Week #15 in Review

peter · July 8, 2005 at 8:45 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Boone DFA’ed! Doyle recalled! Mariners score double-digits, not just for the week, but in a single game! Bloomquist hits like it’s September 2002!

Wow, what a week.

Vital Signs
Wins: 36. Losses: 48. Games out of first place: 15.5.

The Mariners drop another two games in the standings this week. And now a 5-game chasm separates the M’s from the third-place Athletics. Last place rarely seemed so lonely. According to third-order wins, the Mariners are unlucky by more than 3 games, but that still doesn’t mean that their last-place position is undeserved. Only Tampa Bay and Kansas City have fewer 3rd order wins. And of course, those two teams’ payrolls together don’t match the Mariners.

Runs Scored: 354 (last in the American League). Batting average: .257 (last). On-base percentage: .316 (last). Slugging percentage: .388 (last). Home runs: 62 (last). Bases on balls: 235 (8th!). EqA: .261 (18th in baseball).

The Mariners get away with an offense last in every significant batting category in the league without being last in EqA on a couple of counts. First of all, they play in Safeco Field and EqA is weighted accordingly. Secondly, their most potent offensive weapon right now is their designated hitter, and 10 of the 12 teams behind them have no such luxury.

Runs allowed: 377 (8th). Staff ERA: 4.29 (8th). DIPS ERA: 4.82 (13th). Strikeouts: 427 (last). Bases on balls: (12th). Home runs allowed: 90 (11th). Starters ERA: 4.89 (12th). Relievers ERA: 3.03 (3rd). Defensive efficiency: 71.6% (3rd).

The M’s quietly have one of the best relief corps in the game right now. At least they have some marketable commodity for the coming trade frenzy.

Make it 5 straight losing series for the Mariners now. They went 3-4 on the week dropping 2 out of 3 to both Texas and Kansas City (shame on them) before taking Game #1 in the LA Angels series. Thanks to a couple of blow-out wins and close losses, they outscored their opponents 32-28. They were out-homered 8-5 (which happens to every team playing Texas), but drew more walks 24-19 (thank you, Bartolo Colon). The M’s lineup was feast or famine, where 3 starters logged an OPS over 1.000, and 4 starters below .700.

Feast: Adrian Beltre (10-for-29, .345/.367/.759, a double, a triple and 3 home runs), Ichiro! (12-for-26, .462/.531/.577, 5 walks), and Willie Bloomquist (9-for-21, .429/.455/.667, 5 doubles, 2 stolen bases and so much hustle broadcaster Dave Valle is rumored to have spontaneously combusted like a Spinal Tap drummer). At least someone got the memo that Kansas City’s pitching isn’t very good.

To celebrate Independence Day, Ryan Franklin threw a complete game shutout. He held the Royals to 6 hits and a walk while striking out 4. And he did it on only 103 pitches. Hey, if you got a defense that can catch the ball, you might as well use it. At 13.9, Franklin now has the highest VORP on the pitching staff. Give the boy a cookie.

Not-so-much Heroes
Famine: Raul Ibanez (6-for-26, .231/.333/.346), Jeremy Reed (4-for-19, .211/.286/.316), Jose Lopez (3-for-18, .167/.167/.278) and Pat Borders (2-for-15, .133/.133/.133). Dincha get the memo?

Reed is now hitting .259/.329/.357. His 5.2 VORP is 12th among AL centerfielders with at least 100 at bats. On the bright side, he is the 2nd best centerfielder in the AL West according to VORP.

The shutout by Franklin must have really pissed off the Royals. The very next day, the team that makes an out in 68% of their plate appearance, shellacked Gil Meche for 5 runs on 7 hits and a pair of walks. Meche allowed more runners on base than he recorded outs, as he failed to sit a Royal down in the fourth inning. It was his worst start of the season, and against one of worst offenses to boot.

