Dave · September 14, 2004 at 8:43 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I talked about his spectacular home run rate last week, but he’s just pitching lights out across the board right now. Take a look at his game log. After facing some pretty easy competition in August, he’s faced the White Sox on the road, the Red Sox, and now the Angels, and he’s going through them like butter.

He’s locked up a rotation spot for 2005. For all the talk about the upside Gil Meche has, I’ll take Madritsch as the most likely Mariners starter to pitch in the all-star game next year.


29 Responses to “Madritsch”

  1. Alex on September 14th, 2004 8:50 pm

    Yeah, I have to admit that Madritsch is bringing a lot more to the table than I would have ever given him credit for. I particularly like the aggressive demeanor that he brings to the mound. When he’s out there, you’d have no idea that he’s a rookie. He has what they call (to be cliche’ about it) “mound presence”.

    To the comparison with Meche, I think it’s a bit unfair to compare a 27 year old pitcher with a 25 year old pitcher. Madritsch has taken him lumps in the minors and Independent leagues and appears to have finally learned how to pitch at the age of 27. There have been lots of cases of guys not truly learning how to pitch until they were at least 27, if not older (see Moyer, Jamie). I say give both Gil and Bobby another full season up with the big club and see how he fares before proclaiming Madritsch a future all-star.

  2. Dave on September 14th, 2004 9:00 pm

    Gil Meche has 827 innings as a professional pitcher. He turned 26 last week, by the way.

    Bobby Madritsch has 395 innings as a professional pitcher. He’s 28.

    Madritsch is not some long time career minor leaguer who turned a corner. He’s been solid whenever he’s been healthy enough to take the mound.

  3. Dan on September 14th, 2004 9:03 pm

    It should be noted that the only two rough appearances he has had were:

    1) His first game, 3IP 3ER
    2) @ CWS, where almost all of his family was there to watch. Pregame he said he had worked out tickets for over 150 people. I can imagine he was a bit stressed out.

    Take out those two and he has been amazing.

  4. Alex on September 14th, 2004 9:09 pm

    I stand corrected on the ages. However, I think we’ve seen too small of a sample size to come to any concrete conclusion on Madritsch. I am encouraged by what I see, but I remember Dave Fleming in ’93 also. I’m not saying that Madritsch is the next Fleming, but examples such as that have taught me to temper my enthusiasm.

    I still think that Meche has the ability to turn the corner. I would say that next year is his make-or-break, however.

  5. Alex on September 14th, 2004 9:14 pm

    On a sidenote, I think Bob Melvin can quit riding our starting pitchers like they’re the 1980 Oakland A’s at any time. I have Madritsch at about 116 or 117 pitches through 8. He should not be going back out for the 9th. He let Gil throw 125+ pitches in his last start also. What in the name of Dusty Baker is he doing?

  6. Metz on September 14th, 2004 9:17 pm

    The one thing I don’t like about Madritch is his arm speed varies for each pitch he throws. It’s pretty easy to identify when he’s throwing an off speed pitch vs a fastball before he even releases the ball. It’s something MLB hitters are going to pick up on when they face him more than once. If he can keep this up over an entire year I’ll hop on the bandwagon. Right now he’s a pitcher doing a good job the first time he faces a team. Time will tell if he can get the same hitters out again and again.

  7. Alex on September 14th, 2004 9:21 pm

    Ok, this is stupid. What is the point of putting Madritsch back out there in the 9th? He’s thrown enough pitches. Yes, he has a shutout going, but it’s not as if he’s got a no-hitter or perfect game. I think it’s highly unwise to have starters throwing 120+ pitches in a meaningless game such as this. In the middle of a pennant race or a playoff game? Sure. I understand that Bobby wanted to go back out there, but Melvin needs to put his foot down and say no at a certain point.

  8. Metz on September 14th, 2004 9:22 pm

    Melvin has no control over his team.

  9. Dan on September 14th, 2004 9:23 pm

    You know, maybe i can understand letting the kid get a complete game, but not with 116 pitches, and not against a 3/4/5 like guerrero, glaus, and anderson.

    Even if melvin has no confidence in the pen, this is just setting up a bad situation.

  10. Bob Melvin on September 14th, 2004 9:30 pm

    Hey, what do I care? I’m getting fired in a month anyway.

  11. Jeff on September 14th, 2004 9:30 pm

    Didn’t Putz look a lot like Jeff Nelson throwing that slider to strike out Guillen?

  12. Pat Gillicks Hemorrhoids on September 14th, 2004 9:31 pm

    What does Putz have on his chin?

