Game 77, Athletics at Mariners

marc w · June 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Kevin Millwood vs. Jarrod Parker, 12:40pm

Matinee game at Safeco for the rubber match between the A’s and M’s. The A’s start Jarrod Parker, the big prize in the Tim Cahill deal this winter. The rookie’s been brilliant in the past two months, and faces an M’s line-up that’s struggled against Tom Milone and Travis Blackley, two pitchers with less pure stuff than Parker.

Jaso catches Millwood today, but otherwise it’s nice to see something like a regular line-up take shape:
1: Ichiro
2: Gutierrez
3: Seager
4: Montero
5: Saunders
6: Jaso (C)
7: Smoak
8: Ackley
9: Ryan


52 Responses to “Game 77, Athletics at Mariners”

  1. msfanmike on June 27th, 2012 12:25 pm

    One gamethread for the afternoon and one for the evening replay.


  2. Edgar4Hall on June 27th, 2012 12:30 pm

    First game that I’m at Safeco this year. So happy that I get the pleasant surprise of no Olivo in the lineup!

  3. Westside guy on June 27th, 2012 12:35 pm

    Such a nice day… I really should be outside getting stuff done. But no, I’m sitting here getting ready to watch a game (I’ve got the day off).

    Wife’s at work, so she won’t be reminding me. :-D

  4. msfanmike on June 27th, 2012 12:35 pm

    @ Edgar: Please give your boy Carp a pep talk and pump him up for being better upon his return … whenever that is going to be.

    Man, those system administrators are “on-it” pretty quickly. Back to the usual routine of only having 1 game thread. Nicely done, boys!

  5. Westside guy on June 27th, 2012 12:40 pm

    Well that didn’t take long.

  6. msfanmike on June 27th, 2012 12:43 pm

    Inward ho – for those fences baby!

    Day off, huh? Good for you, pard. I am counting down the minutes until the weekly 1:00 staff meeting; whereby I will commence counting down the minutes toward the conclusion thereof.

  7. Edgar4Hall on June 27th, 2012 1:03 pm

    Mike, don’t worry, I have a business appointment with Carp later this week :)

    Also are there tickets still left for the USS/ LL game? I’m going to try my best to go to it

  8. Westside guy on June 27th, 2012 1:09 pm


    Would’ve been nice to SEE it, though.

  9. vetted_coach on June 27th, 2012 1:16 pm

    Platooning Saunders and Wells is wrong. It costs Wells a 60-75% factor in his at bats. His career numbers for slugging and OPS are so much higher than Saunders, it doesn’t make sense. This is not a swipe at Saunders. Just a fact. Granted, Saunders has had a pretty good 30 days, but it’s probable he will come back to the pack. And he is not a better outfielder than Wells.

    The keys to this are Smoak and Olivo. Between 1B and DH, Wells can stay in the OF, and both he and Saunders can receive the maximum number of reps to,give the Mariners their best possible offense. How does this not make sense?

    It gives Montero the best opportunity to be a better catcher, and it gives Jaso more AB’s, and he is a better player than Olivo.

    The result would be more offense, more wins, and a better product on the field.

  10. vetted_coach on June 27th, 2012 1:19 pm

    Edit: Yes, it means Saunders plays some 1B.

  11. Westside guy on June 27th, 2012 1:27 pm

    Okay, Iwakuma, show Wedge you deserve to start!

  12. groundzero55 on June 27th, 2012 1:28 pm

    I don’t have TV…Millwood get hurt?

  13. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 1:29 pm

    I agree, coach. If for nothing else, I’m just not a fan of platooning developing players. Why limit a young/developing player? A guy like Guti? Sure, he needs days off anyway, so might as well give him a rest when a righty’s on the mound. But, Saunders, Seagar, Wells? No way, give them a chance to become an everyday guy.

    Well, that sucks for Millwood.

  14. WTF_Ms on June 27th, 2012 1:30 pm

    Well, there goes Millwood’s trade value. Who didn’t see that coming? I was hoping that it was later, but here it is…

  15. Westside guy on June 27th, 2012 1:31 pm

    Given that no one thinks Saunders’ broken past has any predictive power on who he’ll be going forward, making arguments based on his career numbers is not particularly useful or convincing.

  16. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 1:44 pm

    Also, I’d argue the point that Wells is the better defender. Saunders and Wells are close enough that it’ll probably take a few years of UZR data to really see who’s better.

  17. msfanmike on June 27th, 2012 1:50 pm

    Did Millwood appear to re-injure his groin, or was it something else that he hurt?

