Game 105, Blue Jays at Mariners

marc w · July 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Ricky Romero, 7:10pm.

A line in Matthew Carruth’s series preview caused me to open up a new tab and bring up Ricky Romero’s fangraphs page: “[Ricky Romero's] pitched like a replacement-level player this year.” I guess I hadn’t had cause to take a good look at Romero’s 2012 numbers, but I’m actually shocked he’s only at 0.1 fWAR. In the past calendar year, Romero’s gone from an all-star game invitation* to an RA over 6. This isn’t about bad luck with home runs, either – his xFIP’s bad too.

In 2010, Romero used a great change-up to get hitters off balance (and in the ballpark) and work around his mediocre command. When hitters swung at a Romero change-up, they whiffed 35% of the time, and this fueled an above-average strike out rate. It all added up to a solid 3.64 FIP and 4 fWAR.** In 2012, Romero’s change is getting whiffs on only 35% of swings, while his whiff rate on his fastball has gone…up?

Romero’s problem isn’t that his stuff is any worse (his velocity’s the same as it was in 2010, too). His problem is all about what happens when batters *don’t* swing. His command’s slightly worse this year, meaning he’s throwing more balls and ending up in more 1-0 counts. In 2010, his ratio of 1-0 to 0-1 counts was 0.93:1 (obviously, PAs that end when the batter puts the first pitch in play aren’t included). This year, it’s 1.17:1. And batters that get to 1-0 are putting up a .947 OPS in their plate appearances. Look at his swinging strike rate or his whiff rate (whiffs per pitch) and it looks like he’s lost a lot of ground, but if you focus solely on whiffs per swing, you might guess that Romero’s pitching as well or better. This marks something like the fifth time the whole whiffs/pitch vs. whiffs/swing distinction’s come up in the past few weeks. They’re different! They tell you different things!

You know who else has been essentially replacement level this year? Hisashi Iwakuma. He’s been better in recent starts, so let’s hope he’s able to keep that going, especially given that he’s pitching in HR-suppressing Safeco Field.

Here’s the line-up that really should take some first pitches tonight:
1: Ackley
2: Saunders
3: Montero (C)
4: Jaso (DH)
5: Seager
6: Wells (LF)
7: Carp
8: Peguero (RF)
9: Ryan
SP: Iwakuma

* – I initially thought it was sort of odd that Romero’s gone from All-Star to replacement level in one calendar year, but have you *seen* the 2011 All-Star game rosters? Let’s just say Romero’s got company. The NL included Jair Jurrjens (-1.4 rWAR), Heath Bell (-0.8), Tim Lincecum (-2.0), Scott Rolen (-0.5) and Kevin Correia (Kevin Correia). The AL included Brandon League (-0.1), Jon Lester (-0.8), Jose Valverde (0), and Romero (-1.5 rWAR). I know every year’s going to have things like this, given the number of late-career ‘legacy’ picks and due to injury (though I’ve specifically excluded the guys who’ve been hurt like Ellsbury and Rivera); mostly, this was an excuse to remind you that Kevin Correia was in the All-Star game last year and may pitch in the postseason in 2012. Baseball!

** – Ah, a good old fashioned WAR fight, which simplifies to just “a WAR.” Both fWAR and rWAR agree that Ricky Romero had one league average season and one solid 4-WAR season in 2010-2011 – they just can’t agree which is which. FIP-based fWAR loved 2010′s lack of HRs and declares 2010 the good season, while RA-based rWAR’s quite impressed with the batting average-against in 2011. fWAR complains that said BAA is driven by an absurdly low BABIP, and rWAR tells fWAR to take its head out of a spreadsheet and watch what happens in real baseball games. fWAR complains that its head, and really every aspect of its incorporeal self, *IS* a spreadsheet, and that rWAR *IS* a spreadsheet too. rWAR replies that it’s not a spreadsheet, it’s a database, and the debate continues.

Comments

124 Responses to “Game 105, Blue Jays at Mariners”

  1. Mariners35 on July 30th, 2012 6:16 pm

    Peguero is going to single-handedly skew that whole whiffs/swings thing for him.