Coming to a stadium near you
Over the weekend the Mariners will play 3 more in Angel Stadium. Few teams are hot like the Angels are right now. Prior to last night’s bizarre turn of events, the Angels had gone 15-4 dating back to June 17. They’re cruising in first place of the AL West. Their offense has scored 409 runs, 5th in the league, while they’ve allowed 332, second in the league to the White Sox.

Next, all of baseball takes a 3-day vacation for an All-Star Game. Rumor has it that it counts. For something. Whatever. Feel free to watch if that’s your thing.

The M’s will then kickoff the second half hosting a four-game set with spiraling Baltimore. After starting the season as one of the more fun stories to watch in baseball, the O’s have dropped 11 of their last 14, including 3 of 4 to their archrival Yankees. Currently, the Orioles have scored 416 runs, 4th in the league, and allowed 400, 9th in the league.


31 Responses to “Week #15 in Review”

  1. J.R. on July 8th, 2005 9:08 am

    I am glad I got to see Ryan Franklins gem last week…..

    …words I never thought I would say.

  2. Brian (No Relation To Matt) Thornton on July 8th, 2005 9:28 am

    And I am glad to see Bloomie Willquist hitting like Senor Doble Edgar Martinez in his prime. Never thought I’d say that.

    Here’s hoping they’ll trade him before his small sample size disapates and he reverts to the mean and isn’t even hitting his weight again.

  3. Jim Osmer on July 8th, 2005 9:32 am

    You know if the M’s would give up on Spiezio (instead of letting him pinch hit to end the game), last years starting infield could be called the DFA infield (Olerud, Boone, Aurilla, Spiezio).

    How much sand left in Olivo’s Mariner hourglass? I really think the M’s need to determine what they have in Wiki and Rivera to better plan for next year.

    I still see the Dodgers getting Winn at the all star break.

    Finnigan (as unreliable as Gammons) said today

    “At one point, it appeared Seattle would have a tough time making room for Soriano in the bullpen. But it now seems left-hander Matt Thornton has put himself in line to be moved. Club officials were upset that Thornton pitched well when the team was well behind Tuesday in Kansas City, then had control problems, walking two batters, when the Mariners made it a one-run game.”

    I can only wish that is true.

    Is there a trade market for anyone in our rotation?

  4. Evan on July 8th, 2005 9:56 am

    If the M’s have half a brain, they already know what they have in Wiki and Rivera. There’s more than enough minor league data to tell us they’re not very good.

    Olivo is still probably our best catcher.

  5. vj on July 8th, 2005 10:00 am

    Peter, I have a suggestion for the weekly/monthly reviews: Could you provide not only the runs scored/allowed etc. for the season but also for the current week/month? I think for a review of the week/month that makes more sense. I admit not having an idea how hard this data would be to come by.

  6. Jim Osmer on July 8th, 2005 10:03 am

    Rivera was a second round pick for a reason.
    Most teams would be excited to have a 21 yr old catcher come up and hit .364 in a short stint. At worst I think he could be a good backup catcher to whatever veteran holds the position until Clement arrives.
    Rivera is the same age as Clement.

    I agree on Wiki though he has pounded the ball at AAA last year and this year. I also watched him drop many called strikes catching Felix this year.

  7. Dave on July 8th, 2005 10:08 am

    Most teams know enough not to care about 29 at-bats. If only the fans knew the same.

  8. Steve on July 8th, 2005 10:25 am


    Most teams would be excited to have a 21 yr old catcher come up and hit .364 in a short stint. At worst I think he could be a good backup catcher to whatever veteran holds the position until Clement arrives.

    If Rivera had been a .350 hitter in the minors, then came to the big leagues and hit .364, there would be a reason to get excited.

    But Rivera is a guy who has struggled to hit even .250 in A ball. The chances that he all of a sudden learned how to hit when promoted to MLB is virtually zero, particularly when other peripherals (such as his K/BB ratio) were worse than when he was in the minors.

