Catcus League Game 7, Rangers at Mariners

marc w · March 1, 2013 at 10:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

James Paxton vs. A Ranger, 12:05

After a few successful but disorienting road games, the M’s return to Peoria to luxuriate in the warm, pocket-protected embrace of pitch fx. OK, they probably don’t care, but after a few days of tape delayed radio and no pitch-by-pitch data, I’m more excited than I have any reason to be that both Paxton and Brandon Maurer figure to pitch today in Peoria.

The M’s continue to slug the ball, and their pitching’s (mostly) been solid as well. They look to continue that against division rival Texas today. The Rangers have struggled so far this spring, which just shows that their peak has passed, and that they’ll aGAHR (sorry, Dave’s rigged this so a cattle prod shocks me if I start reading things into spring stats). After losing 5 straight, the Rangers pounded Cleveland yesterday 10-0 behind Derek Holland and dozens of other, less MLB-like pitchers. Elvis Andrus has been held out of a few games to allow his massive portrait tattoo to heal, but he’ll be back in the line-up today, before heading off to join the World Baseball Classic tomorrow. Nelson Cruz was scheduled to join the DR team on Saturday, but was felled by chest pains last night – the team thinks it’s an abdominal/chest muscle strain, but they took him to the hospital just to be safe.

In yesterday’s game, Nick Franklin deposited a Matt Cain pitch over the berm in deep right-center. Jon Garland got through an inning on 21 pitches and his arm’s still attached, so that’s progress of a sort. Blake Beavan missed bats (?), induced a flurry of ground balls (??), before giving up a long home run (oh, ok). All in all though, Beavan’s gotten reasonably good results with his new arm slot – I’d be worried that a change like this could reduce his one marketable skill: impeccable control. That hasn’t happened to date, and coupling the angle with more two-seamers could help him avoid so many fly balls. That’s important not only because his HR rate is single-handedly keeping him at/near replacement level and because his OF figures to contain a lot of Mike Morse/Raul Ibanez this year.

James Paxton starts today, as he looks to build on a so-so appearance on Feb. 24th. It was a scoreless inning, he got a punchout, but his velocity and stuff seemed to be a step behind that of his fellow prospects like Danny Hultzen, Brandon Maurer and Taijuan Walker. Now that’s an exceedingly high bar to clear, and it’s not like he was Joe Saunders out there. And as I think I hear the cattle prod charging again, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is the peril of Pitch FX: reading too much into an inning, in February, just because, well, what else are you going to do with the data? I’ll be thrilled to see Paxton sitting in the low-90s, working in the occasional change-up with his traditional FB/CU mix. Brandon Maurer figures to pitch as well, and that should be exciting as well. Anthony Fernandez and Andrew Carraway may pitch too.

The line-up:
1: Ackley, 2B
2: Bay, DH
3: Morales, 1B
4: Morse, RF
5: Saunders, CF
6: Shoppach, C
7: Peguero, LF
8: Andino, 3B
9: Ryan, SS
SP: James Paxton

Good to see Ackley/Ryan, but Andino at 3B is a bit underwhelming.

Go M’s!

Comments

39 Responses to “Catcus League Game 7, Rangers at Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on March 1st, 2013 10:26 am

    Haha, for a split second (before I read the parenthetical comment) I thought “aGAHR” was some new saber acronym. :-D

  2. marc w on March 1st, 2013 10:31 am

    adjusted Groundballs-Against Hit Ratio, a stat that attempts to gauge how lucky or unlucky a pitcher’s been on grounder BABIP.

    Let’s market this, Westside Guy

  3. Paul B on March 1st, 2013 10:43 am

    Wish the game was televised. It’s always funny to see Peguero charging off in various directions after a fly ball. And with Morse in right, I feel sorry for Saunders today.

  4. Mid80sRighty on March 1st, 2013 11:10 am

    I just watched the video of Nick Franklin’s blast. First thing I noticed is that he’s put on some weight, in a good way. He’s not the skinny little high school kid anymore. He’s definitely got some power, that was a “no doubt about it” jack.

  5. Mid80sRighty on March 1st, 2013 11:11 am

    Which Saunders do you feel sorry for Paul? Both? haha

  6. marc w on March 1st, 2013 11:11 am

    Yeah, I wish it was as well. First TV game comes soon though – it’ll be March 4th. Just a few more days. Morse/Peguero OF is tough, true. I wonder who the better true-talent defender is? I might actually lean towards Peguero based on age and athleticism, but I wouldn’t bet anything on it.