    Seriously, if Pegs can’t lay off of Romero’s pitches tonight, banish him back to AAA indefinitely. I don’t know a better pitcher to practice that against, judging from this post.

  2. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 6:21 pm

    Lots of good information, Mark … With my take-away belief being that velocity without command means you have Bubkus. However, That was also my going-in belief, so I am not sure if this is or is not an example of “confirmation bias.”

    Someone will likely let me know – Westy?

    Also, Peguero and Jaso starting against a left-hander? Yay for one of those! I think.

  3. terryoftacoma on July 30th, 2012 6:32 pm

    I thought both Jaso and Peguero starting against a lefthander a little strange until I look at romero’s splits. He’s 291/393/514 against left hand hitters. 255/353/414 against righthanders. Maybe Wdge read the charts.. haha

  4. Dave on July 30th, 2012 6:36 pm

    Romero has an enormous reverse platoon split, both this year and for his career. Lefties kill him, while righties are just okay. Kudos to Wedge for knowing this and starting five lefties tonight.

  5. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 6:46 pm

    Yes, that is good to know. Kudos to Wedge, accordingly.

  6. marcus_andrews on July 30th, 2012 7:05 pm

    I almost posted asking if he had reverse platoon splits. It makes sense given that he’s a fastball changeup pitcher who throws more of a show me breaking ball.

    If this is a conscious decision based on that rather than “it had been a while since we got John and Peggy in the lineup” than absolute tip of the cap to Wedge.

  7. Slats on July 30th, 2012 7:22 pm

    Hopefully Wedge is actually learning!

  8. Dave on July 30th, 2012 7:23 pm

    You can’t accidentally start six LHBs versus a left-handed pitcher with reverse platoon splits. This is clearly deliberate.

  9. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 7:23 pm

    … And that’s how to do “that”

    Good job Saunders. Magnifico’.

  10. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 7:29 pm

    Yikes!

  11. spuuky on July 30th, 2012 7:32 pm

    The Yahoo box score says Ackley is 1/1 with 2 runs scored in the first inning. Apparently he scored on both Montero’s single and Jaso’s double play, an impressive feat.

  12. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 7:42 pm

    Well, he did touch home plate twice – so good for Yahoo. And “yahoo” for being good.

    The ump made Ackley return to 3B because the ball Montero hit was “dead” after it drilled the umpire in fair territory. Later Ackley scored for “reals”.

  13. Breadbaker on July 30th, 2012 7:45 pm

    The play at the plate in the top of the second was that rare one where the play is so far in front of the plate there is no doubt about the out.

  14. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 7:46 pm

    Welcome to the computer world, of ‘smart’ baseball.

  15. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 7:48 pm

    Haha, poor Carp has to hit ahead of Peggy.

  16. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 7:49 pm

    Carp stayed on that last breaking ball – really well. Romero threw it to him quite a bit and the last one was down in the zone – but also down the middle. Regardless … Encouraging sign for Carp.

  17. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 7:49 pm

    How can Romero miss such a big ol’ target?

  18. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 7:51 pm

    Oh Peggy…

  19. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 7:52 pm

    Yeah!!

  20. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 7:52 pm

    That was about the only way Carp was going to get to second.

  21. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 7:54 pm

    If they just wanna give us runs like that, this could be a long game.

  22. Breadbaker on July 30th, 2012 8:04 pm

    Iwakuma missing bats nicely tonight.

  23. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 8:10 pm

    I would be willing to bet that Lawrie would make a pretty good UFC fighter, too. He seems to have the temperment for it. I like the fire, but I hope he can keep at least some of it under wraps.

  24. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 8:18 pm

    7 K’s for Iwakuma after 4 innings – Wow!

  25. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 8:20 pm

    ^ is that Iwakuma’s line, or Peguero’s?

  26. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 8:23 pm

    Bea-UTIFUL catch there by Rasmus!

  27. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 8:27 pm

    Well that curve ball in the dirt is still not a friend to Mike Carp. It made him look silly

  28. henryv on July 30th, 2012 8:29 pm

    I don’t care that Romero has an insane reverse split, Peguero shouldn’t be batting against anyone but James Shields.

    But if Eric Byrnes is looking for a right fielder in his softball league, he should give Peggy a call.

