Cactus League Game Thread, 3/21/2010

Jay Yencich · March 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Other news and notes besides the big one this morning:

Stone: Kotchman the probable #3 hitter for the M’s? Suddenly, I am very curious about what Elliott says about his horizontal versus vertical strength.
Baker: Hill, Fields, Vega, Esquibel, Merry (Jorden, not Jon) combine for double-A no-hitter. Washburn not in touch.
LaRue: M’s win after Wakamatsu preaches focus, and Felix decides to be Felix.
Arnold: Kelley credits regained confidence in change-up for recent strikeouts.

Lineup, from the News Tribune Blog
RF Ichiro
2B Figgins
1B Kotchman
LF Bradley
DH Sweeney
3B Lopez
CF Byrnes
C Moore
SS Wilson

“Probably not in the fifth starter race” LHP Luke French against RHP Jared Weaver.

Comments

23 Responses to “Cactus League Game Thread, 3/21/2010”

  1. scott19 on March 21st, 2010 1:20 pm

    M’s gettin’ Figgy wit’ it in the first inning!

  2. Jay Yencich on March 21st, 2010 1:27 pm

    Former Angels, taking it out on the team in the form of a two-run inning. Yeah. I’m a fan.

  3. scott19 on March 21st, 2010 1:31 pm

    Niehaus was just mentioning how LAA was the only team in the majors last season who did not have a grand slam home run.

    If we believe Faux Sports, the Angels were such an unstoppable force in the AL West last year that such a thing couldn’t possibly have been true.

  4. scott19 on March 21st, 2010 2:01 pm

    Aaaaand…the Hugmeister’s still tearing the cover off the ball.

  5. batura on March 21st, 2010 2:12 pm

    Suddenly, I am very curious about what Elliott says about his horizontal versus vertical strength.

    What does this mean?

  6. Paul B on March 21st, 2010 2:15 pm

    The M’s are having a good day, with most of the starters in the lineup today.

    Sounds like Lopez has been making good plays at third, heard him start a couple of double plays.

    I still think French is a good argument against Washburn.

  7. Jay Yencich on March 21st, 2010 2:28 pm

    Suddenly, I am very curious about what Elliott says about his horizontal versus vertical strength.

    What does this mean?

    Hard to explain succinctly, though I probably could have been better off saying force instead.

    Baker’s blog

    Scroll down to after the video and there’s a paragraph on the theory.

  8. jordan on March 21st, 2010 2:40 pm

    I always thought French was a flyball pitcher.. 11-1 GO/AO

  9. Jay Yencich on March 21st, 2010 2:43 pm

    He is, and a fairly strong one, which is what makes this particular outing a bit perplexing.

    He has been at a 0.71 G/F throughout spring training up until today’s game, which is still better than the 0.37 mark with the Tigers or the 0.60 with the M’s last year. My guess is that they’re having him work on something.

  10. Paul B on March 21st, 2010 3:35 pm

    Ichiro and Figgins being especially pesky on the basepaths today.

  11. Kazinski on March 21st, 2010 3:39 pm

    Baker:

    Just got done talking to Luke French, who figures he threw about 15 change-ups during his four innings today, holding a pretty potent Angels lineup to just two runs on five hits. French said he’s worked on the change-up all spring, but today was when he truly got to throw it enough to gauge its level of success.

    And ESPN has a nice profile on DFT.

  12. joser on March 21st, 2010 3:47 pm

    Given all the “brushback” and “headhunting” pitches in this game, in the interests of fairness can I assume that pretty much every pitcher in the Angels’ bullpen will be serving five-game suspensions to start the season?

  13. Paul B on March 21st, 2010 3:49 pm

    Given all the “brushback” and “headhunting” pitches in this game, in the interests of fairness can I assume that pretty much every pitcher in the Angels’ bullpen will be serving five-game suspensions to start the season?

    No, because the batters didn’t run out to the mound. Apparently, the batter has to run at the pitcher in order for the pitcher to be suspended.

    At least, that is what the MLB rule seems to be.

  14. Liam on March 21st, 2010 3:51 pm

    Only one umpire on the field, calling the game from behind the mound.

  15. Avery Bowron on March 21st, 2010 3:51 pm

    I’m liking how this inning has gone so far…3 walks (including Loafie), a hbp, and a triple. Come one Bradley…let’s make this a good day for once.

  16. joser on March 21st, 2010 3:51 pm

    The umpire is calling balls and strikes from behind the mound!?
    Wow, I wish I had a video feed for this.

  17. Avery Bowron on March 21st, 2010 3:54 pm

    Yes! I’m glad that Bradley’s day is ending on a better note. He deserves it after the last couple days.

    Also, this inning was a great example of how high OBP can score a lot of runs without much power. Can’t wait to see this lineup in action all summer.

  18. joser on March 21st, 2010 4:04 pm

    French said he’s worked on the change-up all spring, but today was when he truly got to throw it enough to gauge its level of success.

    Well, like a player arriving “in the best shape of his life,” pitchers coming into Spring Training claiming to have “a new pitch” always make me look for my Mr Skeptical™ hip waders. However, when it’s accompanied by data (like atypical FB/GB rates) that suggests something is different, we have reason to take it a little more seriously. Of course, anything can happen over the course of a single game (Jarod Washburn almost threw a perfect game last year, right?) But if French can keep it up, and hitters don’t adjust…. how nice would that be?

  19. Paul B on March 21st, 2010 4:07 pm

    Back around the year 1900, there was only one umpire. They used to always call pitches from behind the mound when there were runners on the bases.

    No, I am not old enough to actually have seen this. I just read about it in “Glory of Their Times”.

  20. joser on March 21st, 2010 4:12 pm

    Also, this inning was a great example of how high OBP can score a lot of runs without much power. Can’t wait to see this lineup in action all summer.

    Of course it helps when the opposing pitcher makes even Lopez look like a high-OBP guy. But yeah: having a chain of guys each getting on base for the next guy not only enables you to score runs without HRs, it also makes for interesting, exciting, fun-to-watch baseball.

  21. Slurve on March 21st, 2010 5:17 pm

    Whoa Luke French had specs and a 11-1 GB-FB ratio this game.

  22. MegaMan on March 21st, 2010 8:05 pm

    [if you're going to mention a link, see that it hasn't already been posted in the same thread]

  23. batura on March 21st, 2010 11:45 pm

    Interesting on the Horizontal/Vertical force thing… I had missed that piece from Baker and I’m really curious about the process the Mariners are using to evaluate these things.

    In theory, it makes sense- if a swing was unbalanced in favor of vertical force, it would probably make for more flyouts than linedrives. If they were balanced (or slightly favoring horizontal), it might give an idea launch angle for home runs.

    Googling around, it appears that the ideal launch angle for a homerun is 40 degrees (which is interesting to me, because 45 degrees without spin and wind is the ideal launch angle for the range equation) so I guess preference to horizontal force might be in order…. Interesting.

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