Game 15- White Sox at Mariners

marc w · April 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s take on another AL Central foe as they try to put last night’s collapse behind them. Hector Noesi gets the start for the M’s in his first game since his brilliant 8-shutout-innings performance against Oakland on April 14th. On the hill for Chicago is lanky left-hander Chris Sale. He’s listed at 6’5″, 170 which honestly looks too high by about 40-50 pounds. Sale was drafted in 2010 and made his MLB debut in the White Sox pen that same year. After another very good year as the set-up man last year, he’s moved to the rotation. Sale features a very good sinking two-seamer that sits in the low-90s, a four-seamer in the mid-90s, a change-up and a good slider.

As a reliever, he was death on a stick to lefties; his FIP was just over 2 against lefties, compared to just over 4 against righties. As such, the M’s are going with a lot of right-handed hitters tonight. That may put more pressure on Sale’s change, though to be fair, he’s always thrown it to both lefties/righties, and it’s been effective. He doesn’t have pinpoint command, so the M’s should make him throw a lot of pitches and take a walk if they can. Sale’s going to be a test for an M’s team that’s dominated by lefty hitters. While the sample’s tiny, the M’s have struggled mightily against lefties thus far, and they haven’t faced one with the kind of velocity that Sale brings. A Jesus Montero home run would be nice.

1: Figgins
2: Ackley
3: Ichiro
4: Smoak
5: Montero
6: Olivo
7: Liddi
8: Wells
9: Ryan
SP: Noesi

Notes: In today’s installment of dog-bites-man, sun-rises stories, Hisashi Iwakuma has become the last injury-free MLB player not to appear in a game despite being on the big-league roster since March. The Sox had held starter Philip Humber back a while, but he’s got a start under his belt. Now it’s only Iwakuma, who once – ONCE – got close enough as warming up.

The Rainiers signed OF Chris Pettit who’d been cut by the Dodgers at the end of spring training. He spent years in the Angels organization and had a very good 2009 for Salt Lake, hitting .321/.383/.486 and playing all three OF positions. This landed him on several Angels top-10 lists, and after a cup of coffee with Los Angeles and the departure of Vlad Guerrero, he was poised to get a lot of time in 2010. Instead, he missed essentially the entire year with a shoulder injury and by the time he returned in 2011, Peter Bourjos was ensconced as the everyday CF, the Angel had acquired Vernon Wells (hahaha) and 19 year-old Mike Trout was poised to make his MLB debut. He was a solid if unspectacular player, and the Rainiers could use him. With injuries to Carlos Peguero, Mike Wilson and Daren Ford, the R’s have had to use some non-traditional OFs – Utility IF Scott Savastano played in LF last night, and actually made a game-saving, HR-denying catch in the Rainiers 1-0 win. They’ve brought up Chih-Hsien Chang, but haven’t wanted to get Johermyn Chavez or Denny Almonte, so a minor-league pick up like this one makes a lot of sense. It also makes sense for Pettit, as playing AAA in affiliated ball’s preferable to playing in the independent Atlantic League.


80 Responses to “Game 15- White Sox at Mariners”

  1. Ichirolling51 on April 20th, 2012 8:54 pm

    An Iwakuma sighting!!!

  2. Phightin Phils on April 20th, 2012 8:59 pm

    Yes, never good to freak out. Especially since we’re still sporting a ~.500 record — awesome.

    Not awesome is what we’ve learned the past couple years from having both the “worst offense” and the “best defense”: losing streaks.

    Last year, on July 27th, the Mariners won a game against the Yanks. This broke a *17* game losing streak.

    It’s early.

  3. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2012 9:02 pm


  4. terryoftacoma on April 20th, 2012 9:03 pm


  5. Ichirolling51 on April 20th, 2012 9:06 pm

    I knew Montero would hit a HR!

  6. benthic on April 20th, 2012 9:13 pm

    Now there is officially no reason to play Olivo ever again.

  7. WTF_Ms on April 20th, 2012 9:14 pm

    Olive who????

  8. terryoftacoma on April 20th, 2012 9:17 pm

    I don’t think rushing him into catching full time is a good idea, healthwise. Next year is plenty soon enough for me.

  9. djw on April 20th, 2012 9:22 pm

    Agreed, terry. When Carp comes back, assuming no other roster moves are made, the sensible thing to do would be to split the catching duties roughly 45/45/10 for Montero/Jaso/Olivo, with Olivo getting the start against the occasional lefty. That would be the sane way to handle current roster. (A reasonable case can be made for shifting the Jaso/Montero playing time in either direction, depending on a variety of factors, but I can’t imagine a case for changing Olivo’s much).