  7. MrZDevotee on March 1st, 2013 12:13 pm

    Marc,
    But Morse is such a likable guy the balls gravitate towards his personality, while they’re all afraid of Peguero, and accelerate away from him, because of memories of his last swings at them.

    It evens out.

  8. Westside guy on March 1st, 2013 12:40 pm

    Doesn’t appear to be a great day for Paxton so far. Out of 38 pitches, 20 of them were balls.

    Of course, for all I know, he could be working on some pitch.

  9. marc w on March 1st, 2013 12:45 pm

    Peguero takes a 1-2 change-up out on to the berm for his 3rd HR of the Spring. Of course.

  10. marc w on March 1st, 2013 12:46 pm

    Yeah, Paxton didn’t look good. Velo was 91 in the first, then mostly 89 in the 2nd.
    He was definitely working on something – some change-ups and what looks almost like a cutter, but I can’t tell. That’s nice and all, but between the velo and the walks, it’s not exactly an encouraging picture.

  11. Jamison_M on March 1st, 2013 12:49 pm

    Haha, for a split second (before I read the parenthetical comment) I thought “aGAHR” was some new saber acronym.

    Lol I was THISSS close to Googling aGAHR before reading the parenthetical comment.

  12. Jamison_M on March 1st, 2013 12:50 pm

    I think we’re all feeling the (not-so-)sneaking suspicion that Peguero is going to end up on the 25-man…

  13. msfanmike on March 1st, 2013 12:59 pm

    ^ I have serious doubts about that. Peguero has proven that he knows how to hit a mistake pitch, but he has shown that ability previously, too.

    He has never been able to prove that he can hit anyting else … or for a large percentage of the time, anything at all.

    A good start is nice, but early spring training performance/stats – are virtually meaningless. Remember the ST when Mike Wilson hit 8 HR’s?

    I believe the team still has assignment option(s) with Peguero and I would be very surprised if they don’t end up using it/them.

  14. marc w on March 1st, 2013 1:04 pm

    Very true. I said it the other day, but: Eric Thames was already toast, but he’s *really* toast now.

    It’s still going to be tough, given that Ibanez is already on the roster and neither Ibanez nor Peguero can play CF. But who knows.

  15. marc w on March 1st, 2013 1:09 pm

    Another HR! Condor with the 2-run shot. Let’s just do the whole season from Arizona.

  16. Jamison_M on March 1st, 2013 1:14 pm

    I’m definitely not an advocate of putting Peguero on the 25-man. But like Dave said in his previous article, Wedge has his way of evaluating players… to Wedge, Peguero is swinging the bat really well. He unfortunately judges talent in the spring based on results.

  17. Westside guy on March 1st, 2013 1:18 pm

    I’m not too worried, since there’s simply nowhere to put Peguero without jettisoning Ibañez.

    Plus Wedge has seen Peggy at the major league level before.

  18. groundzero55 on March 1st, 2013 1:22 pm

    Gameday Audio isn’t cooperating today. Demanding I pay, and saying I have a blackout restriction.

  19. marc w on March 1st, 2013 1:29 pm

    I think you need to register groundzero – you don’t have to pay, but you need a username. Or did you log in w/your username and it still asked for money?

  20. marc w on March 1st, 2013 1:31 pm

    Bay Bomb. Jason Bay’s 2nd of the spring. Unbelievable.

  21. marc w on March 1st, 2013 1:38 pm

    Another HR, this one for Morse. I’ve become conditioned. Woo, or something. Yawn.

  22. groundzero55 on March 1st, 2013 1:40 pm

    I did Marc. It worked fine the last couple days, but today it’s seemingly “having difficulty finding my location” and then blacks me out. I’ll live…but missing this performance is a shame.

  23. Paul B on March 1st, 2013 1:40 pm

    I think we’re all feeling the (not-so-)sneaking suspicion that Peguero is going to end up on the 25-man…

    Bay Bomb. Jason Bay’s 2nd of the spring. Unbelievable

    Bay or Peguero could make the team. If so, hope they keep some good outfielder in Tacoma who would be readily available in May.

  24. marc w on March 1st, 2013 1:43 pm

    Bay’s got a better chance as he’s a RHB, and his competition’s not a veteran leader who shows these kids how to handle the grind – a real professional.

  25. Paul B on March 1st, 2013 1:47 pm

    I assume Peggy still has options, too.