  18. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 1:51 pm

    Yeah, his confidence after Crisp took him deep to start the game…

  19. Choo on June 27th, 2012 1:56 pm

    Did I hear correctly: the M’s are going to a 6-man rotation? (Or were, prior to the Millwood injury?)

  20. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 2:01 pm

    Where’d you hear that Choo?

  21. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 2:24 pm

    Jaso putting together a nice game

  22. msfanmike on June 27th, 2012 2:35 pm

    Who is the clown putting together the “game-plan” for how to pitch to Cespedes?

  23. djw on June 27th, 2012 2:38 pm

    Neither Saunders or Wells are likely to hit well enough to be a serious asset at first base. They are plus defenders in the outfield, and therein lies a significant portion of their possible future value. There’s no sense in trying to turn them into first basemen.

  24. vetted_coach on June 27th, 2012 2:40 pm

    “Broken past?”. What does that mean? We no longer use results to evaluate a player? Wells past numbers don’t count because Saunders’ past is “broken?”. That sounds like Lincecum’s father.

    You want to argue that Saunders is a better outfielder than Wells because you need to see more years of UZR data? That’s a reach. I haven’t seen any balls clank of Wells’ glove.

    My contention is that there’s no reliable information to indicate that Mike Saunders is Hunter Pence waiting to happen. Wells has career numbers that deserve a better shot than waiting for some LHP to come to town. Besides, my points were really about Smoak and Olivo. They’re really lighting it up, aren’t they?

    What you’re really saying is that my data soesn’t count because you want Saunders to be a great player.

    BTW, the six-man rotation posted a few comments above was about Beckett and the Red Sox, who are coming to Seattle, not about Seatlle’s rotation. The crawler on the TV screen was mis-read. Boston is considering a 6-man rotation to accommodate Beckett.

    (Back to Wells: You put your best 9 possible hitters out there. That doesn’t include Smoak or Olivo. I predict that Saunders will come back to the pack a little. If I’m wrong, you can gloat about it in August-September.)

  25. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 2:50 pm

    Ibanez didn’t have any balls clank off his glove either, does that mean he was a good defender? You could be right that Wells is better, but it isn’t as clear cut as comparing Carp to well…anyone. And when you’re talking defensive metrics you really need a few seasons of data to get a clear picture.

  26. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 2:52 pm

    I agree about Cespedes. 9 jacks this year, of which 5 are against the M’s.

  27. WTF_Ms on June 27th, 2012 2:56 pm

    That fan gets an early exit! Dummy….could have been a triple!

  28. msfanmike on June 27th, 2012 2:56 pm

    Rally time!

  29. msfanmike on June 27th, 2012 3:03 pm

    Yeah, Westy is all about the “gloating”.

    He has been a contributor for years and I cant think of a single “gloat.”

    I am not sure yet if you are more “vetted” or more “coach” – but you appear to have something to contribute. Going after a long-timer might not be the most productive way to contribute, though. IMO

  30. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 3:10 pm

    Long-timer? What, there’s “gritty veterans” on this site now? That’s Bavasi nonsense. haha

  31. msfanmike on June 27th, 2012 3:11 pm

    Find a gap, Ackley!

  32. djw on June 27th, 2012 3:13 pm

    damn, that’s exactly the kind of pitch I’d really like to see Ackley start to make better contact on.

  33. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 3:14 pm

    Probably the best thing Ryan could do in that situation.

    Get it done Ichiro!

  34. WTF_Ms on June 27th, 2012 3:18 pm

    well, that’s a let-down…Again, we make young pitchers look like Cy Young winners.

    Our offense is in serious trouble, and I see no clear way out. All our bats are quiet. ALL of them. There are a few bursts of hope, but they are few and far between.

    Right now, we are a decent AAA team. Nothing more. We’d be just a bit over .500 in AAA. That is no way to re-build IMO.

  35. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 3:20 pm

    And Ichiro! gets the hat trick…

    I expected this young team to have it’s ups and downs, but their offense at home is absolutely pathetic.

  36. msfanmike on June 27th, 2012 3:21 pm

    I sure hope the ‘replay’ turns out better. Then again, this ‘type’ of game seems to have been replayed a number of times already – coveriyea multiple years.

  37. msfanmike on June 27th, 2012 3:28 pm

    Or “covering” for our English speaking friends.

  38. Slats on June 27th, 2012 3:32 pm

    Smoak is in a massive slump.

