The Final Tune-Up: M’s vs. Rockies in Salt Lake
Brandon Maurer vs. Jeff Francis, 12:05
It may be the proximity of opening day, or it may be the proximity to Jeff’s “If It Goes Right’ post but I’m unusually excited for today’s game. I’ll forgive the spring trainingness of the M’s facing off against the Rockies in the home of AAA team that neither is affiliated with. It’s a sell-out, and it looks great. The M’s are trotting out what looks to be their opening day line-up and the starter isn’t of the Jake Woods/Blake Beavan/Miguel Batista school of the back-of-the-rotation arms, but a legitimate prospect and the best story of the spring.
The M’s face Jeff Francis, the journeyman lefty with a penchant for long balls and a bad habit of underperforming his peripherals and fielding-independent stats. It’s one reason he’s been seen as decent value by people like our own Dave Cameron, but despite the solid FIP, he’s pretty marginal at this point in his career. Like Javier Vasquez, Francis is a gauge of one’s faith in FIP. Like Joe Saunders, he’s seen no reduction in his platoon splits over his career, and he’s coming off a year when righties put up a .380 wOBA off of him. In his career, his FIP’s over 1 full run worse versus righties than lefties, which shows that, like Saunders, he’s not bad at all against lefties.
1: Gutierrez, CF
2: Saunders, RF
3: Morales, DH
4: Morse, RF
5: Seager, 3B
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Montero, C
8: Ackley, 2B
9; Ryan, SS
SP: Brandon Maurer woooooo
Cheney Stadium’s having its open house today beginning at 11. I think you can try out the new food, and there are kids activities and the like. It’s looking like the kind of day to just go stare at a baseball diamond, frankly. The M’s open house is Monday – the public’s first chance to check out the new video board.