Random Notes

Dave · May 23, 2006 at 7:37 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Just some random musings while basking in the glow of a four game winning streak.

    J.J. Putz has been the most dominant reliever in baseball this year. He threw 15 lights out innings in April. However, in the last three weeks since being named closer, he’s thrown just 7 2/3 innings. While I know everyone freaked out when Guardado came in the game yesterday, Hargrove is right – the M’s are a better team when Eddie Guardado is being used to protect 2 or 3 run leads in the 9th, and we get Putz pitching the higher leverage middle innings for longer stints. Unfortunately, the way Grover uses his bullpen, J.J. Putz is being wasted as the closer.
    Ichiro is hitting .349/.376/.389 in May. 26 of his 29 hits have been singles. That’s absurd, and, unfortunately, unsustainable. Obviously, we like this Ichiro better than the April version, but I’ll be glad when he’s ripping line drives in the alleys again.
    Jose Lopez, slugging .527, has 7 sacrifice bunts. He’s tied with Ronny Cedeno (.285/.305/.380) for the major league lead. There are 57 players in the majors with .500+ slugging percentages. Excluding Lopez, the other 56 have combined for 11 sacrifice bunts. Bill Hill is second among those 57 players in laying down the bunt – he has three. Stop. Bunting. With. Lopez.
    Adrian Beltre is slugging .247 at Safeco Field. It’s like we have Jeff Cirillo’s less talented Latino cousin or something.
    And, just for the fun of it, Jeff Cirillo this year – .383/.411/.511. Shoot me.

But, yea, four game winning streak! Woo!


123 Responses to “Random Notes”

  1. Bob Loblaw on May 23rd, 2006 3:58 pm

    93- More than Russ Davis’ three flyouts a game I remember his atrocious defense. I recall someone pointing out at the time that the M’s would have been better served installing a pole along third base and hoping that any ball hit in that direction would bounce off of it and bounce over to ARod.

  2. JG on May 23rd, 2006 4:13 pm

    Dave, with the draft coming up, are you guys going to do a mock draft, or anything for the Mariners?

  3. Brian Rust on May 23rd, 2006 4:15 pm

    Cirillo, Spiezio, Beltre . . . forget who’s the better third baseman. Let’s just bring in the heavy equipment and start excavating after the current homestand. Hopefully we can dig up and dispose of whatever is responsible for the bad ju-ju at third base.

  4. eponymous coward on May 23rd, 2006 4:20 pm

    I blame Lenny Randle blowing the ball foul.

  5. Mr. Egaas on May 23rd, 2006 4:23 pm

    101. http://www.prospectinsider.com has been a pretty good source for that kind of stuff, and will be in the future as well it looks like. If you haven’t checked it out, you should give it a look.

  6. Ralph Malph on May 23rd, 2006 4:24 pm

    My reaction to mention of David Bell is a visceral one similar to the suggestion that we bring back Lou Piniella or trade for Griffey. So maybe that influenced my reaction to your thoughts about Bell. I don’t hear you advocating reacquiring Bell to play 3B, a sentiment that drives me batty.

    Your reaction to this discussion may, I suspect, be similarly colored by your strong (and, I think, long held) belief that Beltre was a bad signing. A point with which it would be difficult to argue now in hindsight.

  7. JG on May 23rd, 2006 4:45 pm

    104. Thanks.

  8. taro on May 23rd, 2006 5:05 pm

    “Ichiro is hitting .349/.376/.389 in May. 26 of his 29 hits have been singles. That’s absurd, and, unfortunately, unsustainable. Obviously, we like this Ichiro better than the April version, but I’ll be glad when he’s ripping line drives in the alleys again.”

    It absolutely IS sustainable. In fact I expect his numbers to rise if he continues to aim for singles. Its when Ichiro tries to hit for power that he gets in trouble.

    Ichiro is a hitter that watches the pitcher’s aura and reacts to the ball’s break on a plane, when he starts trying to “look” for pitches he cuts down on his reaction time and has to commit to the pitch early. He ends up with more swings and misses, fly ball outs, and poor contact.

    When he attempts to hit for power he loses his unique ability to track the ball in flight, he is aiming for a low percentage base hit, and he isn’t taking advantage of his absurd speed to first base (infield hits).

    If you want to see the successful Ichiro, you want to see him swinging madly for singles.

  9. DMZ on May 23rd, 2006 5:07 pm

    Watches the pitcher’s aura.

    That’s by far, the craziest comment we’ve ever seen since implementing comments. Congratulations.

  10. jimbob on May 23rd, 2006 5:07 pm

    Why do I suddenly feel so confident? The simplest explanation is that we face the doormats of the American League for the next 3 weeks after a steady diet of division leaders. Plus 0-3 WFB trying to be Ichiro from center field last night, bouncing the ball from 2nd base in. One of the announcers noted that he actually needed to throw it home on the fly to have any chance. The Times announced today that Willie’s likely to be “held back” now for valuable pinch running duties in later innings. And Guardado miraculously getting the save while proving once again that he’s toast by serving up gopher balls that are home runs in most other ball parks.

  11. Dave on May 23rd, 2006 5:10 pm

    Hitting singles all the time is not sustainable. Singles are the hits most likely to be turned into outs based on bad luck. It’s why Ichiro has such a high number of “slumps” compared to power hitting all-star hitters.