  29. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 8:29 pm

    Mike, it’s because of his proximity to Peguero tonight. The ugly is catching…

  30. henryv on July 30th, 2012 8:30 pm

    Holy christ. Carlos Peguero has only been on base 7 times THIS season. He has been in 12 games.

  31. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 8:32 pm

    What are the M’s “ownership” rights for Iwakuma? Is he their “property” for six seasons at the teams discretion, or is he a FA after this one year contract?

    Pro athletes being called “property” and “pieces” bothers me more and more these days. That’s a sidebar rant for another day.

  32. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 8:35 pm

    Serves you right, Rasmus. You rob Seager and Safeco robbed you.

  33. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 8:35 pm

    Actually, Peggy has one HR, so he’s really only been on base 6 times :P

  34. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 8:37 pm

    Nice throw Monty!

  35. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 8:37 pm

    Damn, blew my own joke… he has a walk, too.

  36. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 8:41 pm

    I am surprised it is as high as “six”

  37. henryv on July 30th, 2012 8:41 pm

    I included the walk. So, yes, in reality he has only been on 6 times.

    I don’t remember Mathis being this inept at catcher. I knew he was bad, but is he really Miguel Olivo bad?

  38. justdave on July 30th, 2012 8:42 pm

    Iwakuma striking out 8, Montero threw a runner out and now Ryan gets extra bases. What the hell is going on!?

  39. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 8:43 pm

    Ryan is swinging the bat better after having choked up on the bat a bit. Good adjustment. Especially when it works.

  40. henryv on July 30th, 2012 8:44 pm

    72 corn dogs for $24 at Cash and Carry. I don’t know why, but I feel that applies to this Peguero conversation.

  41. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 8:44 pm

    Condor!

  42. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 8:45 pm

    Carlos Peguero, 2012:

    41 PAs
    21 SOs

    His strikeout rate is going UP. I didn’t think that was even possible – it was at 46% a week or so ago.

  43. henryv on July 30th, 2012 8:46 pm

    Iwakuma striking out 8, Montero threw a runner out and now Ryan gets extra bases. What the hell is going on!?

    Don’t worry, Colby Rasmus still looks like a douche.

    And Peguero is still striking out like nuts.

  44. justdave on July 30th, 2012 8:49 pm

    Condor knows it’s Canada night and he needs to upstage Lawrie.

  45. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 8:50 pm

    He has 6 hits total, 1 HR, 1 double, 1 triple, plus 1 walk. Pretty shitty.

  46. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 8:51 pm

    BTW Ichiro went yard tonight. I believe that’s home run #100 for him.

  47. henryv on July 30th, 2012 8:53 pm

    His ISO is better than Bryce Harper’s. So… yeah… that.

  48. Rick L on July 30th, 2012 8:54 pm

    Iwakuma seems to have gotten progressively better since he finally got into the rotation.

  49. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 8:55 pm

    Really wonder if the plan is to play-out the season with a platoon of Peguero & Robinson in RF. They can’t seriously be expecting much of anything from Guti at this point. They have to bring in another OF before too long.

  50. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 8:56 pm

    Oh, man, Steve – I hope not.

  51. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 8:56 pm

    “Corn Dog” Peguero. I like it. However, I do not ‘relish’ the opportunity to witness another one of his AB’s. Nor do I see any reason to believe that he will ever ‘catsup’ with major league pitching.

    Congrats to Ichiro.

  52. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 8:59 pm

    I gotta agree, Mike – it’s unlikely Peguero will ever cut the mustard.

  53. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 8:59 pm

    I can’t mustar’ the thought of another game with “Corn Dog”.

  54. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 9:02 pm

    Damn you Westy, there were plenty of other condiments available for a witty follow-up.

  55. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:02 pm

    Yorvit Torrealba was DFA’ed by Texas today.

    There is no market for Miguel Olivo – none whatsoever.

    Hehe sorry Steve.

  56. henryv on July 30th, 2012 9:03 pm

    Mike Blowers has a very different version of lucky than I do. Apparently he thinks you, as a pitcher, would be “lucky” to deflect a ball coming back towards you.