  10. seattlesonsofbaseball on April 20th, 2012 9:25 pm

    I’m still not sure what “rushing Montero into catching full time” is going to do to him. It’s not like he just became a catcher. He didn’t just start learning the position. He’s been playing it his whole life, why do people act like he’s so new to it. What I CAN promise you, playing catcher in your early 20’s is MUCH easier on your body then playing in your late 20’s. Why not do it now, have Carp DH, and have Wells or Saunders in LF instead of continue to have M’s fans drink themselves to death watching Olivo hack at gnats.

  11. terryoftacoma on April 20th, 2012 9:27 pm

    I’d be happy if it was 35/35/30 but I don’t think Jaso will get much playing time behind the plate with the way management is using him currently. Last Mariner season for Olivo either way.

  12. terryoftacoma on April 20th, 2012 9:29 pm

    I do believe Mr. Dunn is back.

  13. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2012 9:31 pm

    I like how Sims is talking-up Dunn as being “back”, for hitting pitches left in the middle of the plate. He’s having a good night, I wont deny that, but he came into the game hitting roughly .220

  14. djw on April 20th, 2012 9:31 pm

    I don’t disagree, I was talking about the sane way to approach the C position based on the current roster, not the empirically probable one. (Although at some point I think Olivo’s going to have to elevate himself to something approximating last year’s level of suckitude to maintain his playing time…)

  15. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2012 9:31 pm

    Not offense Terry, but I’m not ready to declare that!

  16. terryoftacoma on April 20th, 2012 9:33 pm

    Steve he’s only a .240 lifetime hitter.

  17. djw on April 20th, 2012 9:33 pm

    Also, can I say how lucky you Seattle folks are, not just for living in such a great place generally, but for not having to suffer through the White Sox announcers. They have got to be the worst in MLB. Obnoxious catchphrases, the worst kind of idiotic homerism, and so on.

  18. terryoftacoma on April 20th, 2012 9:34 pm

    I agree djw.

  19. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2012 9:37 pm


    So, he was never there?! Funny thing is, he’s kind of the White Sox version of Figgins, regarding contract and performance.

  20. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2012 9:37 pm

    Last year certainly took his average down a peg.

  21. Ichirolling51 on April 20th, 2012 9:42 pm

    I will go one farther, the White Sox have by far the worst announcers in the history of sports.

  22. terryoftacoma on April 20th, 2012 9:43 pm

    Dunn was the classic home run, walk or strike out guy. Last year home runs and walks left him. This year? Who knows? But his walks and power are close to his normal. So, maybe, he is back.

  23. WTF_Ms on April 20th, 2012 9:47 pm

    I mentioned earlier in the week, when would we see Iwakuma? I don’t know why we hadn’t seen him earlier.

  24. Ichirolling51 on April 20th, 2012 9:51 pm

    What sense does it make to not pinch hit for Ryan?

  25. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2012 9:56 pm

    Well, regardless of whether he’s figured things out, it sucks he did well tonight!

  26. terryoftacoma on April 20th, 2012 9:56 pm

    Maybe we should try driving people in from second, we haven’t done so well trying to drive them in from third lately.

  27. jephdood on April 20th, 2012 10:47 pm

    Alright. I’m calling it. Smoak is a bust.

  28. SonOfZavaras on April 21st, 2012 7:00 am

    Alright. I’m calling it. Smoak is a bust.

    All right. I’m calling it. That’s a conclusion jumped on way too fast and on way too little data.

    He had a 4-hit night two nights ago, fighting some injury to his legs now. For all we know, he’s been fighting aches and pains since the year started.

    I’m still all about “wait-and-see” with Justin Smoak.

  29. msfanmike on April 21st, 2012 10:13 am

    The good news is that Dodger fans had similar concerns 3-4 years ago in regard to Matt Kemp. Larry Bowa (who coached Kemp) refused to include him in his list of top ten centerfielders last year when the MLB Network was doing their position by position rundown. I am not certain, but I think Bowa felt that Kemp was an underachiever and did not work hard enough.

    The bad news is, Justin Smoak is not Matt Kemp.

  30. eponymous coward on April 21st, 2012 12:31 pm

    He had a 4-hit night two nights ago, fighting some injury to his legs now. For all we know, he’s been fighting aches and pains since the year started.

    So, we’re talking about a 25 year old who’s apparently injury-prone and has almost 1000 PAs in MLB where he’s been various flavors of bad.

    That’s an awful lot of major league runway to have not gotten any air under your career, and if he’s going to spend a lot of time injured in 2012, I don’t think he’s the kind of player you can count on for much.

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