The Mariners Arrive Home

Matthew Carruth · April 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 
HITTING (wOBA*) -4.8 (25th) -5.5 -16.1 (29th) Mariners
FIELDING (RBBIP) 12.2 (1st) 9.2 -1.0 (17th) Mariners
ROTATION (xRA) -0.7 (16th) -2.7 -4.7 (30th) Mariners
BULLPEN (xRA) -2.5 (27th) -1.5 -3.5 (29th) Mariners
OVERALL (RAA) 4.3 (11th) -0.3 -25.3 (30th) MARINERS

Haha, oh boy, Astros! That didn’t take long, guys. Now watch them take the series against the Mariners.

There’s a new column that I hope is displaying correctly. It should be an upper case Greek letter delta which is typically used to denote change. That column is the amount the Mariners have changed since the previous series preview.

Now that there’s a semblance of sample size, I feel comfortable adding in some individual hitting breakdowns. From hereon, they will cover the previous two weeks’ worth of games. Most of the above should be self-explanatory except for Qual+. Basically what Qual does is look at a hitter’s batted ball profile and compare the run value of that profile to the league average. Roughly it’s a measure of the quality of a hitter’s batted balls and put on the familiar 100 is league average scale.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
M Morse 31 4.5 .310/.355/.828 2 10 (10) 4 / 0 / 0 / 5 53 60 177
K Seager* 30 4.4 .192/.300/.308 4 4 (4) 2 / 3 / 0 / 0 40 83 100
K Morales^ 26 3.4 .280/.370/.480 1 3 (3) 4 / 2 / 0 / 1 50 80 145
J Smoak^ 25 3.7 .190/.320/.190 4 4 (4) 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 40 78 154
M Saunders* 24 3.8 .250/.375/.550 3 3 (2) 2 / 1 / 1 / 1 42 84 107
F Gutierrez 24 3.8 .304/.333/.652 1 6 (6) 3 / 2 / 0 / 2 47 70 99
J Montero 22 3.5 .182/.182/.182 0 4 (4) 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 49 76 143
D Ackley* 22 4.5 .050/.227/.050 2 3 (1) 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 41 93 124
B Ryan 20 3.5 .294/.400/.294 3 5 (5) 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 36 76 107

P/PA = pitches per PA [avg~3.8], nBB = uBB + HBP, Sw = swinging [avg~45%], Ct = contact [avg~78%], Qual+ = a measure of quality of batted balls [avg=100, higher is better]

You’ll notice that the Mariners almost universally rate above average in Qual despite having an overall poor hitting line. Currently the Mariners are running one of baseball’s lowest BABIPs but they have an average line drive rate and a well above average rate of pulled fly balls, which are the two best batted ball types historically.

It’s early and still a small sample, but that would suggest that the Mariners have been unlucky in having some balls fall in. It may be self-delusion, but at least it’s something to help you talk you off the ledge on Montero, Smoak and Ackley who collectively have batted like they play for the Astros (haha, buuuuuuurn).

It’s a bit amazing that Brendan Ryan has the team’s lowest pitches seen per plate appearance yet also the team’s lowest swing percentage and not even a stellar contact rate.

INFIELD 5.3 (2nd) 1.9 -1.1 (20th) Mariners
OUTFIELD 6.9 (2nd) 7.3 0.1 (14th) Mariners
RBBIP 0.227 (2nd) .018 0.309 (17th) Mariners
OVERALL 12.2 (1st) 9.2 -1.0 (17th) MARINERS

It’s early. It’s early. It’s early.

There’s like no way the outfield defense stays this good. The gigantic increase over the past series might have been related to the wind at US Cell making fly balls more catchable than normal for that park.


Go stuff yourself, Phil Humber!

Joe Saunders did not have a great Mariner debut, but I’m not concerned yet. It’s one start which is all you need to know to dismiss any worries unless the worry was about how Saunders would pitch in the future after his arm literally came detached in that one start. That didn’t happen so we’re all good.

But I’d be remiss to just dismiss via sample size. The main peeve from the March 3 start was Saunders walking four batters. That’s quite uncharacteristic from Saunders who last had a walk rate worse than league average back in 2006.

I noticed on Saunders’ StatCorner page that his strike% — the percentage of his pitches that I evaluated as landing within the typically called strike zone — was at 49%, a decidedly average rate. And then I noticed that of pitches within the zone not swung at, 14 in total, I categorized five as being called a ball. A typical rate would have had just two of those called balls, so some combination of factors potentially cost Saunders three strikes. Three strikes isn’t overwhelming, but it ain’t nothing either.

I’ll note that none of the mentioned pitches occurred during an at bat in which the hitter walked, so perhaps it had no impact, but we can never rule out cascading effects. Curiously, the home ump that game was Doug Eddings who is regarded as having one of baseball’s largest strike zones.


Welcome back, Erik Bedard!


Umm, Brad Peacock?

Peacock’s first start for Houston saw 11 batted balls against him and not one of them were hit on the ground. That’s not going to stay there obviously, but Peacock has never been even close to a neutral groundballer. Humber and Bedard both slightly  have flyball tendencies but Peacock has a fetish. It could make for a display of Safeco’s new cozier confines.


9 Responses to “The Mariners Arrive Home”

  1. Sec 108 on April 8th, 2013 12:33 pm

    I’m so glad you are still doing these.

  2. Westside guy on April 8th, 2013 12:42 pm

    I like this summary.



  3. Paul B on April 8th, 2013 12:47 pm

    You’ll notice that the Mariners almost universally rate above average in Qual despite having an overall poor hitting line

    I was going to say that.

    The hitters are all doing good yet they are 25th in team wOBA?

    I need to find some way to blame Wedge for that.

    Or maybe it’s due to veteran grittiness.

  4. nwade on April 8th, 2013 1:23 pm

    Minor correction: Brendan Ryan does NOT have the lowest P/PA (according to your published table). That distinction belongs to Kendrys Morales (…not that it changes Ryan’s perplexing line)

  5. Neil on April 8th, 2013 1:59 pm

    All you’re missing is a beer recommendation for the series.

  6. shamus on April 8th, 2013 2:01 pm

    Matthew – thanks a lot for doing these, super interesting and informative.

  7. MrZDevotee on April 8th, 2013 2:29 pm

    The only problem is, if it was due to veteran grittiness the veterans would just grab that stat and wrestle it into a higher number, maybe even Top Ten. That’s what having vets on your team can do for you! Wedge told me so.

  8. Paul B on April 8th, 2013 2:41 pm

    Turning good players into a poor team sounds like Wedge’s speciality, though.

    There, I knew I could blame him.

  9. Nate on April 8th, 2013 5:57 pm

    Like others, I’m SO glad to see the Series Previews.
    Keep that up.

    I look to see the Pitching pick up a good notch this series!

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