  57. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 9:05 pm

    There was no market for Olivo since the start of the season! Really, I thought if a team was going to bite, it would have been the Nationals. But that was a couple months ago. They were the most desperate (I believe) and even they steered clear.

  58. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:06 pm

    I’d like to see Corn Dog ketchup to a mistake here.

  59. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 9:08 pm

    That ‘Corn Dog’ ain’t gettin’ any meat on his stick.

  60. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:08 pm

    The legend continues to grow!

  61. Rick L on July 30th, 2012 9:08 pm

    Hat trick for Peguero.

  62. Breadbaker on July 30th, 2012 9:09 pm

    Who could have predicted Peggy would strike out on a breaking ball a mile out of the zone?

  63. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:10 pm

    I knew full well we would hammer the new theme to death. At this point, what else is there to do other than laugh.

    “I don’t want no … Corn dog, peas or black molasses”

  64. henryv on July 30th, 2012 9:10 pm

    Hell yes. Peguero is approaching a 20 wRC+.

  65. Sports on a Schtick on July 30th, 2012 9:16 pm

    Hard to believe Iwakuma and Jaso were buried in the depth chart early this year.

  66. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 9:17 pm

    ^no kidding, eh?!

  67. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:21 pm

    Snider just get traded?

  68. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:21 pm

    Snider traded?

  69. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:22 pm

    Jinx Mike.

    It’d be funny if he then popped up in the Mariners dugout.

  70. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:25 pm

    Very little doubt, now. Traded. Is Peguero walking out of our dugout? If not, can someone please start chasing him.

  71. henryv on July 30th, 2012 9:25 pm

    That is just weird.

  72. wilchiro on July 30th, 2012 9:25 pm

    Wow, surprising. Looks like Snider’s been traded, and wouldn’t be surprised if the M’s are the team acquiring him.

  73. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 9:26 pm

    Hey, I just heard Sinder was traded!

  74. henryv on July 30th, 2012 9:26 pm

    Please, please, please to the M’s for Peguero and Olivo.

  75. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 9:27 pm

    hehe, I couldn’t resist

  76. henryv on July 30th, 2012 9:28 pm

    From LL’s twitter:

    “Carlos Peguero has swung and missed with five of six swings so far tonight”

    Awesome. Simply awesome.

  77. Rick L on July 30th, 2012 9:28 pm

    Wow, they’re leaving Iwakuma in.

  78. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:29 pm

    Snider might be a frustrating guy to watch.

    But he certainly can mash…

  79. henryv on July 30th, 2012 9:30 pm

    Snider for Vargas?

  80. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:30 pm

    SHOW that Canuck who’s da boss, Iwakuma!

  81. justdave on July 30th, 2012 9:31 pm

    Snider to the Pirates they said.

  82. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:31 pm

    13 K’s. 9 without Lawrie.

    Rizzs: Snider has been traded to the pirates for brad Lincoln.

  83. henryv on July 30th, 2012 9:32 pm

    Damnit. Snider traded to Pitt for RHP.

  84. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:33 pm

    Hey, it’s probably not fun to be traded – but he’s going into a pennant race.

  85. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:33 pm

    Steve: there is a rumor floating around that Travis Snider might be traded.

  86. SpokaneMsFan on July 30th, 2012 9:36 pm

    Man maybe this Iwakuma guy can actually pitch. Geeze Dave why weren’t you advocating starting him since April!?

  87. wilchiro on July 30th, 2012 9:37 pm

    To PIT for RHP Brad Lincoln. Good for Snider going to a contender. I’ve always liked him since he grew up where I grew up and played for the same little league team that I did.

  88. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:37 pm

    Insurance run time. No bunt, please

  89. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:39 pm

    Ryan Sweeney apparently found a way to reduce the red sox crowded outfield problem.

    Jaso – money bag … Yes!!!

  90. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 9:39 pm

    I’m starting to think Snider may have indeed been traded.

  91. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:42 pm

    I dunno… let’s not jump to conclusions. Manny Ramirez left the playing field one time just because he had to take a leak.

  92. Rick L on July 30th, 2012 9:44 pm

    Has Wilhelmson been traded to the Pirates too? Or has he just gotten too much work lately, what with all these recent victories?

