That Old Time Feeling Returns

Matthew Carruth · April 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 
MARINERS (4-6) ΔMs RANGERS (6-3) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA*) -6.0 (23rd) -1.2 -2.2 (20th) Rangers
FIELDING (RBBIP) 2.1 (13th) -10.1 6.8 (3rd) Rangers
ROTATION (xRA) -0.7 (17th) 0 9.5 (1st) Rangers
BULLPEN (xRA) -1.5 (22nd) 1.0 0.4 (15th) Rangers
OVERALL (RAA) -6.1 (20th) -10.4 14.4 (4th) RANGERS

Well that was an unpleasant series. Both for those of us at home and for the very few that sought out attending in person. After not selling out the home opener, the Mariners saw consecutive record low numbers of visitors on Tuesday and Wednesday. The performances on those days probably didn’t do much to convince those that did attend to consider it time well spent. Not only were the games lopsided, but they also dragged on to nearly four hours each.

And now we have some fallout from it as Kameron Loe goes away and Aaron Harang enters, probably displacing someone out of the rotation, I’m assuming Blake Beavan. The implosion on Tuesday made the Mariners wary about who was going to handle innings, but that’s not the only way the roster was exposed during the series. A serious lack of bench depth and proper pinch hitting options manifested itself and now they have Michael Saunders’ injury to contend with and the possibility of some truly horrendous outfield defense arrangements.

Speaking of the bullpen, it appears not so stellar thus far, but there are some encouraging fundamentals lurking under the surface level stats. Despite only an average-ish walk rate as a unit, the Mariners’ pen has been throwing pitches in the strike zone at the second highest clip in baseball. And unlike the team that’s best at that, the Rockies, the Mariners’ pen doesn’t also suffer from the league’s highest contact rate. In fact, the Mariners are league average there. So as far as throwing strikes and missing bats, the pen seems fine.

What they have been struggling with is when contact is made, it’s been rock hard. Hitters are getting lots of fly balls and lots of those fly balls have been pulled. They’ll need to improve on that a lot or else Kameron Loe won’t be the only home run-induced casualty.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
M Morse 40 4.4 .263/.325/.737 2 11 (11) 4 / 0 / 0 / 6 54 64 172
K Seager* 38 4.4 .147/.237/.235 4 6 (6) 2 / 3 / 0 / 0 41 84 85
J Smoak^ 37 3.7 .156/.270/.156 5 5 (5) 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 43 81 142
K Morales^ 36 3.4 .313/.432/.500 4 3 (3) 6 / 3 / 0 / 1 45 82 122
M Saunders* 33 3.7 .286/.394/.500 3 3 (2) 5 / 1 / 1 / 1 44 81 118
D Ackley* 33 4.4 .100/.242/.100 3 4 (2) 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 38 93 108
F Gutierrez 33 4.1 .258/.303/.613 2 7 (7) 3 / 2 / 0 / 3 47 78 81
J Montero 30 3.3 .133/.133/.133 0 5 (5) 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 50 76 121
B Ryan 30 3.7 .231/.300/.231 3 6 (6) 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 39 81 90

P/PA = pitches per PA [avg~3.9], nBB = uBB + HBP, Sw = swinging [avg~44%], Ct = contact [avg~79%], Qual+ = a measure of quality of batted balls [avg=100, higher is better]

Mariner hitters still are showing above average totals in hitting fly balls, line drives and in pulling (pulled LDs and pulled FBs tend to result in hits and extra-base hits more frequently) both. However, the Mariners team BABIP currently sits only above the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Majors. That’s probably not going to stay there. Over the amount of balls in the play the Mariners have put, the difference between their BABIP and the league average is a whopping 20 hits.

That’s something like 15 runs or so missing which is why you see the Mariners ranked poorly in runs scored and wOBA, but Qual above still has them looking okay. Give it some time.

The Astro’s hitters now have MLB’s highest BABIP.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
I Kinsler 41 4.0 .286/.390/.543 6 4 (3) 7 / 0 / 0 / 3 39 87 119
E Andrus 39 4.1 .235/.333/.353 5 5 (4) 6 / 0 / 2 / 0 38 82 119
N Cruz 37 3.9 .353/.405/.500 3 8 (7) 9 / 2 / 0 / 1 50 67 184
D Murphy* 37 3.8 .176/.270/.353 3 6 (3) 3 / 1 / 1 / 1 44 89 103
A Beltre 36 3.8 .200/.243/.343 1 3 (2) 4 / 2 / 0 / 1 51 81 148
M Moreland* 34 4.4 .219/.235/.406 1 8 (7) 5 / 0 / 0 / 2 46 72 115
L Berkman^ 31 3.9 .480/.594/.760 6 3 (3) 7 / 4 / 0 / 1 33 70 135
A Pierzynski* 29 3.1 .333/.379/.519 1 4 (3) 7 / 0 / 1 / 1 51 87 128
L Martin* 20 3.7 .176/.300/.176 3 5 (3) 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 49 75 74

The Rangers have most of their offensive threats on the right side, which could help the Mariners this series as they throw mostly righties and new fences aside, home runs to left field are likely still harder than home runs to right field.

