Game 132, White Sox at Mariners

marc w · August 28, 2011 at 12:02 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Vargas vs. Floyd, 1:10pm.

Predictably, after I questioned how the White Sox ever saw themselves as contenders, they’ve throttled the M’s in the first two games of the series. I pointed to the gaping, expensive holes they have in their line-up, but the story with the Sox has been their rotation. They don’t have a real ace, but every starter’s been above average. Today’s starter, Gavin Floyd’s been the worst among them (now that Edwin Jackson’s elsewhere), but that’s hardly a slight on the righty. He’s got a FIP of 3.73 thanks largely to a great strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.16:1).

Floyd went 17-8 with an ERA under 4 in 2008; it was his worst season by fielding independent metrics. He’s cut his walk rate, increased his strikeouts and even cut his home run rate since 2008, and his ERA’s gotten worse (as has his W/L record). Looking at traditional stats, he’s been something of a disappointment. By fielding independent stats, he’s turned himself into a very good #3 starter who’s been worth over 4 WAR for two straight years (and he’ll be over 3 this year). But even as his FIP’s stayed below 4, some factor’s pushed his ERA up. In 2009, his BABIP increased and he pitched much worse with men on base. In 2010, he was great with men on, but his BABIP shot up from .285 to .325. In 2011, he’s again having trouble with men in scoring position. He uses a fastball and a cutter to righties, along with a curveball (he throws an occasional change too). He uses his curve a bit more against lefties, but his best pitch seems to be his cutter. He’s got platoon splits, but they’re nothing special (especially from 2009-2011).

Jason Vargas looks to build on a very good start against the Indians, when his change-up looked a lot better than it had in his previous starts against Texas and Toronto.

Today’s line-up:
1: Ichiro
2: Gutierrez
3: Ackley
4: Wells (DH)
5: Kennedy (1b)
6: Ryan
7: Seager
8: Bard
9: Robinson

Mike Carp gets an off-day, which makes this line-up look a bit off. Carp is a better match-up against Floyd than Wells, but the real issue is Kennedy at first. With Smoak still healing (sounds like he may make a rehab start with Tacoma tomorrow), they don’t have a lot of good options, but…Kennedy at first in late August. Hmm.


14 Responses to “Game 132, White Sox at Mariners”

  1. groundzero55 on August 28th, 2011 1:28 pm

    Who else do we have for 1B? Wily Mo? With Smoak out and Carp off, we really are left with Kennedy.

  2. UnderTheClouds on August 28th, 2011 2:51 pm

    Ugh. This team. I know Jack Z inherited a huge mess when he signed on, but it’s still depressing that the non-competitive team on the field right now is the best he could put together. I swear, this team saves its worst play for the home crowd.

  3. groundzero55 on August 28th, 2011 3:13 pm

    It’ll be better next year. /thumbsup

  4. marc w on August 28th, 2011 3:29 pm

    Ackley avoids the golden sombrero!
    M’s avoid the shutout!

    This has been today’s episode of “worthless small victories.”

  5. Westside guy on August 28th, 2011 3:34 pm

    Wow. I wasn’t watching the game, but went to see how it was going… now I’m glad I wasn’t watching. 😀

    Ichiro with two hits again – he does seem intent on making September interesting, at least for Ichiro watchers…

  6. henryv on August 28th, 2011 3:41 pm

    Brandon League now pitching in meaningless situations in meaningless games.

    Boy am I glad we didn’t trade him.

    Ackley seems to have a weak spot for high inside fastballs that he can’t catch up with.

  7. henryv on August 28th, 2011 3:44 pm

    I think it is about time to start scouting the hell out of the free agent pitchers and teams that might have a pitcher in exchange for some OF help. Because I’ think I’m looking at a team with 2 MLB-ready pitchers.

  8. UnderTheClouds on August 28th, 2011 6:12 pm

    Fister will be difficult to replace. Neither Furbush nor Beavan have shown yet that they can replace him in the middle of the rotation. As far as Vargas, he’s never been consistent for an entire season. If no one beats him out for the 3rd starter coming out of Spring 2012, it’ll mean the M’s have lost their bet that their young pitching can replace Fister in the near term. The M’s are putting a lot of their chips on Paxton and Hultzen to be MLB-ready very quickly.

  9. groundzero55 on August 28th, 2011 7:05 pm

    Furbush and Beavan have shown their ability – they are average MLB pitchers. Get over the fact that we aren’t going to have a rotation of aces. We should be thrilled if our guys give up three or four runs a game, if we lose that means we have an offensive deficiency, not poor pitching.

    A rotation with Felix and Pineda at the top is already better than most teams in the majors regardless of who is pitching the other three days.

  10. UnderTheClouds on August 28th, 2011 8:02 pm

    Right. It’s the 5- and 6-run starts that are a problem. Both pitchers have shown ability, but not consistency.

    By the way, is there any more tedious Internet command than to tell someone to get over something? Did you read my post? I’m not hoping for a staff of aces, I’m hoping for someone to replace Fister for a season and not just a 5 game stretch.

  11. Westside guy on August 28th, 2011 9:14 pm

    By the way, is there any more tedious Internet command than to tell someone to get over something?

    It may be tedious, but it’s not going anywhere – you’re gonna have to get over it.


  12. Westside guy on August 28th, 2011 9:16 pm

    We should be thrilled if our guys give up three or four runs a game

    I expect it’s the nine-run shellings henryv and UnderTheClouds were alluding to…

    That said – Hultzen was pretty universally described as the likely first player from this draft to make his way onto a major league roster. So if that’s what Jack Z is banking on, it doesn’t seem unreasonable.

  13. henryv on August 28th, 2011 9:46 pm

    I don’t know that I see Beaven or Furbush as “MLB-average” SP. Replacement level, for sure. But average is being a little kind. MLB-average would probably be their ceiling.

    But if the M’s are interested in using Carp, Seager, and a couple other kids, they’re going to need a bit of pitching to get them over the hump towards competitive.

    CJ Wilson may be out there, along with Bedard, etc.

    I would let Furbush, Vasquez, Beaven and Vargas along with a free agent or two to compete for the remaining 3 spots.

  14. groundzero55 on August 29th, 2011 9:27 am

    I think we are rushing a bit to pass judgement on guys that at the beginning of the season we would not have foreseen being on the major league roster.

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