  93. ABP52380 on July 30th, 2012 9:45 pm

    I was just thinking the same thing about Wilhelmson?? Save opportunity, no?

  94. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:46 pm

    You still on for an August 8th relocate, Steve?

  95. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:47 pm

    Willy rest more than anything, I think.

  96. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:47 pm

    I would never think Gomes would be pronounced “gomz”.

  97. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:48 pm

    Should have said, “I hope”

    Good start for Kinney.

  98. ABP52380 on July 30th, 2012 9:48 pm

    If it’s a trade I’m sure it be a good one. He’s highly coveted, under control for, what, 5 more years and really cheap. I do love this time of year.

  99. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:50 pm

    Did you ever know a realtor who sold homz?

  100. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:53 pm

    I just somehow got it stuck in my head “Gomes” was a Hispanic name!

  101. wilchiro on July 30th, 2012 9:54 pm

    Luetge in to secure the win.

  102. Rick L on July 30th, 2012 9:55 pm

    Ryan is just gold.

  103. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 9:55 pm

    I can see why the Yankees were interested in Ryan.

    Glad we held onto him though.

  104. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:55 pm

    Sweet play by Ryan. Super Sweet!

    Rule 5 rules.

  105. henryv on July 30th, 2012 9:57 pm

    Peguero’s wRC+ is now #182 out of 188 OF with at least 40 at bats.

  106. Rick L on July 30th, 2012 9:57 pm

    If they trade Wilhelmson, I won’t be happy.

  107. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 9:59 pm

    Are there really 6 OF’s worse than Peguero, statistically? I assume they are all in AAA by now.

    Give Peguero another game or two and he will be #1 – or #188 if you prefer.

  108. henryv on July 30th, 2012 10:01 pm

    Hideki Matsui is one of them.

  109. wilchiro on July 30th, 2012 10:01 pm

    After tonight, Peguero now has a 52% K% for 2012 through 40 PA’s. Goodness he’s awful.

  110. henryv on July 30th, 2012 10:03 pm

    Chris Coghlan has a -4 wRC+. That is awesome.

  111. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 10:06 pm

    The good news about Corn Dog’s line, is that it kind of forces Jack’s hand to make a move for another outfielder.

  112. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 10:10 pm

    Whoa, we made a trade – Delabar and League.

    League to the Dodgers for prospects.

  113. Shrike on July 30th, 2012 10:11 pm

    Reports coming in that the M’s just traded for Eric Thames.

  114. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 10:12 pm

    Delabar for Thames apparently.

  115. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 10:15 pm

    Dodgers got League for Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom

  116. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 10:16 pm

    Delabar for Thames – sweet! League for anyone – sweet!

    Pryor up tomorrow – and Pauley, perhaps?

  117. Catherwood on July 30th, 2012 10:19 pm

    Wilhelmson apparently was unavailable because his wife is about to give birth, so they gave him some time to be with her. Good for the team, and good luck to the both of ‘em!

  118. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 10:21 pm

    I suppose Thames is more of a stop-gap outfielder, but he’s still an upgrade!

  119. tmac9311 on July 30th, 2012 10:22 pm

    So is Thames the player Dave was talking about, or is there another trade in us? Did Snider actually go to the Pirates? would of loved to got him.

    I hope we can trade Milwood and/or Vargas for a league ready bat. Like the Thames move, but I hope that’s not all we do.

  120. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 10:23 pm

    I’d still like the M’s to take a crack at Hunter Pence. Asking price might be too high, though.

  121. justdave on July 30th, 2012 10:30 pm

    Get your last Peggy jokes in before he’s sent down!

  122. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 10:36 pm

    We’re not going to get a league-ready bat for Vargas, and especially not for Millwood.

  123. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 11:09 pm

    Let me rephrase that… We’re not going to get a ‘good’ league-ready bat. If the best we could do for Fister was Wells (regarding mlb-ready bats) last year, the return for Vargas will likely be less.

  124. BillyJive on July 30th, 2012 11:18 pm

    Great game tonight…waaay too many Canadians tho LOL…and I am Canadian. Bye Peguero…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.