -- he doesn't try to do too much.  

Stay within yourself, Pablo.  Over the period 2012-15 inclusive, Hawt Korner is still #1 in all the land, clutch performance.  Read it and weep.

MARK TRUMBO got a low-away slider and, reasonably, singled it up the middle.  Okay, this one isn't Still Life.  Every portrait needs its contrast and proportion.

LOGAN MORRISON got a hanging curve ball -- any pro hitter will tell you that's what it looks like, a ball hanging on a string -- and didn't miss it.  Suddenly all of the solo home runs were washed away in the sweet summer rain, and the M's #1-7 hitters looked like the Richie Zisk - Oscar Gamble - Chet Lemon White Sox that beat the expansion Mariners about 13 wins to 2.


And we suppose we don't have to belabor the L-R-L dosey-do aspect of this portrait.  Lloyd sits over there positively beaming over the symmetry of his lineup.

You know what's funny?  Seth Smith always plays, and Seth Smith never hits against lefties.  I count 8 plate appearances against lefties this YEAR, yet it seems he has failed to start maybe 3-4 games the last month and a half.  Somebody straighten Dr. D out.


It seems that Mark Trumbo could reasonably replace three Seattle Mariners:  Rickie Weeks, obviously, and Justin Ruggiano (as a vs-LHP specialist), since Ackley can back up center field .... Dr. D forgets who the third guy was he had in mind, but he'll let you know shortly. ... oh yeah.  Here's the backup 1B glove, so he kind of gives you Jesus Montero into the bargain.  It's nervy, not having a 1B glove behind LoMo.  At any rate, we notice the M's are back to eight relievers.  That's when they were going good last year.

Trumbo isn't swinging the bat great right now, but he's a sort of right hand Raul Ibanez.  Get you 100 RBI given the opportunity, not to say he's a hitting star; you get about 4.5,Runs per 27 out of him.  

He's a 100-110 hitter who will make you pay dearly for looking past him, a league-average producer whose production actually spins the wheels on the pinball score counter out there in LF.  It's a funny thing:  the Angels got three straight 30 HR, 100 RBI years out of Trumbo, and then suddenly he just lost a lot of playing time.  Possible camouflage situation -- as once was the case with Ibanez himself.

Sez Ron Shandler:  "Skills set hasn't changed.  Mediocre contact and pitch selection will kill his AVG; stable Expected Power Index says 30 homers are still very attainable.  With power so rare these days, you can live with the accompanying warts."

Re:  Trumbo vs Ruggiano and Weeks?  Lou used to say.  When this club gets it through its head that you go to war on Opening Day ...


"Giotto" D




Bloomquist is our only IF type on the bench.  The 8 RP's is a situation that doesn't last very long.

Trumbo played 41 games in LF last year, but Cruz and Trumbo in the OF together isn't terribly pretty.  Fangraphs (not my favorite stuff) has Trumbo at -15 UZR/150 in LF last year.

We're not playing Ackley in LF vL, I think.  So we're a bit short.

Montero is positioned right out, right now.  Too bad, because he hits lefties.  Guti doesn't make us very flexible in the IF.  I wonder if Ackley is getting any 2B/3B reps in practice.

Romero has played 2B in one game this year.  Drats. 

Shawn O'Malley:  hits lefties to the tune of .333-.382 over the last couple of years (and switch-hits) plus he has started at every position THIS year, except C.  Also, has 12 xB hits in 153 AB's vL over the last two years.

I would prefer we just bring Taylor up.....but if we're looking at a utility guy who hits LHP pretty well, O'Malley fills the bill.  I like guys like that!!!!!


Think Dutton said that it would probably be one of the two, in place of Vidal ...  

What *is* the reason that Taylor is down?   'cause they figure he's lost at the plate?  Willie's last coupla games at short might cause a re-think on that one ...


Jones makes no sense.  He doesn't play the IF and he doesn't hit LHP (.547 this year!!---He was at .684 last year, however--still not good).  Well, he makes sense if we have TOTALLY abandoned Ackley for the moment.  Maybe that's what we've done.  

Guti I could live with.  But we're still not very flexible in the IF......unless Ackley has become a #25 IF/OF/Utility type;  Ackley as Bloomquist, as it were.  But then Bloomquist isn't very needed, considering he doesn't hit or field very well.  So you could just dump him and get Taylor here.

Kivlehan has played quite a bit at 3B.  Romero has just the one start at 2B.  

Really, O'Malley makes as much sense as anyone.  He's OPSing .799 vs. LHP, Guti is at .801...a virtual tie.  O'Mally has the slightly better average and OBP, Guti is .023 ahead in slugging.  

Guti, a guy who has a career .646 vR OPS at the MLB level, is at .344-.455-.570 = 1.025 as I write.   So his Tacoma combined totals are a bit out of whack.  If he comes up, then he's not a platoon guy.  LF is his.  

It may well be time, BTW, that the big change is in the Manager's office.  I like McClendon:  I don't think this team looks like it will get it together under him.  Sometimes the change in the guy making out the lineups really doesn make a difference.  Usually it is a psychological difference, mind you.

But we're a long way into the season and we just tread water.  That isn't going to do it.  It is likely time to get what you can for Ackley, too.  Call it a Mercy Trade:  He gets a chance to hit and we don't have to look at the beard.



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