Game 33, White Sox At Mariners

Dave · May 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hernandez vs Humber, 7:10 pm.

Happy Felix Day!

Remember when we used to consider Felix inconsistent? Now, he’s actually maturing into one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball.

2009: 2.68 BB/9, 8.18 K/9, 53.4% GB%
2010: 2.52 BB/9, 8.36 K/9, 53.9% GB%
2011: 2.45 BB/9, 8.50 K/9, 50.7% GB%

His walk and strikeout rates have improved, but that’s mostly just changes in the league norms, as offense has declined over the last several years. By and large, Felix is putting up the same performance he did last year, which was also the same as the year before. He’s become a model of consistent dominance. Long Live The King.

We’ve talked a bit about how batting order doesn’t really matter all that much, and it’s basically true that there isn’t much of a difference in terms of expected run scoring between an optimally aligned line-up and one that is put together with gut feel and hunches. Still, I have to say that I’ve just about seen enough of this Miguel Olivo, Cleanup Hitter nonsense. Against lefties, fine, I get that there are no right-handed hitters with any thump on this team (besides Justin Smoak, who Wedge seems dead set against moving out of the #5 spot), but against right-handed hitters, Olivo is usually the second worst hitter in the line-up.

You know what he’s hitting against RHPs this year? .175/.221/.222. Small sample, you say? Sure, but his career line against RHPs is .229/.267/.390. Miguel Olivo is a lousy hitter whose one redeeming skill is being able to hit for some power against southpaws. When a right-hander starts, he has no redeeming offensive abilities. He should hit no higher than 8th vs RHPs. This is getting ridiculous.

Ichiro, RF
Figgins, 3B
Bradley, LF
Olivo, C
Smoak, 1B
Cust, DH
Wilson, 2B
Saunders, CF
Ryan, SS


206 Responses to “Game 33, White Sox At Mariners”

  1. ndrfx on May 7th, 2011 6:39 am

    Felix is actually doing a bit better this year than he was the same time last year. He catches fire in June/July. May usually his worst month so this is shaping up to be another Cy Young year IMO. That will make three in a row! Ya, I said it, FU Greinke!

  2. MrZDevotee on May 7th, 2011 8:16 am

    It’s sort of funny that we have NO EXPECTATIONS whatsoever this year, and if you compare this team to last year’s– a team we hoped to make the playoffs with– this team is MUCH better at what we pinned our hopes on last year.

    Yet, absolutely NO EXPECTATIONS this year?

    I mean, the combination of Pineda and Bedard pitching, is actually even, or dare I say, MORE productive than having Cliff Lee plus a random #5 guy… Coupled with this year we actually can expect Vargas and Fister to do moderately well (whereas during our season of optimism last year we had no idea those two might do well).

    And dare I say the bullpen is better than last year, at least in results so far (depending on sticking with the “only play these 4 guys” principle)…

    And then– we NOW have the modest offense we thought we would have last year, with major upgrades in the middle of the order (Smoak over Kotchman, and Cust at least getting on base, unlike Griffey/Sweeney). We’re actually scoring enough runs to win when our pitching does well. That was the plan we pinned our hopes on last year.

    And all this is happening BEFORE bringing into the equation the fact that Guty hasn’t played yet– and Aardsma and Kelley will be added to the bullpen soon.

    Sure, we’re not gonna win the World Series, but as my fear of a repeat of last year starts to slowly subside, I’m starting to realize there are actually reasons to be optimistic about this season.

    I’d call it a “quiet” optimism– as in, it’s on the table, but I’m not quite comfortable actually reaching over and grabbing it yet. I want to, but don’t quite trust our team enough yet. Though, again, they’re making me want to…

    Just that temptation is exciting versus what we were feeling last year.

    Thanks M’s!

  3. Paul B on May 7th, 2011 9:26 am

    It’s really amazing how the team is still winning with one third of the line-up (and even the clean-up spot!) filled with these guys.

    And asides of Smoak and Ichiro the other hitters are not really impressive at all either.

    If we set the bar low, at replacement level, and just look at oWAR to ignore sss for fielding, the only two that are negative are Olivo and Saunders. But right at replacement level are Figgins and Wilson and Ryan.

    Amazing that they have won games when they have, essentially, 5 Josh Wilsons in the lineup. 6 if you count Cust who has a +0.1 oWAR.

  4. Paul B on May 7th, 2011 9:36 am

    “One of these things is not like the other…”

    Team, Mariner RS, games played, RS/G

    Det, 42, 6, 7
    TOR, 14, 3, 4.7
    Tex, 18, 6, 3
    Bos, 9, 3, 3
    CHW, 3, 1, 3
    OAK, 20, 7, 2.9
    CLE, 8, 3, 2.7
    KCR, 9, 4, 2.3

  5. Bremerton guy on May 7th, 2011 9:42 am

    Westside guy,

    I’m just reading all the posts from last night’s game now. It’s weird you said Smoak reminds you of Mickey Mantle, I’ve been thinking the same thing for about a month now. Mantle was my favorite player when I was a kid in the 60s. Smoak even looks like the Mick. Of course, this would be the 1967-on version of Mantle, after he moved from center field to 1B.

  6. diderot on May 7th, 2011 9:54 am

    Mantle was my favorite player when I was a kid in the 60s.

    If you haven’t done it yet, make sure to read his latest biography, “The Last Boy”–outstanding.

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