The KKKarnivore vs Kendall Graveman


Hokey Doke, let's try this again.  Since the Lost Weekend in Mordor the Seattle Mariners have found their walks, their ERA+, and their 99 win pace.  Nate KKKarns has found that Strike One is a joyful place to be.  And Rich Hill has found three days off for himself and his cursed 11.5 strikeout rate.

Kendall Graveman is a young sinker-slider righty who has been over-challenging a bit.  The idea of Shandler Quality Starts (PQS) is based on an 0-5 scale rather than just 6 IP, 3 ER.  It's designed to let you the roto owner know how a given SP has been throwing if you're trading for him on July 31.  It scores Durability (6 IP), Hit Prevention (IP = H), Mistake Avoidance (1 HR max), Control (BB = 1/2 K) and Dominance (K = IP - 2).  If you don't go 5 innings, that's an 0 regardless.

If you score 3, that's marginally a QS.  An outing with 4 or 5 is dominating.  1 or 2 is a disaster.  Graveman's have been:


Apr 7 CHW 4
Apr 12 LAA 3
Apr 20 @ NYY 5
Apr 25 @ DET 0

If there were a grade lower than 0 last time out, Graveman would have gotten it.  I'd put the score around -2 on the 0-5 scale:  4.2ip 10h 6er 1bb 4k 3hr.  He threw strikes, yes.  Unfortunately for him, the Tigers thoroughly enjoyed all of them.

But, just the start before, he three-hit the Yankees with 8 strikeouts.  A righty pitcher doing that to the lefties, that's just about Nate Karns' ideal outcome.  So he's well capable.  

Here is a video of him at his best.  Drop-and-drive, converted shortstop pitching motion.  Powerful down the centerline, keeps the fastball down, nice hot 94'ish velocity but lousy angles and movement.  The max-effort pitching motion creates excellent deception on the slider and even lefties react as though facing a Pineda slider.

Key for me would be to dip the back knee and go down into the bottom of the strike zone with him, as Randy Velarde used to do with Randy Johnson and as the Rangers try to do to Felix now.


Nate Karns has a lot of ways to win.  Last time out he went to a 2-pitch combo and his fastball benefitted gloriously from it.  Here it is, hit it, with a coin flip as to which of the two weapons they'd see.

In Mordor a few weeks ago, it seemed like the A's could go yard on any pitch.  Since then they've settled in as #12 in the AL in slugging; the three lefties you have to watch a bit are

  • LH Josh Reddick 4 HR, .435 SLG
  • LH Chris Coghlan 4 HR, .412 SLG
  • LH Stephen Vogt 3 HR, .443 SLG

That's respectable, but nothing that should chase Karns off the plate.  Throw tons of curves, but take lots of the plate.  If they hit two more taters, that's baseball.


If you go to > Mariners > More > Minor Lg Affiliates and sort by total bases ... Mike Zunino has 62 of them.  in 21 games.  That is considerably more total bases per game than Ruth and Gehrig had in 1927.  It's fun to look at Gehrig's baseball card and see all the 400's in the Total Bases column.  Zunino is on pace to exceed Gehrig's MVP season.

Now, your knee-jerk reaction to that is the asterisks.  But once you get past that, get past the fact that it's the PCL and not the AL, get past the fact that it's 21 games against 155, what are you left with?

.570 to .630 will lead the PCL in slugging in any particular season.  And there are a fair number of Bryan LaHairs, Brandon Woods and Dallas McPhersons who do that.  There are also a fair number of Nelson Cruzes.  Showing tremendous power in the minor leagues is certainly no guarantee, but some people think a minor league .700 SLG is a negative, and that's not right, either.


Stefen Romero is hitting .390/.429/.662 and he never strikes out.  Chris Taylor is hitting .333 with 11 walks and 10 doubles in 22 games.  Ed Lucas has the major problem that he's only hit .207 since spring training; his minor problem is that he's got Kyle Seager in front of him.


Dr D




And Taylor with a tater + a BB last night.  Romero with a knock.  O'Malley with 2 hits, a triple.  Zunino with the collar, alas.

Two of those guys are likely better options than Sardinas: O'Malley because of his versatility and Taylor because of his bat.

Zunino will get the call eventually, but Clevenger will hang around for a while.

And this is a different, bashing, quiet-at-the-plate Romero. I think we noticed the quieter approach in ST.  Edgar's doing?  Maybe.  He's K'ing at a 9% rate this year, 1/2 his career AAA average.  But he's a Guti or Lee hammy away from a call.

The M's are getting into the busy part of the season; 21 games in the next 23 days, for example.  Could Dipoto have been genius/nefarious to stash O'Malley or Taylor in AAA where they would play every day, keeping them greased and running smoothly, in anticipation of the busy dog days of the season?    Will see.

Martin report:  There is a basehit coming up in his future.  Don't be fooled by his lastest 0-15 or 3-35, he will get a knock again.  Guaran-dang-teed!  Vegas Over/Under date is June 1!  Lay your money down!!  :)  Ah, I josh.  He'll get a rip soon.  Maybe tonight.

Interestingly, he's homering, BB-ing and K-ing at career high rates.  He's also hitting at a career low rate.  You have to kind of believe that he's got 25 homers  in him (which I do not), if you want to think this latest iteration is working.