    Ichiro needs to hit for more power. This doesn’t mean home runs – he just needs to hit line drives into the gaps and down the lines more often. Otherwise, he’s due for more runs like the one in April.

    And yea, I’ll do some draft stuff soon. Churchill is doing a good job over at PI, and I’ve been busy the last few weeks, but expect to see some stuff here next week.

  12. Grizz on May 23rd, 2006 5:10 pm

    With a fielding percentage of .931, Russ Davis narrowly avoided the record for worst fielding percentage by a position player in team history (min. 200 chances). The record holder with a .928 FPCT? The immortal Dave Edler, a fringe 3B prospect from the early 1980s. (At least, if I remember correctly, he had a cool baseball card).

    1. 3B D. Edler .928 FPCT/292 TC
    2. 3B R. Davis .931/1027
    3. SS A. Sheets .937/206
    4. 3B T. Cox .945/200
    5. SS J. Anderson .946/684
    6. 2B D. Tartabull .949/468
    7. SS M. Morse .949/234
    8. 3B M. Castillo .951/552
    9. 3B E. Martinez .952/1672
    10. 3B D. Coles .953/802

  13. eponymous coward on May 23rd, 2006 5:20 pm

    I didn’t have an issue with the signing at the time- the issue as to why I’m not feeling all that charitable towards Beltre’s performance is just that sometimes when you take risks, you end up with a busted flush, and Beltre’s starting to look that way- and he’s going to be a very, VERY expensive busted flush if he doesn’t start putting up some .290/.340/.500 numbers Real Soon Now.

    Heck, just to get to his David Bell at Safeco batting average last year, he needs to hit .296 the rest of the way. To get to his slugging percentage from LAST year, (assuming same # of at bats both ways), he has to slug .542 the rest of the way. The only time he’s beaten .500 is his 2004 year- which is looking like an immense fluke the longer we go without actually seeing a sustained period of excellence at the plate. I think the odds are pretty high that 2005 and 2006 are going to be very bad years on his baseball card, and not even good ones for David Bell- which we bought to the tune of 26 million.

  14. Rizzs? ugh.. on May 23rd, 2006 5:20 pm

    Those notes don’t look very random.

  15. sidereal on May 23rd, 2006 5:27 pm

    Even better, as a left fielder he had a 0.333 fielding percentage. Not a typo. 1 Put Out. 2 Errors.

  16. Nate on May 23rd, 2006 6:21 pm

    Speaking of Halamalama pitching, did I read that the O’s are calling up a rookie to start tomorrow’s game as well??
    (of course, we’ve been blanked by those types before).


  17. DMZ on May 23rd, 2006 6:38 pm

    There’s a game thread for today now.

  18. msb on May 23rd, 2006 6:49 pm

    #98– he ran into a slop thrower, a knuckleballer and another slop-thrower 🙂

  19. taro on May 23rd, 2006 7:09 pm


    Might have lost you there, lol! By watching the pitcher’s aura Ichiro isn’t looking at the pitcher’s release point or the pitch, he is vaguely looking at the pitcher and watching the pitch break on a plane. His strength is following the pitch’s path and tracking it with his bat. This is why its IMPOSSIBLE to discuss Ichiro as you would a normal hitter.

    Vladamir Guerrero is they only other star I know of that has the same ability to track the ball on a plane.


    With all due respect, that is WAY off on Ichiro. When Ichiro is trying to hit for power he has to commit early and it cuts down on his pitch recognition (look above for a little more detail).

    Just watch what happens with Ichiro when he tries to pull the ball -he has to guess at the pitch (since he has to commit early and doesn’t look at release points) instead of taking advantage of his unique ability to track the ball. The result is weak contact, more swings and misses, and fly balls. He ends up sacrificing too much of his game to be successful. Ichiro’s two unique abilities are his unusual ability to track a ball midflight (which is taken away when he guesses at the pitch) and his unusually fast speed from home to first (which becomes moot when he hits a flyball). When he tries to hit for power he is playing away from his two greatest strengths.

    Compare the 2005 approach to the 2004 approach, or even the April 2006 approach to the recent approach. Ichiro’s slumps occur when Ichiro is feeling pull happy, not the other way around.

  20. taro on May 23rd, 2006 7:16 pm


    One more thing-

    All base hits asides from HRs have the chance of becoming outs. But because of Ichiro’s ability to track the ball and his speed to first base, singles are actally the highest percentage hit for Ichiro BY FAR (just watch how successful he is when hes swinging for singles to left field).

    Ichiro WAS trying to for power to all fields in April. And that is EXACTLY the reason he struggled.

  21. Nate on May 23rd, 2006 9:51 pm

    I’m not dave, but you did lose me on that one.
    you are saying that ichiro has a better chance of not making an out on a single than say, a line drive off the bottom of the wall?? “by far” even? that can’t be what you mean…

  22. vj on May 24th, 2006 6:16 am

    Not that I believe in jinxes, but it is remarkable that on the day of this ringing endorsement, Putz turns in a bad outing.

  23. taro on May 24th, 2006 11:45 am


    That is exactly what I meant for the reasons I posted above. Ichiro has to sacrifice his two greatest skills in order to hit a line drive off the wall- his speed to first and his ability to track the ball midflight.

    A single is easier to hit than an extra base hit for any player – but with Ichiro it is even more so.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.