Players Remain Trapped in Cactus League They Do Not Understand: Rangers at Mariners

marc w · March 17, 2013 at 11:11 am · Filed Under Game Threads, Mariners 

Blake Beavan vs. Justin Grimm, 1:05pm

Yesterday Erasmo Ramirez pitched six excellent innings, showing he could remain effective deep into games and logging the longest pitching performance of the Spring. Blake Beavan tries to match that today in a home start versus Texas. Felix Hernandez will get some innings in, but he’ll play in a minor league game so the Rangers don’t get too familiar with him, though there is the matter of him having faced the Rangers dozens of times in his career. Still, Cactus League can’t be understood using traditional logic. MLB logic is to spring training as Beethoven is to Indonesian gamelan.

Blake Beavan is clearly a step behind Jon Garland and/or Jeremy Bonderman in the race for the #5 spot (I’m going to tell myself that Erasmo has the #4 spot locked-up. I don’t believe it’s that cut and dried, but I don’t want to worry about that today.), but he’s had a very interesting spring. For the second straight season, he’s increased his arm angle, meaning he’s delivering the pitch from a more over-the-top angle and less side-arm. I’d forgotten this, but when he came up, his pitch fx-recorded release point was under 6 feet (5.6′). That’s kind of remarkable given Beavan is 6’7″ tall and starting from a mound. He moved that average release point up significantly last year (to 5.9-6′), and so far in Spring, it’s up even more – to 6.3′. That doesn’t mean that his pitches have less horizontal movement though – the way Stephen Pryor or even Felix Hernandez’s do. Instead, he’s getting more armside run on his sinker and fastball. Whether this is good, bad or indifferent remains to be seen, but Beavan wanted to change in this offseason, and thus far, it looks like he’s actually changed. His sinker always generated some groundballs, but his four-seamer was an extreme fly-ball pitch, and since it was put into play so often, Beavan was a fly-ball pitcher overall. The sample’s tiny, but Beavan’s four-seamer is getting a few more GBs thus far. It’s something to track, even if he starts the year in Tacoma.

Some good news: Franklin Gutierrez returns to the line-up today. The M’s have helpfully put Ibanez and Jason Bay in the OF corners to give Blake more motivation to stay on top of the ball and keep it down in the zone, however.

Today’s line-up:
1: Gutierrez, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Morales, DH
4: Ibanez, LF
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Bay, RF
7: Shoppach, C
8: Ackley, 2B
9: Andino, SS
SP: Beavan

Comments

45 Responses to “Players Remain Trapped in Cactus League They Do Not Understand: Rangers at Mariners”

  1. stevemotivateir on March 17th, 2013 12:21 pm

    I’ve really wondered who has the upper hand right now for that fifth spot in the rotation, but I’ve felt Ramirez was pretty much a lock for the fourth spot all along.

    Wedge keeps flirting with outfield defense-disaster. It’s just spring, but I hope he doesn’t seriously intend to use Ibanez there very often. No appearances would be even better.

    Wells really needs to be on this team. No matter how you cut it, if Guti or Saunders goes down, we would be stuck with a combination of Morse, Bay, and Ibanez at the corners. Can anyone honestly say they’re comfortable with that?

  2. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 12:22 pm

    Maybe Ibañez and Bay are in the corners to force Guti to run as much as possible, loosening up those tight legs? :-D

  3. stevemotivateir on March 17th, 2013 12:26 pm

    Marc’s suggestion is probably more likely, Westy. Keep the ball DOWN, Beavan!

  4. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 12:32 pm

    Oh! This game is going to be televised on ROOT!

  5. BillyJive on March 17th, 2013 12:35 pm

    Indonesian gamelan.
    Awesome!

  6. stevemotivateir on March 17th, 2013 12:36 pm

    Yep, though I’ll be watching it on the computer;) I’ll be splitting time with the Sao Paulo Libertadores game. Good day for sports! For me, anyway.

  7. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 12:38 pm

    Viva Libertadores!

  8. stevemotivateir on March 17th, 2013 1:04 pm

    Damn, I was wrong about the game here. Wasn’t a Libertadores match. Still good!

  9. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 1:13 pm

    Hey, the Rangers sent their scrubs out against our scrubs!

  10. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 1:15 pm

    Ibañez fighting the sun, the wind, and his own lack of ability on that fly ball.

  11. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 1:20 pm

    Finally! Real. Live. (mostly scrubs) Mariners. On my TV!