MARINERS ΔMs RANGERS EDGE
INFIELD 1.1 (17th) -4.2 5.8 (3rd) Rangers
OUTFIELD 1.0 (12th) -5.9 1.0 (11th)
RBBIP 0.300 (12th) +.073 0.264 (2nd) Rangers
OVERALL 2.1 (13th) -10.1 6.8 (3rd) RANGERS

I warned you about the fielding numbers. Yeah, Mariners, watching 44 hits drop in will do a number to your team’s rankings.

11 APR 19:10 – FELIX HERNANDEZ vs JUSTIN GRIMM

It’s not complete yet, but I’ve made progress on porting over my pitcher scouting graphs. I will give a quick sample here to explain the concept. Here’s Felix:

Across the top is the legend for each pitch, along with it’s frequency and average speed, that Pitch F/X records Felix as throwing at least 5% of the time. Those will correspond to the bars in the main chart area. The unspecified black bar is for Felix’s overall ranking. That is not an average of the individual pitch rankings, but rather an overall score, computed in the same fashion.

Each pitch is examined on three metrics: contact rate, strike rate, and ground ball rate. And each pitch is graded only against pitches of the same type from other pitchers. That means that Felix’s changeup is only compared to changeups thrown by others. For each pitch and each metric, I compute the league median¬†and then grade each pitch by finding its median absolute deviation, which I express in the chart as z. Roughly speaking, it’s like finding the standard deviation, but better.

Now I need to figure out why WordPress keeps erasing my formatting and wrapping my text around the image. Experiments!

12 APR 19:10 – HISASHI IWAKUMA vs YU DARVISH

13 APR 18:10 – JOE SAUNDERS* vs ALEXI OGANDO

14 APR 13:10 – BRANDON MAURER vs NICK TEPESCH

Comments

6 Responses to “That Old Time Feeling Returns”

  1. LanceWWU on April 11th, 2013 3:15 pm

    I was at the game on Tuesday and we stayed for the whole game. By the 9th inning the park was so empty, there were probably around 1,000 fans left.

  2. tg on April 11th, 2013 3:54 pm

    Sorry, what do you mean by “median absolute deviation”? From your link, that would always be a positive number, and would not compare one data set to another (larger) data set.

  3. Snuffy on April 11th, 2013 3:55 pm

    Small sample size is an invitation to do dumb things. Still… unless Erasmo looks good enough to bring up in the next 3 weeks… and nobody else slams into an outfield wall, this season is toast. Then again, I thought it was before it started.
    The questions at this point, at least at the MLB level are many, here’s a few; do we offer multi-year contracts to Morse & Kendry? Will J. Montero be useful in any capacity going forward with Zunio in the picture? He can’t run, can’t hit RHP, can’t field and doesn’t appear to show any improvement except at throwing out baserunners… and he will always be awful at that. Is Ackley worth more AB’s or do we look at Franklin by late July? Will the FO finally come to see Brendon Ryan is useless to the point of laughable offensively? Is Wedge the idiot he appears to be? Is there ANY hope for Smoak? I’m a Jack Z fan but my gracious, eventually, somebody other than Prior & Capps have to show some growth.
    As a fan… I’m watching the game with multiple glasses of homebrew and still can’t stand what I see. I sure as hell ain’t paying to watch them play.
    Hurry back M. Saunders!

  4. fermorules on April 11th, 2013 4:53 pm

    I understand that emotion doesn’t win baseball games, so please don’t jump all over me, but this team sure looked flat the last couple of nights.

    Also, I understand Jack Z has to deal with Armstrong and Lincoln, and even Connie Mack and Branch Rickey would have had trouble overcoming those two, but there was some seriously flawed thinking when he composed this roster.

    One final thing: the Jason Bay we saw Wednesday looked an awful lot like the Jason Bay who played for the 2012 New York Mets, but we’re stuck with him. Once Armstrong insisted on having that December press conference that “introduced” Bay to Seattle, the writing was on the wall.

  5. MrZDevotee on April 11th, 2013 5:43 pm

    Hey, does anybody want my stuff? I’m slitting my wrists 10 days and 3 awful starts by our 4 & 5 guys into the season.

    Weeeeee…

    Okay, for fun let’s compare two teams’ outfields:

    OF1:: 2.1 WAR .676 OPS
    OF2:: -.8 WAR .569 OPS
    OF3:: 4.1 WAR .778 OPS
    OF4:: 0.2 WAR .743 OPS

    OF1:: 2.4 WAR .833 OPS
    OF2:: 0.9 WAR .722 OPS
    OF3:: -.4 WAR .633 OPS
    OF4:: 0.5 WAR .761 OPS

    Obviously, the 4.1 WAR guy is the most talented up there, but overall, pretty close.

    Guess the teams?

  6. MrZDevotee on April 11th, 2013 5:49 pm

    Team 1:
    2012 SF Giants World Series Outfielders…
    Gregor Blanco
    Xavier Nady
    Angel Pagan
    Hunter Pence

    Team 2:
    Your Seattle Mariners 2013 OF…
    Michael Saunders
    Franklin Gutierrez
    Jason Bay
    Raul Ibanez

    That’s NOT EVEN including Morse…

    (note, for similar game #’s, Guty and Bay’s numbers go back 500 AB’s)

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