Pre-Game DOV Scan, 3.29.12 - top half of the inning

Q.  How does Bartolo get away with throwing only one pitch?

A.  He locates it, and he has a pretty deceptive short-arm delivery.  That's all.

If you're wondering whether Pineda, Paxton, et al need a 3rd pitch, you should be asking yourself why Bartolo doesn't need a 2nd.  :- )  He has a little slider that he shows like 1 or 2 times per inning, but check its run value.  -2.50 runs below average per 100 sliders thrown.  And that is it for his offspeed arsenal.  Bartolo Colon just throws fastballs.

It ain't like they're 97, either.  He sits at 92 mph.


Q.  Can't the batters just dial up the meter and "time" his fastball like a batting cage?

A.  The sweet spot on a bat is what, 4-5 inches.  To understand the nature of the problem, picture yourself with an oversize golfing driver, and half the club handle sawed off.  Now picture a bullet fired at you, 18 inches inside, 18 inches outside.  Up, down.  Random locations.  Can you swat the bullet with the driver head?

A located fastball is a pitcher's greatest weapon.  Bartolo Colon is the reductio ad absurdum of this principle.

It's tempting to just wave Colon off, dismiss him "Hey, that's Colon," and not learn anything about pitching.  But plenty of guys pitch good games, and good seasons, with nothing but a fastball.  Schilling did.  Walter Johnson did.  Freddy Garcia used to throw (say) 49 of 52 pitches as fastballs.  If it's located, you're fine.  Brandon McCarthy throws 80% or more fastballs and cutters.

And then you see guys come up with TWO great pitches - Pineda, Paxton - and people think they can't get away with it.  Even big league coaches think that.  You'd think they'd never heard of Randy Johnson or Nolan Ryan...


Q.  Anyway, stop ranting Doc.  Colon had quite a 2011!

A.  On July 4th, he was sitting there with a sizzling 2.88 ERA.  He just kept pumping that little short-arm fastball in there, and kept getting outs.

But Colon had had a cutting-edge platelet injection in his shoulder, after missing 2010, and it seemed to go POOF in July.  He didn't win a game in his last 10 starts.


Q.  So, how has he looked this spring?

A.  He's barely pitched.  Six innings.  .... Maybe Colon has one more half-season in him; maybe he was done last July.  We'll see.


Q.  Who do we watch for the Mariners on offense?

A.  You know how it was the Dustin and Ichiro! show last night?  Let's say the Mariners had a good offense in the regular season, like they had a good offense (5.7 runs a game IIRC) in spring training.  That's what you'd hear, like in 2001, "It seems to be a different couple guys every night!"

I'd like to see two different guys have big games.  Who?  The M's best pure fastball hitters are probably Smoak and Carp.  Also Kyle Seager is a good fastball hitter.  The M's lefty-loaded batting order should be well suited to Colon's fastball-only attack.

Whoop, it's midnight PDT, and we see that Wedge has subbed in Kyle Seager for Mike Carp.  Okay, Smoak and Seager, maybe, the prime candidates to land the killshots.


Dustin Ackley's home run last night traveled 437 feet, or 438 in "true" distance.  He didn't even pull the ball:


Only you, the SSI reader, is hip to the vicious Ack Attack! wrist hinge, but others are starting to come around on Ackley's power.  Jason Churchill quoted one scout this month saying "He'll hit, and hit for power.  There are a lot of dumb people in baseball.  He's 185 pounds, not 155."

People are beginning to allow that Ackley could hit 20 home runs.  Good for them.  Let me know when they're aware of the impending 30+ home run seasons for him, like for this guy.  Pound for pound, Dustin Ackley is taking the hardest swings in baseball.




Baker reports that Carlos Peguero comes up.  Wow - the bottom falls out of Mike Carp's stock like a tank dropping out of a C-130 airplane.
Probably Wells/Figgins in LF, Peguero as occasional sub OF, and plenty more AB's for Kyle Seager in April.
Tonight's lineup is a microcosm of the overall situation:  Seager sprints in off the bench to take the fallen Carp's spot.


Iwas totally bummed last night to think that figgy was taking AB's away from Carp, but now I may be more tatally bummed to know my man Carp is dinged.
What was the injury?


And maybe now it's clear to people why Ichiro wasn't diving around during his time in Japan and why that habit carried over to the States.
When one dive on a hard, artificial outfield costs you a couple weeks of the season, sometimes discretion really IS the better part of valor.
Get well soon, Mike.

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.