  13. Chris W. on September 14th, 2004 9:36 pm

    So Madritsch threw 126 pitches last time out against Boston and tonight he threw 123. He has likely already exceeded his previous high for IP/season. I know he’s past the injury nexus, and he’s not the risk that Meche is, but this is insanity. Or am I missing something? Because I really don’t see the point…

    At the same time Madritsch is proving he may be an important piece next year, the Ms are putting him directly in harm’s way. From the organization that brought you serious, career-threatening, injuries to Pineiro, Soriano, Anderson, Heaverlo, Blackley, and Meche (quite an assortment of “good young arms”, huh?), you’d think you’d see a little caution exhibited.

  14. Paul Finkelstein on September 14th, 2004 9:37 pm

    Just for contrast. This year’s Cy Young, Johan Santana was pulled after 7 two hit, no run innings after only 88 pitches. Madritsch threw 116 tonight. Gardenhire did the exact same thing last week with Santana. Please note, Santana is 25, with a history of arm troubles about 4 years back.

  15. Pat Gillicks Hemorrhoids on September 14th, 2004 9:37 pm

    The same thing was done with Meche last year. Overworked and as a result he collapsed. Now Melvin and Price are overworking him again.

    It’s frightening to see how many pitchers have been hurt in this organization.

  16. Chris W. on September 14th, 2004 9:39 pm

    Madritsch threw 123 tonight.

  17. Chris W. on September 14th, 2004 9:42 pm

    The same thing was done to Pineiro last year, too, actually. Remember how he was left out for 130-some pitches a few weeks after the all-star break so he could get a complete game? That was his last really good game of the season last year, and he hasn’t been the same this year either.

  18. Pat Gillicks Hemorrhoids on September 14th, 2004 9:51 pm

    So is there anyone in Ms management who shouldn’t be fired? Except the bullpen coach?

  19. Dan on September 14th, 2004 9:53 pm

    What are you saying? Have you seen what comes out of the bullpen?

  20. Pat Gillicks Hemorrhoids on September 14th, 2004 9:59 pm

    Sorry, I didn’t realize Melvin brought in a new bullpen coach. He should be fired too.

  21. Cap on September 14th, 2004 10:31 pm

    I just got home from the game. Like I said before, Madritsch throws like he’s fighting a war out there. I like the M’s chances with him on the bump every 5 days. Does he remind you of a younger, left-handed Pineiro?

    Funniest part of the game for me: Even my wife knew that Madritsch was done a hitter before Melvin did. Only 1 of those Bobs will be in town on April 1. My money is on Madritsch.


  22. Pete on September 14th, 2004 10:42 pm

    I agree with a previous post regarding Madritsch’s arm action. I saw one of his starts at Safeco, and have seen most of them on TV. The difference in arm action (specifically the speed of his arm toward the plate) between his fastball and change up is massive. He needs to figure out how to make those releases look much more similar, or he may encounter some serious problems the next couple of times around the league. I could be wrong, and I love watching him pitch. He is an absolute bulldog out there – we need more guys like that on our softy (Moyer), heart-throb (Pineiro, Meche)staff….

    I’m just worry that I – someone who didn’t play baseball any longer than 6th grade – can tell that it’s going to be a change-up before he even releases the ball. It’s really quite striking….maybe there’s something I don’t know about pitching, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such an obvious difference in arm action.

    Bottom line – love watching him pitch, but a little worried…

  23. Paul Covert on September 14th, 2004 11:02 pm

    Thinking further about the future of the pitching staff here…

    Let’s assume that Pineiro can recover, and that Madritsch and Meche can somehow survive the current no-tomorrow managing style and live to pitch another day. The question still arises: Do we have talent here that we can realistically hope will become the rotation nucleus of the next playoff-caliber Seattle team? Can the team focus on offense in the free-agent market, or will they need to go after a pitcher also?

    I looked at BP’s SNWL reports for the 64 playoff teams from 162-game seasons with the wild card (1996-2003). Averaging the best starters from the 64 teams together, and likewise with the second-best and so forth, we find:

    Average Playoff #1: 5.4 SNWAR
    Average Playoff #2: 4.1
    Average Playoff #3: 3.1
    Average Playoff #4: 2.1
    Average Playoff #5: 1.2

    Almost an exact 5-4-3-2-1 sequence, which makes it easy to remember. This tells us, for example, that although a league-average full-time starter (SNWAR a little over 2 wins) would be a #3 starter on an average team, he’d more likely be a #4 on a playoff team. Or, to put it another way, if you want to make the playoffs, you should probably plan to have four starters at league average, three of whom are better than that. Of course some teams make the playoffs with less, but they usually make it up in other areas. On the other hand, if you want to make the playoffs with a pitching-heavy team, you’ll probably need four starters solidly better than average (or three stars, or two superstars, or something equivalent).

