Due to the resurgent Mariners offense, I’d like to appeal to the governing board of the Julian calendar to please let next month be referred to as June 31st through June 60th. You can return to using “July” next year. Thank you.
Now, onto Dave’s Random Ramblings.
- 1. Due to one of our patented East Coast Thunderstorms Of Doom, I haven’t had any internet access at home since Friday evening. Thus, I missed the entire series with the Padres. Good to see the team wasn’t discouraged by my absence and continued to hit the crap out of the baseball.
- 2. Kenji Johjima is now hitting .290/.335/.454, pretty much exactly what we all expected. In fact, in that roundtable, I wrote: “If he hits .280/.350/.440, which is about where I have him pegged, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be an easy choice for the all-star team.” Amazingly enough, though, not only is he not an easy choice, he’s not even in the discussion. American League catchers have been hitting the tar out of the baseball this year.
Joe Mauer – .368/.436/.506. Jorge Posada – .293/.406/.486. Ramon Hernandez – .285/.346/.506. Victor Martinez – .292/.361/.465. And, while he hasn’t played as many games, Mike Napoli (.294/.433/.578) has already out VORPed Johjima due to his ridiculous offensive performance. Even Gregg Zaun is hitting .328/.390/.555 while playing half the time.
AL catchers – they can hit this year.
- 3. Speaking of us being right about things, Marcus Thames is hitting .310/.378/.655. I’ve been advocating bringing in Thames for years, as he’s the prototypical freely available corner outfielder. He’s been tearing the cover off the ball in Triple-A forever, and he’s finally gotten his shot. He’s nowhere close to being this good, but he’s so much better than Carl Everett, it’s not even funny.
My idea for upgrading left field last offseason was platooning Jacque Jones and Marcus Thames. Jones is hitting .326/.359/.558 vs righties, and Thames is at .286/.355/.571 vs lefties (he’s killing righties, too). Carl Everett – .244/.321/.384. I’m just saying.
- 4. Since I just spent a couple paragraphs saying I told you so, let me reiterate that we were wrong about Raul Ibanez. Again. He already has as many home runs as he had in all of 2004 and he’s posting the highest OPS of his career. Guess those high strikeout rates last year weren’t signs of a loss of bat speed. We were wrong about Raul when they signed him, and so far, we’ve been wrong about the decision to give him a contract extension. Ibanez has been a major bargain since the day he arrived. Kudos to the M’s on that one.
- 5. J.J. Putz has faced 141 batters this year. 50 have struck out, 45 have hit ground balls, and 46 have done anything else. His Fielding Independant ERA is 1.38. He’s almost certainly not going to make the all-star team, but he should. He’s been as good as any reliever in baseball this year.
- 6. How much do home runs matter? Take a look at Felix’s line next to Jeremy Bonderman’s:
Felix: 19.2% LD%, 55% GB%, 8.6% IF% 22.7% HR/Flyball 2.7 BB/G, 8.6 K/G
Bonderman: 19.9% LD%, 51% GB%, 14.9% IF%, 8.5% HR/Flyball, 2.6 BB/G, 9.1 K/G
The differences there are pretty minor with the exception of the HR/Flyball rate. Bonderman’s ERA – 3.65. Felix’s ERA – 5.10. They rank #2 and #3 in American League xFIP, by the way.
- 7. The M’s travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks who, under the watchful eye of Bob Melvin, have lost 17 of their last 20. And, since I’m bringing up manager quality, we should mention that everything that Mike Hargrove has been doing wrong all year is still hurting the team, and they’d still be better off if he was replaced, but it’s awful hard for a manager to cause a team scoring 6 runs per game to lose, even with crazy aggressive baserunning and awful bunts.