    Rivera’s .364 in 29 ABs is a chimera. The Mariners knew it, and weren’t fooled by it. Other teams wouldn’t be, either.

    Rivera’s realistic upside is as backup catcher, and it’questionable whether his bat will even justify that.

  9. Evan on July 8th, 2005 10:34 am

    “Rivera’s realistic upside is as backup catcher, and it’questionable whether his bat will even justify that.”

    He’s certainly no Greg Zaun.

  10. Jim Osmer on July 8th, 2005 10:46 am

    All I am saying with Rivera is he sure looks better than Olivo.
    Rivera’s minor league numbers are nearly identical to Yadier Molina, starting for the Cardinals.

    If baseball people did not think players could improve over time there would not be 6 layers of minor league teams. Rivera is hitting .290 in a pitchers park in AA. Not sure how we write a guy off who is only 21.

    I guess I am hopeful that guys like Rivera and Morse could be successful as opposed to only getting excited about our top few prospects. I understand skewering guys like Spiezio and Thornton, but we should not be so anxious and confident that Morse and Rivera will fail.

  11. peter on July 8th, 2005 10:57 am

    Re #6

    The runs scored/allowed for the week are there.

    Thanks to a couple of blow-out wins and close losses, they outscored their opponents 32-28.

    Splitting them monthly I don’t find very interesting. But you can split to your heart’s content over at ESPN.

  12. Dave on July 8th, 2005 10:58 am

    Yadier Molina is hitting .255/.292/.365. He’s starting because he’s the best defensive catcher in baseball. Tony LaRussa’s been running Mike Matheny out there for years, so you know he doesn’t care about offense from his catcher.

    We’re not saying Rivera can’t improve. We’re saying that he’s very unlikely to improve enough to be a major league player this year or next year. So they shouldn’t be calling him up to “evaluate what they have”.

  13. Jim Osmer on July 8th, 2005 11:00 am

    #12 Fair enough.
    I still Olivo getting shipped back to the White Sox because Guillen still raves about him. Not a lot of interesting AAA or backup catchers out there to get this year.

  14. Paul Molitor Cocktail on July 8th, 2005 11:08 am

    Hey, what is wrong with the All-Star game? Where else do you get a chance to see players from both leagues play together?

  15. peter on July 8th, 2005 11:10 am

    Interleague play. World Series.

  16. peter on July 8th, 2005 11:16 am

    Re #12: Are there ever? I suppose “interesting” could be subjective.

    Eight teams are getting sub-.300 OBP’s from their catchers – Tigers (Pudge .303!), Pirates, Orioles, Cardinals, Astros, Cubs, Royals, Mariners. So, the M’s aren’t the only team with out-makers behind the plate.

    The AL average catcher is hitting .249/.307/.380. That’s a far cry from what the Mariners are getting, but it’s not like catcher is a traditionally offensive position.

  17. VB1138 on July 8th, 2005 11:43 am

    #6: I wouldn’t want to catch 98 mph beaners thrown at me either, but that’s why I don’t get paid the big bucks to blow my knees out by age 30. (Oh crap, I just turned 30, hmm, and my knees ain’t feeling all that good, not to mention my back. WHERE’S MY FREE RIDE?!?!? It still kills me that A-Rod is exactly one month younger than I am.)

  18. Dylan on July 8th, 2005 12:25 pm

    RE 12…. Larussa also has the luxury of one of the best line ups in baseball, and last year in history. It’s ok to have a black hole at Catcher if the rest of your team mashes.

  19. eponymous coward on July 8th, 2005 12:47 pm

    We could survive Rivera at C even if he was hitting .220 with an OPS in the 5’s were it not for this:

    OPS for various M’s 2005 positions of note:

    C: .520
    SS: .660 (Morse and Bloomquist making up for Valdez being awful)
    2B: .669
    CF: .695
    LF: .686

    C’s been a black hole, but SS (in aggregate) really hasn’t been that much more of one than some other positions.