  12. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 1:25 pm

    Whoa, Konrad Schmidt. Nice pornstache! Chicka-boom! (Sorry. Being able to see visuals is overwhelming)

  13. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 1:27 pm

    I’m not all that happy seeing these long fly balls off of Beaven.

  14. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 1:31 pm

    No worries, Westy. He’ll learn what a bad idea that is soon enough.

  15. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 1:43 pm

    See, droning Sims (?*) says that Beaven’s been working on getting more groundballs. I bet.

    *I’m absolutely awful at guessing the commentators, I think because 98% of them annoy the hell out of me.

  16. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 1:48 pm

    One would HOPE that’s what he’s working on!

    (Yes it was Sims)

  17. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 1:53 pm

    Oops, even DTFT can’t jump that high.

  18. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 1:57 pm

    Yeah, that particular play wasn’t really Raul’s fault.

  19. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 1:57 pm

    OH DEAR at Ibanez’s fielding. I mean, it’s not like it’s a surprise, but still.

  20. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 1:59 pm

    I was oh dearing more at the ball that he pulled up as though it was foul and it fell well fair in the field. Although the noodle arm throwing is always painful to watch as well.

  21. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 2:06 pm

    It will be interesting/scary/worrisome to see what the team chooses to do with regards to the outfield.

  22. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 2:10 pm

    The Raul taketh away and the Raul giveth.

  23. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 2:11 pm

    Ibañez with the ST bomb against decent pitching! Woo!

    (I belatedly realized that wasn’t a scrub pitcher)

  24. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 2:14 pm

    Is that a junior high kid hitting for Texas?

  25. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 2:17 pm

    They said during his first at-bat that he was a HS star in Japan. Since when did Japanese players start chewing gum? What next, chaw?

  26. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 2:18 pm

    Okay, I think it’s just taken me a while to notice this ump is really tall.

  27. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 2:23 pm

    Dear god, Raul is going to be 41 in June…

  28. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 2:28 pm

    Hmm… if umpire John Tumpane is really only 6’2″, there’s no way Odubel Herrera is anywhere close to 5’11″.

  29. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 2:30 pm

    Raul will be a very gritty 41.

  30. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 2:33 pm

    My favorite USSM description of Raul is that guy on your work softball team. I keep expecting to see beer can holders on the side of his cap.

    As though he hears us mocking him, he makes a catch…

  31. stevemotivateir on March 17th, 2013 2:36 pm

    I can’t get the game here, so I’m following gameday. Real curious though, how’s Beavan looking? It appears that a lot of his pitches have been up. Is that accurate?

  32. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 2:41 pm

    I think that’s an accurate impression, Steve, although Sims kept talking about his ground outs today.

  33. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 2:45 pm

    Uh oh…Feeling myself slipping into the 6th inning nap…

  34. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 2:45 pm

    Hehe Juneau.

  35. stevemotivateir on March 17th, 2013 2:48 pm

    Thanks, Westy. GB’s mean a little less, in my opinion, given the opposition he’s facing. I’m more concerned about pitch location.

  36. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 2:53 pm

    Capps looked pretty good that inning.

  37. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 3:07 pm

    Kameron Loe is kinda big!

  38. stevemotivateir on March 17th, 2013 3:29 pm

    So, Morales watches a strike right down the middle on a 2-0 count, then bites on a good breaking ball.

    So of course he hits a HR on the next pitch.

  39. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 3:29 pm

    Kendrys!

    I wonder if he’s going to be taking the 1B job by the all-star break.

  40. stevemotivateir on March 17th, 2013 3:33 pm

    I was going to note that a Smoak-demotion could benefit us two ways, with Morse likely taking over DH duties. But that’s assuming the alternative in the outfield is Wells.

  41. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 3:42 pm

    Yeah, it will be interesting.

  42. Westside guy on March 17th, 2013 3:49 pm

    Yay! We beat the Rangers (mostly) minor leaguers!

  43. juneau_fan on March 17th, 2013 3:55 pm

    *wagging groggily*

    Mariners win! Mariners win!

  44. eddie on March 18th, 2013 8:04 am

    Now THAT is what I call a thread, three guys working hard (well, not all that hard) at posting on an exhibition game for close to four hours.

    My favorite? “Raul will be a very gritty 41″ by Westside guy at 2:30pm.

    A post that needs some work? “Yeah, it will be interesting.” again, by Westside guy at 3:42pm.

  45. Westside guy on March 18th, 2013 11:55 am

    ^ I was phoning it in at that point.. :-)

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