    So then: What can we expect from the pitchers we have? Right now we have only two starters pitching solidly at all (both being worked very heavily, but I’m ignoring that for now), plus one more who was pitching okay before getting hurt and who should be back next year. In terms of future expectations, I’d put them at approximately:

    Pineiro 3-4 WAR/year (#2 or #3 on typical playoff team)
    Madritsch 2-3 WAR/year (#3 or #4)
    Meche 2? WAR/year (#4)

    So I could see these guys being a decent middle of the rotation, capable of getting us to the playoffs if the offense holds up its end. It’s reasonable to expect somebody else to hold down a respectable #5 slot. But who goes in front?

    What this tells me is that, unless everybody stays healthy *and* beats my projections for them, we don’t have a playoff-caliber rotation for ’05; and, unless Felix pulls a Doc Gooden 1984 in ’06, we won’t have one then either.

    I don’t advise making a splash for a pitcher this off-season, mind you; I’d rather they save that for when one good pitcher will make the difference. My preference for this year remains to see them solidify the offense around Beltre (I wouldn’t mind Beltran, although a $15M price would, I still think, be too high). But I think it’s time to take seriously the notion that, barring some very pleasant surprises next year (like Madritsch and Meche sustaining their current runs for a whole season with no sign of fatigue), we’ll be needing some outside help at the front of the rotation to return to contention even in 2006.

    (Sorry to dump such a long and semi-off-topic essay on your thread, Dave. Trust me, it actually was your post that got me going on the subject!)

    (Also, re. Alex’s #3 and Metz’s #6 on the Dave Fleming first-time-through-the-league effect: Interesting point, if an unpleasant one, and no refutation is obvious to me; would appreciate if anyone else can share observations to confirm or contradict the risk.)

  24. Paul Covert on September 14th, 2004 11:04 pm

    (Further to last remark: I note that Pete’s #22, posted while I was typing, answered my question. Now I’m really nervous….)

  25. Stan Mcmurry on September 15th, 2004 1:15 am

    I would be surprised if DMZ pass this golden opportunity to say something negative about Meche. While both young men brings some hopes for the 2005 Mariners, DMZ would rather see Meche fail so he does not have to eat his own words live. And I do wonder you gone so far to make a blog, but you cannot stay true to be a fan and wish the best of our players?

  26. mike on September 15th, 2004 2:27 am

    In regards to Madritsch’s arm action on his change vs. his fastball… The view from the batter’s box is different than the angle we see on TV, or from 99.9% of the seats in the ballpark. Tonight the Angels did not start to have good ABs against him until the fourth time through the lineup (when he appeared to be gassed). Major league hitters will pick up something as simple as arm speed on the change way before that – if they can see it from the box.


  27. Shannon on September 15th, 2004 8:51 am

    I know Stan’s nutty post in 25 probably doesn’t even need a response but I guess I don’t understand all the negativeness (is that a word?) that I’ve seen posted lately directed towards DMZ. I don’t know Derek personally, but I think its incredibly obvious from his writing that he is, first and foremost, a fan of both the game of baseball and the Mariners. I don’t think anyone would spend the amount of time both he and Dave have dedicated to this website if they weren’t fans. Nobody, especially not anyone who’s a fan of the game, WANTS a player to fail simply so he/she will be proved right. You can be critical about the organization or players and STILL be a fan and root for the M’s just as hard as the next person. But to question whether DMZ is a fan is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen in a while.

  28. Pete on September 16th, 2004 8:30 pm


    Thanks for clarifying that for me. I thought the arm speed could be be disguised somewhat from the batters-eye view, but I wasn’t sure. I’m so glad if that’s the case. Thanks for your baseball-playing expertise (if that’s the case).

  29. Metz on September 19th, 2004 7:39 pm

    I purposefully went behind home plate today to try and get an approximate batters view of Bobby’s arm action. It was pretty darn noticeable and apparent when he was going to throw a breaking ball. I also noticed that the A’s were getting great cuts on his off speed stuff today. They were ripping them down the lines. After the 5th inning Bobby threw 90% fastballs. I don’t think he threw anything off speed in the 7th. The shadows made it effective but he won’t be pitching at 1:00 at Safeco many games. He’s got to work on disguising the breaking ball better.