Earl Weaver Lives, Baby
pictured below: Jeff Sullivan's "Guillen Number"


Guillen number being simply --- > the number of baseball runs that score because of home runs.  The graph moves from post-WWII to present.

Has it seemed to you like there's more dead time in baseball?  What % of the time is the baseball rolling around in fair play?  Are we reduced to hoping for a set of four pickoff throws to 1B as the highlight of the 8:00-9:00 hour?

No, we're kidding.  "Three True Outcomes" (homer, strikeout, walk, which are "pure" tests of pitcher vs hitter) are fine by Dr. D.  They'd better be, though, because ice cream is fine but if they're stuffing it into you by the gallon you'd better have your favorite flavor.

Jeff Sullivan posted a set of ground-level observations about rising homers.  Exec Sum being:

√ The commish was mad about a "mere" 4.07 runs per game in 2014.  (Tell that to Honus Wagner's cigarette card.)

√ "Conveniently" offense surged way back up starting in 2015 ... but purely because of home runs.

√ HR's are way up.

√ OBP is still falling way down, if you neutralize those ::coughjuicedballcough:: homers.

√ 2 runs per game are now scored on home run plays, compared to only 2.7 runs in other ways.

√ The San Francisco Giants are an outlier this year:  they score very few of their runs on homers.

√ (comments section) only 1 of the top 10 homer-heavy teams is in a playoff spot, that being a WC.

Minor thing:  I read this article right before the M's beat the Yankees 2-1 based on solo homers by Zuumball and Alonso.  That is certainly a viable way to win pitchers' duels, just sitting around waiting for the homer.  Earl loved this kind of baseball.  You better, too, the way things are going.  Earl thought he figured out something nobody else had figured out, that the Red Color Group was better than the Blues.  He never could understand why baseball people didn't "get" the value of a homer.  

Certainly Pete Carroll does.  His whole roster is based around winning the 20+ yard plays.  NBA is all about three-pointers.  I wonder how much Game Theory should be adjusted (even more) towards the haymaker blow in every sport.

Major thing:  So it's odd that the playoff teams (this year) are bucking industry trend; water takes the path of least resistance but the playoff teams ain't doing that.  Was the Royal Way right or wrong? :- )  The Mariners are 3rd from last in homers, but guess who's last:  the Red Sox.  Houston's first ... you can win with any style, especially for one season.  Point is, your local nine is playing for singles and doubles.  Maybe that will hold up well in pressure baseball.


I don't know where to put this, so I put it here:  the M's offense right now consists of Nelson Cruz at 150 and ten average-good hitters at 95-115.


Dr D



It is becoming increasingly hard to score bunches of runs, beyond the 5th inning, because you face a bevy of power-armed beauties, coming at you one after the other!  If a guy gives up two bleeder singles he gets the hook.  So the single, single, double, singe, 3 run rally is now walk and a jack for two runs!  Nobody nickels and dimes a Chapman to death!!!  But if you get out in front of his cruise missile, you can send it for a ride!  

On the chart above, there was basically a flatline trend throughout the Moneyball era, but that has changed dramatically, and had begun to by the time Moneyball was a movie in '11.

Young power bats, K's be damned, and one-inning Bob Fellers are now all the rage.  Consider the Gonzo for Tank trade, made by the best run franchise in sport. Even the Cards seem to be following the masses!  

Arne's picture

The Royals and the 3 championship Giant teams: none of them had an overwhelming slugger. You'd think it would've started a trend, but instead here is Stanton with 50 homers, and the Dodgers are using their best offense in LA ever to run over the rest of the league.


MLBTR has a blurb on the neat list of OF talent that the Cardinals have stockpiled, both at the MLB and farm level, most of it young.  They include Tank O'Neill.  Yet with all that talent, the still traded Gonso for Tank.  Btw, the Cards own Tommy Pham is sort of a poster child for the tolerance for K's, in return for pop.  He struck out at a huge level in the bigs last yeat, yet there was little handwringing or lamentation.    This year?  He's ripping!!  


His bat speed was down significantly after he returned from the DL the first time, from the look of his at bats. Since his second DL stint, he's looked better, but he's still not making enough contact yet.


Per Greg Johns: "Mariners selected to play in Arizona Fall League include OFers Kyle Lewis & Braden BIshop, inf. Eric FIlia and C Joe DeCarlo. Mariners pitchers selected for Arizona Fall League: Matthew Festa, Darin GIllies, Max Povse and Art Warren."

Kyle Lewis is still Seattle's best prospect.  His stats have crashed in August but they pulled him out of the field for the most part and just had him DHing.  Whether that's simply precautionary because his knee is still giving him issues I don't know, but he is not a DH type - you gotta let him play the field.  Hopefully they do in AZ.