  26. MrZDevotee on March 1st, 2013 1:49 pm

    I know it’s only Spring… And we didn’t end up with the guys we truly wanted/needed…

    But man it’s nice to have a lineup where Single/Homer/Single/Homer in a 4 batter sequence is actually a believable scenario, like it just happened with Ackley/Bay/Morales/Morse.

    That wasn’t even on the palate of “could happen” possibilities the last couple years when we were cycling through our lineup. Heck, being down by 2 runs seemed like a 2-day lead to make up.

    And there’s something extra juicy about doing it to the Rangers while they only have 5 hits against us.

    I want to win the “right” way as bad as anyone, but it’s so relaxing to the soul to even get to THINK we might have a decent offense. Spring Trainging be damned.

  27. Rockstar on March 1st, 2013 1:54 pm

    Unfortunately, I think the writing is on the wall for Wells. Hopefully the M’s can work out a trade for him before the inevitable DFA, which I’m convinced will torpedo his actual trade value. I’m not sure I buy the line that Carp and Kelley just didn’t have any trade value, so the DFA had no effect on the eventual return. Whatever, Dingers! At least it will be fun to watch this year, even if the overall team could have been better (by totally maximizing overall talent).

  28. Kazinski on March 1st, 2013 2:17 pm

    Peguero might eventually figure it out. He has the right approach in the minors. Last year in Tacoma:

    9.0%BB 32.0%K .285/.366/.562

    Last year in the Majors:

    1.8%BB 49.1%K .179/.193/.357

    Of course he can’t maintain that slash line going from AAA to MLB, but if he can show the same patience even if he still strikes out 30% of the time then he can be a major leaguer.

    I know those are big ifs, but at least it is something he can work on. His contact rate is never going to be great, but if he quits swinging at 50% of the pitches outside the zone, and gets that down to 25-30%, then he could be a useful piece.

  29. marc w on March 1st, 2013 2:24 pm

    OK, Peguero is flashing some leather yet again – a leaping catch at the wall.

  30. bookbook on March 1st, 2013 2:26 pm

    I hope we don’t waste too many more PAs on the 5% chance that Peguero turns into Adam Dunn

  31. groundzero55 on March 1st, 2013 2:28 pm

    No way, we already traded away everyone else that could have been using those ABs.

  32. Westside guy on March 1st, 2013 2:56 pm

    groundzero55 – I’m seeing the same issue. MLB.com seems to have some sort of hiccup today.

    I just emailed their customer care address, so hopefully they’ll fix it soon.

  33. Westside guy on March 1st, 2013 3:32 pm

    Mariners are now 7-0/7-1! We’re keeping pace with Kansas City, and are maintaining our lead over those other perennial powerhouses Baltimore, Minnesota, Cleveland, and Houston!

    Spring training obviously matters!

  34. casey on March 1st, 2013 3:51 pm

    I’m thinking Peggy has potential to be David Ortiz – wasn’t Ortiz once a Mariner farmhand?

  35. Section329 on March 1st, 2013 3:58 pm

    Matt Pittman on 710 KIRO has already pissed me off-He just talked about how Ichiro was the problem again! Oh, yeah, I would rather have the grittiness of Jayson Bay on our team-NOT! Ask Junior how his veteran leadership added to the M’s chemistry last time around. ARRG!

  36. bookbook on March 1st, 2013 4:31 pm

    My theory is that either Romero or Ackley or Franklin or Miller or Catricala end up logging some time in the outfield, or some combination of them end up getting traded for an OF or two who is worthy of those Pas (or Jack Z gets fired for not molding a roster). Even Liddi excites me more than Peguero.

    (I do know Morban is essentially the only OF prospect in the organization at this point, and he’s two years away barring further injury.)

  37. stevemotivateir on March 2nd, 2013 8:49 am

    It’ll be interesting to see what Tacoma does. Several players from Jackson seem to be due for a promotion. So what happens with Liddi and Triunfel? Who’s going to man center?

    Maybe we’ll see another trade within the minors to balance things out a bit? Otherwise, I’m probably most curious about Romero. Do they see him as a potential utility guy, a candidate for an outfield conversion, or as a second baseman? A third baseman?

    Lot of questions with some of these guys.

  38. TumwaterMike on March 2nd, 2013 11:32 am

    Who’s going to man center?

    Didn’t they just get Almonte from the Yank mee’s to do just that?

  39. The_Waco_Kid on March 4th, 2013 2:32 pm

    Puget Power!

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