Lefties?  Fuhgitaboutit!!

O'Malley's OBP vs. lefties was .393 last year and is .421 this.  But Sardinas does caddy Marte's gear bag well.

Ah, I josh.  I like the kid. 

Not as much as others......but we're winning.  I like that a lot.

Go team.



Two of those guys are liely better options than Sardinas: O'Malley because of his versatility and Taylor because of his bat.

Well, maybe. The question is how they would do with Sardinas's playing time. Playing every day is not the same as playing once a week. 


O'Malley, used in CF vs. LHP would, of course, get more than a game a week. 


In my thread of a few days ago, I did say that Martin's black-hole bat vs. LHP didn't make any dent in Dipoto's love for his range and glove.  If so, O'Malley would get some Tacoma CF starts.    Martin's Rf/9 is almost a full play per game below the level he established in '14 and '15, so he's not getting a Safeco bonus in flies caught.  He's way below the league average for this year, btw.  Maybe we have P's who throw tons of GB's.  From the day we acquired Martin I've always said that there was a break even point with his bat where it could no longer be supported by his glove.  Below 80 OPS+ it got iffy.

Below 70 it got deadly.

It's 78 and trending badly.  The skyrocketing rate of K's worries me.

Go kid.


We've got a whole lot of newfangled saber numbers to play with.  99 kinds of StatCast graphics on the TV monitor.  22 more kinds of velocity and launch angle measurements.

But once in a while Harry Caray's voice over the radio can still learn ya something.  Batting average might be provincial, but .169 isn't. You fall prey to the Mendoza line (.199 AVG) and it's next man up; that's all there is to it.

Leonys is coming up on 100 at-bats here and his position in the starting lineup is scheduled for an MRI scan on Thursday.  Let the discussions re: platoon partners begin in earnest.

Two things you never wavered on Moe Dawg:  you were the guy who panicked not at all when the M's were 2-6, and rejoiced not at all when Martin's OPS+ was over 100.  Some guys were just born with wisdom, I guess :- )



I know you know what who needs to make a decision, and sometimes having someone beating a daily / weekly drum helps get a message through to people at that level... and moreover I salute you in beating that drum... but come on Dipoto, throw us a bone... even if it just Robertson playing CF, give us some sign you realize there is a problem.


That's part of the reason he talked Boog Powell up so much.  DiPoto won't stay with a .169 average all summer, that much you can count on.  :- )


Martin was just fine vs. RHP during '13 and '14.  He hit nearly .280 and OPS'ed .749 and .725.  Those numbers for us would be golden.

Even this year his .197-.279-.393 vR slash isn't that much worse than the career vR line Gorman Thomas (a CF);  .219-.312-.436.  Well,'s worse.  But if you assumed (which I do not) that Martin ISO's nearly .200 vR, then I can live with a .200 hitter with a + glove.  That's vR, of course.

But I think the .200 ISO is about to die.  If his vR Slg. falls to just .353, then he's a not good vR bat unless the average jumps. 

Unless Martin's really fighting his wrist/hand injury, or he's become broken (ergo the K rate.....which Texas may have figured out) then I would expect him to hit some vR.  He has in the past. Well 2 and 3 years ago.  My real concern was his nonexistent vL bat.  I'm seeing no reason to move away from that concern.  From there I'll keep a wary eye on his vR bat.

O'Malley started in the OF exactly once in his 1st 14 games this year.  Tonight makes 3 in a row, however (RF, RF, LF). The game before that he was at SS.  Something's up, 'ya think?  I'll bet you a sodipop that we see a CF start in the next day or two.  I'll give you the fact that he isn't Paul Blair in CF.  But he's a ton better than a Dustin Ackley, too.  He'll be fine out there.  Picks it a bit at SS, too.  

Robertson in CF tonight, btw.  Tac must have some pull with the Lineup Gods.


Based on watching the games, personally I feel that Martin is quite dubious against RH also.  But points for generosity.  LOL.

Still, you are focusing on vLHP and if that's what you're sticking to, it's just about time to declare victory ... if not for you, then for Robertson or Boog?


Moe... you have been the one beating the drum, and running this show... I'm just your Tambo with Doc being your Interlocutor.

In my mind though, there was a reason Dipoto rushed in mid November and signed Roobertson first... and I just can not shake that.

I wish it were O'Malley, but I betting on Robertson getting the first shot.

Nice to see Dipoto sending a sign though to those of us looking for one.

Of course as I write this, Martin goes deep...

Ya know, Joc Pederson only .210/.340/.420 last year, and the Dodgers seemed to manage ;) 


Modesty?  Shucks!!

I'm just trying to be consistent (a hobgoblin, I know).  His vL bat always scared the snot out of me. His vR bat did if last year was the "new" him, which discounts the "good" him in the two years prior.

I think his '16 homers are mirages hiding his real vR bat.   And that bat is rapidly proving to be a scale or two below the "good" him, but it's close enough to give him some benefit of the doubt, for  a while.  From .670 to .725 isn't a magnificent leap.  However (isn't there always one), his huge K rate indicates a fundamental hole that is being exposed. He's whiffing at a 36% rate vR this year.  Yikes!!  I don't like that.

At .700 vR, I ain't moaning (loudly).   I don't know if he can get there, but go kid.

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