  39. Mid80sRighty on June 27th, 2012 3:45 pm

    Like an MLB career slump. I was just thinking a couple days ago that the M’s should probably be in the market for a first baseman in the offseason, then Dave posted that write-up with actual facts that supported my opinion. I’m ok with letting him finish out the season, they can’t get anything more in trade for him now than they could at the end of the season. But, with increasingly reduced playing time if he doesn’t turn it around QUICK.

  40. vetted_coach on June 27th, 2012 9:10 pm

    I wasn’t “going after” anyone, just stating a case. Since when do we have untouchables? Longtimer? Fair enough. So am I. This isn’t the only playground. I don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interests to be protected. It’s kind of patronizing.

    BTW…FanGraphs has Wells’ UZR at 3.3 and Saunders’ UZR at -3.9. So how off-base can I possibly be? And, again, it was never a swipe at Saunders, just a logical thesis that he should play some 1B instead of Smoak to give Wells the reps he likely deserves. Makes the M’s better.

    Never really thought anyone would gloat. Lighten up.

  41. Jordan on June 27th, 2012 9:50 pm

    Coach, why wouldn’t you put Montero or Jaso at 1b (not sure if we have enough evidence suggesting either is markedly better at catching), then have one of Wells/Saunders/Ichiro/Guti (that is a beautiful defensive outfield) DH? This would keep the best defense and offense* on the field.

    *The word ‘offense’ is used very loosely since for the past several years, the Mariners offend my eyes more often then opponents’ pitching.

  42. Westside guy on June 27th, 2012 10:12 pm

    I’m staying out of this silly little cat fight.

  43. stevemotivateir on June 27th, 2012 10:17 pm

    @vetted coach

    You don’t have to get defensive. Mike was just politely tryna tell you that Westy knows his shit. If you’re going to stir an argument, or a debate, you should be open to the possibility that you might be missing something.

    So, I have a question for you. Do you think Saunders is the same player he was a year ago? Do you really think using career stats in his case will give you a solid idea of what kind of player he is this season? Have you noted the extremely small sample size with Wells this year?

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Rotating outfielders to DH makes a lot more sense than tryna move Saunders to first. You can’t assume he could just step right in there and produce defensively.

    I understand wanting to see more of Wells. I just don’t think your suggestion, or reasoning, makes sense.

  44. bookbook on June 27th, 2012 10:30 pm

    Hoping Catricala continues his recovery. He may be the best 1b we’ve got right now.

  45. Mid80sRighty on June 28th, 2012 7:47 am

    Again, you can’t take half a season’s UZR and get much out of it.

    Saunders in 2125 innings:
    UZR – 5.8
    RZR – .894

    Wells in 896 innings:
    UZR – 8.9
    RZR – .906

    Considerable difference in innings and depends which metric you like better, Blengino is an RZR fan, but it seems Wells is the better defender. And Wells has generated more WAR in a shorter amount of time.

    But, let’s be honest, Saunders is on pace for about 2-2.5 WAR this season and Wells 1-1.5 WAR. Neither guy is really THAT good. Just shows how desperate for offense we are.

  46. msfanmike on June 28th, 2012 8:54 am

    “But, let’s be honest, Saunders is on pace for about 2-2.5 WAR this season and Wells 1-1.5 WAR. Neither guy is really THAT good. Just shows how desperate for offense we are.”

    TRUE DAT, well stated! ^

    We have a stadium that caters to pitching, defense, OBP, team speed, situational hitting and the ability to move runners (“smallish ball”)
    The team does not have big boppers, nor a park that caters to it.

    The team displays no consistent ability to generate runs through high OBP, team speed or putting the game into motion (in any park they play, let alone in Safeco).

    The starting pitching staff isn’t very good … but good enough for the home park on most nights assuming the offense can do something … anything … give me a grunt or a moan every once in a while FOR GOD SAKE!

    I don’t know what “The Plan” is – but if it involves collecting players that don’t fit into either brand of baseball (Big Ball or Smallish Ball), I would have to consider “The Plan” to be successful.

    Saunders can run. Ichiro still runs well. Wells has good speed. Guti too. Ackley has above average speed and really knows how to cut the bases. Unless they get on, they will never get ‘over’ and ‘through.’ The teams OBP skills are poor. Not that it matters much, though – because the lack of situational hitting and the ability to move runners is largely non-existent.

    Speed and arm strength are the most coveted tool for scouts, by the way. The reason: they can’t be taught.

    The art of finding the 2.0 WAR player – and paying them less than 2.0 WAR value to balance out other spreadsheet imbalances. Maybe that is what the team is striving for.