Braden Bishop is fascinating to me, because I disliked drafting him but he's the one guy we've really managed to tweak at the plate and get way better results than I expected.  When you look at where he's come from with his 5:33 eye in Everett to a 60:80 eye between High A and AA, they've really gotten some much more quality swings out of him.  Bishop looks legit now at the plate and he's always brought a glove. With Lewis likely to be manning a corner after that knee injury rather than a full-time center field, Bishop still has a path for this team.  He might also be their best available trade chip as a batter.

Eric Filia doesn't strike out (63:42 eye in 535 PAs) and is old as dirt, prospect-wise.  I assume they want a better look, but he's a fascinating CTZ guy with minimal power. He can't really play CF though so you're trying to get a .310/.400/.400 guy on a corner.  He's still interesting to me.

Joe DeCarlo is a former 3B who has been converted to catcher.  He was one of our cold-weather draftees and we like to convert strong-armed infielders with questionable range to catcher (Littlewood was like this too). Low average but good walks and decent power.  He's trying for the Greg Zaun approach as a backstop, and he needs all the reps he can get.

Matt Festa from the 2016 draft has been closing some in High-A and has run a 13K / 2.5 BB rate for the year. That's probably good. I assume they want a longer look at him for a full-time closing role next year, as well as some work on his secondaries.

Darin Gillies has been Just A Guy this year in AA after jumping over High-A entirely.  He hasn't been bad, but as a strict bullpenner his work hasn't really stood out.  I think they have some tweaks for him too, in order to see if they can recapture some of his low-minors magic when he was fooling more batters.

Max Povse has been bounced from the rotation to the pen and now in his last couple of starts in Tacoma they were stretching him back out as a starter. Hopefully they pick one, and it's the starting role.  We'll see.

Art Warren really surprised me. He was so wild in High-A last year and got transitioned from mostly-starting last year to a pure pen role this year, with a lot of finishes.  I consider him another random pen arm (so great to have a ton of those 9K / 3 BB pen arms lying about) but I wouldn't have bet on him being the one sent to the AFL.  Hopefully they can finish ironing out his control issues there.

It's an interesting squad, at least.



Whenever you can pay a #4 guy $16 million a season I guess you have to do it, especially on this team.  We'll see how much money STL is kicking in, and losing Rayder is fine.

That severely curtails next year's spending though.  Leake is next year's big free agent acquisition - which just puts more pressure on Seattle's young players to pick up the slack.  Fingers crossed that Moore or Marco can do that.  

Sonny Gray still has 2 more years of arb eligibility, btw, and hasn't given up more than 2 ER in any game since joining the NYY.  Seattle's choices are like Game of Thrones romances.


The $ that STL is sending in the Mike Leake trade turns him into about a 3-year, $36m investment for SEA. A fair price, in current market.


Dipoto wouldn't confirm money involved, but said it made Leake a reasonable priced free agent if he'd been hitting market next year.


So yeah, Leake is next year's FA who might pitch a little this year and hopefully help. For the price it's not bad. With Paxton and Felix both back for next year that means Moore, Marco, and the thousands of #6 pitchers used by Seattle this season are competing for maybe 2 spots - maybe one.

Over the last decade+ it's been fun to look at what Seattle GMs have done and wonder if the team would have been better with no GM at all - whether only having a farm director would have benefitted Seattle in the Bavasi or Zduriencik eras.  I'd prefer it if Dipoto didn't add his name to that list.


Seattle. Where GM's with no track record go to die a slow, steady, painful death, taking the fans and the franchise along with them. The Pasta King strikes again. Our wall is so full of pitching spaghetti that there's no room left for anything to stick. 


Or if you prefer, look at it this way.  One of these career lines is Erasmo Ramirez, one is Mike Leake:

Player 1: 4.19 ERA, 4.39 FIP, 1.25 WHIP, 93 ERA +, 8.6 hits / 6.9 K / 2.6 BB per 9

Player 2: 4.02 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, 99 ERA+, 9.4 hits / 6.1 K / 2.2 BB per 9

If you can't tell which one is Mike Leake, then you might have just paid Erasmo for that adjusted 3/36 contract. Dipoto's fetish with deck chairs will be a problem if the actual lineup fixtures start sinking.  If he can't get a #5 starter, what's he gonna do when he has to replace Cano's production?

Taijuan Walker is sporting a 132 OPS+, btw, Chris Taylor is OPSing over .900 still and Gohara is striking out 12 per in AAA at age 20. It's tough out there for a GM - especially if you trade away as much as you get back, or more. 

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