    Willie’s lifetime OPS, BTW, is .664. Stan Javier’s is .708 So, uh, yeah, when you have a black hole at C and you have 4 other positions hitting somewhere between Willie Bloomquist and Stan Javier’s lifetime batting stats, you have a problem. Even if Ichiro, Beltre and Sexson were having peak years like Raul is, we’d still be scuffling a lot.

  20. Alex on July 8th, 2005 1:14 pm

    #19 – Dang, EC. That puts things in a painful perspective. I also thought of Javier as a moderately-effective hitter, but a banjo hitter at heart. To see that we are hitting worse than Javier at 5 positions out of 9 truly crystallizes why we are last in virtually all team offensive categories. This, plus rain in July (like today), add up to a depressing day.. thanks. 🙂

  21. eponymous coward on July 8th, 2005 1:24 pm

    The reason why you think Javier’s better than his lifetime stats was that his last two years of OPS (the years he was a Mariner) were .751 and .766- well above his lifetime OPS of .708.

    If those 4 lineup positions (SS, 2B, CF, LF) were hitting like Javier as a Mariner in aggregate, we’d be in much better shape- especially since the OBP would be north of .350 like Javier’s was, in all likelihood. That’s a lot more runners on base to be driven in.

  22. brian on July 8th, 2005 1:25 pm

    kevin calabro is gonna be joining the FSN broadcast on july 14-18 or something, saw it on http://www.nba.com/sonics

  23. msb on July 8th, 2005 2:07 pm

    #22– it’s on the M’s site as well– he is sitting after the All Star break while Neihaus vacations

  24. roger tang on July 8th, 2005 2:41 pm

    re 21

    You know, I think this can’t be over-emphasized….having even a medicore OPS in those positions (or even three of the four) would do a world o’ good, and shows you what kind of players we’ve been having in those positions.

    Goes back to talent evaluation….and how bad this team is at it.

  25. duder on July 8th, 2005 3:02 pm

    #13 – The red sox are apparently offering Kelly Stoppach plus another prospect for Guardado. Stoppach is hitting .257 with 16 homers in AAA Pawtucket.

  26. duder on July 8th, 2005 3:04 pm

    OBP-.363 SLG-.527, 12 doubles and 43 RBIs in 61 games.

  27. Colm on July 8th, 2005 4:52 pm

    Anything is better than nothing – which is what we’ll have next year from Eddie. Where does he play on the diamond?

  28. duder on July 8th, 2005 4:57 pm

    Stoppach is a catcher. and from what we’ve been seeing this season, he’d be the best one we have.

  29. Ralph Malph on July 8th, 2005 5:11 pm

    Where does he play on the diamond?

    Google him for crying out loud! It’s not hard!

    [he’s a catcher]

  30. Colm on July 8th, 2005 5:46 pm

    Steady on chappie. Remember the Onion headline “FACTUALLY INCORRECT STORY FOUND ON INTERNET!”

    Queries about minor leaguers often get a more up to date and accurate response from USSM bloggers than from Google. Stoppach turns up fine as it goes, although there are quite a few dated references. However, minor leaguers that exist only on Dave Cameron’s radar? You’re definitely better off asking here.

  31. mandy_bot on July 9th, 2005 2:46 pm

    Hi everyone. I am new to this blog and am quite impressed with all the knowledge here. I don’t know all the terms yet and am still learning to analyze baseball with a statistical eye so please bear with me. I saw a few posts that talked about small sample size in relation to the catcher Rivera. I have to agree. Looking at just a few plate appearances in the majors versus a much larger minor league record of performance seems to be a recipe for disaster. I don’t know how appropriate it is to base things totally on minor league stats, but the numbers I saw just don’t seem to show he will be a .364 hitter. Thanks for giving me a forum and please keep up the wonderful posts. I enjoy reading them.