    Along the way, they may find ‘reasons’ to change a park that will probably better cater to every visiting teams ability to produce runs.


  47. vetted_coach on June 28th, 2012 1:18 pm

    How anyone can pretend to project WAR is a phenomenon that challenges common sense, statistics, and even saber metrical theory. We are evaluating ball players (with WAR) on the basis of variables that are outside of their control and whimsical at best. Whose to say with any statistical precision at all which waiver wire players and farm system depth chart rosters at any given month are available as replacements? Player X suddenly becomes more (or less) valuable based on those variables? Please!

    How about my original topic, that both Saunders and Wells belong in the lineup at the expense of Smoak and/or Olivo.

    There was never (and isn’t now) a particularly compelling reason to pit the two outfielders against each other. But since we seem to regard statistical evidence so highly, I would submit that there is no evidence to support Saunders playing instead of Wells. Wells’ average career slugging and OPS numbers are significantly higher than Saundrs’ best slugging and OPS figures. Defensively, they’re a push. I found UZRs that favor Wells. Someone else has found UZRs that favor Saunders. That alone is sufficient information, given the offense, to favor Wells over Saunders regardless of LHP or RHP.

    (But let’s get Smoak out of there.)

  48. Mid80sRighty on June 28th, 2012 3:40 pm

    “How anyone can pretend to project WAR is a phenomenon that challenges common sense, statistics, and even saber metrical theory. We are evaluating ball players (with WAR) on the basis of variables that are outside of their control and whimsical at best….”

    HAHAHAHAHA, you are on the wrong site buddy. WAR is EXACTLY that, taking out variables that are outside of a players control and boiling down what IS in a players control to a single number showing a player’s worth. It isn’t the end all be all, I’ll give you that, but it’s a pretty damn good stat at evaluating talent. And I’ll grant you that no stat in the world can tell you what player X will do in their next at bat or pitch, but some can give you a pretty good probability of what they’ll do over the course of a year….and you have to objectively evaluate these guys some how. You can’t just look at some guy and say “well, he has all the tools, he SHOULD be putting up good numbers.” That’s completely subjective. What should be done is using a scouts eye combined with objective data. BUT, this is a statistical based website.

  49. Mid80sRighty on June 28th, 2012 3:46 pm

    And (somewhat) agreed on Smoak, the mental midget. I’m ok with him finishing out the year with decreasing playing time if he keeps sucking. But, I’m thinking finding a new firstbaseman is going to be high on the list this offseason.

  50. marcus_andrews on June 28th, 2012 4:03 pm

    Actually Mid80s Vetted makes a good point. WAR is a great stat, no question but he was commenting on the predictablity of it I believe. The great thing about advanced stats for the most part is they basically determine how muchy better (or worse) you are than average (or replacement level), but that doesn’t allow for much room for projection. If a bunch of players come up and do horribly (sub-replacement level compared to right now) doesn’t that lower the R in WAR? Likewise, if people get called up and all of them are well above average that raises the “replacement level player” right? Perhaps I am misunderstanding the stat or Vetted, but what I believe he’s saying is you can’t assume anyone will do anything in comparison to a replacement player or to league average because you don’t know what those benchmarks will be.

    With all that said, I really don’t think they would fluctuate too much and you can get a general idea of how a player will compare for the year. So I don’t necessarily agree with Vetted completely, but at the very least he doesn’t deserve mocking for that sentence.

  51. marcus_andrews on June 28th, 2012 4:13 pm

    Also, I don’t think he’s saying Wells should be better the rest of the year becuase he has better tools, he’s saying based on past performance Wells is a better player than Saunders and thus, all things equal, would continue to be such.

    Now this argument needs a caveat because Saunders seems like a completely different player than at any point in his career but his point isn’t completely wrong and I believe you are certainly attacking him on the wrong front.

    I think that sitting Smoak for Wells or Saunders would be nice if it meant moving a 1b from DH to 1b, but both Saunders and Wells would be below average offensive first basemen, and almost definitely defensively. It’s not a “hard” position, but it hides both of their key tools (speed for Saunders, Arm for Wells) in terms of fielding. I think Montero should work at 1b next spring but I don’t think you should throw him in there now and see what happens because he has no experience there at all.

  52. stevemotivateir on June 28th, 2012 5:48 pm

    Let’s end this debate, eh? We all agree, less of Smoak and/or Olivo, is what we all wanna see, right? We have different ideas of getting there, but at least there’s some common ground;)

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