Game 31, Mariners at Blue Jays

marc w · May 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Ricky Romero, 4:07pm

It’s been a weird 12-13 months for Ricky Romero. He was Toronto’s opening day starter in 2012 following a 2011 in which his ERA was below 3. There were some mixed signals that were perhaps buried by his lovely RA – a very high strand rate, lower K rate, higher HR rate, but fundamentally, Romero was a solid lefty starter who used a very good change-up to get ground balls and enough strikeouts to pitch around so-so control and command. In 2012, he essentially collapsed – his walk rate spiked, his strikeout rate fell, and he simply couldn’t get out of innings. It all added up to nearly 6 runs per 9, and no guarantee of a spot in Toronto’s revamped rotation in 2013.

Late in spring training, the Blue Jays (who’d added Josh Johnson, RA Dickey and Mark Buehrle) took the extreme step of sending Romero to the minors to work on salvaging his command. Not just AAA, though. Instead, the Jays sent Romero back to high-A ball, in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He’s made one start at that level, and now injuries have forced the Jays to bring him back and hope that he figured something out against the Brevard County Manatees. When we last saw Romero, he threw a 91mph fastball, a curve to lefties and a change-up to righties. Because the latter was a heck of a lot better than the former, Romero’s got reverse platoon splits for his career, with lefties battering him for a .370 wOBA while righties have hit just 3.08. This isn’t just BABIP either, as his FIPs follow the same pattern. It would have been somewhat frustrating to see Wedge deploy a righty-heavy line-up in a game like this, but injuries to Franklin Gutierrez and the inability of Raul Ibanez to hit pitched baseballs have taken the guesswork out of it. Michael Saunders and Jason Bay start because there’s really no other option right now. In any event, the M’s need to be patient and work counts to see if Romero’s command has returned.


1: Saunders, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Morales, DH
4: Morse, RF
5: Bay, LF
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Ackley, 2B
8: Montero, C
9: Ryan, SS
SP: King Felix

James Paxton starts for Tacoma tonight against Reno, while the M’s affiliates in A and AA have both been rained out. Jeremy Bonderman had his first good outing for the Rainiers last night in Tacoma’s 8-0 win (their ninth in a row). John Stearns takes over a team that’s cruising right now, somewhat similar to the last time Tacoma had its manager called up to the majors unexpectedly.

Clinton OF Jabari Henry’s received some national attention for his hot start. After yesterday’s two-HR game, he’s now the proud owner of a .397/.511/.616. That .511 OBP edges out Nick Franklin’s .500 for best in the org, and it’s actually leading all of the minors. The FIU product is obviously gunning for a promotion to the Cal League, where he could team up with Jabari Blash to form a rare double-Jabari outfield.


25 Responses to “Game 31, Mariners at Blue Jays”

  1. DarkKnight1680 on May 3rd, 2013 3:26 pm

    I really hope they find a way to skip over HD for Henry. Numbers there mean nothing, and I really feel like it can be damaging to a players approach. I really don’t want henry to fall in love with the long ball and stop doing all the great things we’s done so far. Get him up to Jackson.

  2. spuuky on May 3rd, 2013 4:46 pm

    I miss Munenori Kawasaki. I mean, he isn’t really THAT much worse than Andino, and he’s much more entertaining. Although the first half of that says much more about Andino than about Kawasaki.

  3. absolutsyd on May 3rd, 2013 4:53 pm

    Damn it Muni. Felix definitely has the stuff tonight. Maybe they’ll change it to an error…

  4. Slats on May 3rd, 2013 4:53 pm


  5. Paul B on May 3rd, 2013 5:04 pm

    Think they still have it an infield single by Muni.


  6. Slats on May 3rd, 2013 5:04 pm

    Ack Attack!

  7. dogkahuna on May 3rd, 2013 5:07 pm

    Reminder needed–what was the last time a Tacoma Mgr. got called up unexpectedly?

  8. Slats on May 3rd, 2013 5:35 pm


  9. Bremerton guy on May 3rd, 2013 5:41 pm

    I just got here. Only eight comments for a game Felix is pitching? Wow. It must be sunny outside or something.

  10. jordan on May 3rd, 2013 5:54 pm

    So what if Bay miraculously returns to pre-suck form? How dumb will we feel for being pissed about the Wells situation….

    Well, actually, I’ll still be pissed because they also chose Ibanez over Wells.

  11. californiamariner on May 3rd, 2013 6:01 pm

    Felix has sure been fun to watch today.

  12. californiamariner on May 3rd, 2013 6:13 pm

    And Seager has been phenomenal all around

  13. spuuky on May 3rd, 2013 6:15 pm

    Who is this guy who started on the mound for the Mariners today? He seems pretty good. They should consider keeping him.

  14. MissouriMariner on May 3rd, 2013 6:19 pm

    Why didn’t he let Felix finish it? Only 95 pitches??????

  15. MissouriMariner on May 3rd, 2013 6:30 pm

    Awesome performance by Felix…nice win.

  16. chrischris on May 3rd, 2013 6:41 pm

    I like Brendan Ryan’s defense. But tonight I was wondering how low his BA could go. Would anyone be ok with him starting if he hit .150? How about .100? His at bats seem to be such poor quality lately and he’s hard to watch behind the plate. Not that I have any better plan to replace him at this point…

  17. marc w on May 3rd, 2013 6:41 pm

    Dog, Daren Brown moved up from Tacoma to take Wakamatsu’s spot in the disastrous 2010 season.

  18. marc w on May 3rd, 2013 6:42 pm

    One of the more satisfying wins. On paper, this was a mismatch, and it’s nice to see the M’s dominate a game like this.

  19. shirley37 on May 3rd, 2013 6:48 pm

    Nice time to gt Felix out of game. Why have him pitch 120-130 pitches if you don’t have to. It is a long season so why wear him out? You need to keep the bartender sharp so he need to pitch every two or three days.

  20. shirley37 on May 3rd, 2013 6:50 pm

    Change my log in to jack55

  21. MissouriMariner on May 3rd, 2013 6:55 pm

    When a guy has gotten through 8 innings on 95 pitches I really don’t think he would need 35 to get one more inning….I don’t think it would hurt Felix at all to throw 15-20 more pitches and get the CG shutout….but that is just me…

  22. juneau_fan on May 3rd, 2013 7:24 pm

    Can we start the thread over for the replay?

  23. jordan on May 3rd, 2013 7:25 pm

    Why make Felix throw any more than necessary? Game is already a W. No need to make someone throw more than needed.

  24. Westside guy on May 3rd, 2013 8:21 pm

    I has to concentrate on a project this afternoon, so I missed the game. But now I have to ask again…

    Was Andino really an improvement over Muni?

  25. GLS on May 3rd, 2013 10:04 pm

    When a game thread on USSM gets less than 30 comments, you know the fan base is seriously disillusioned.

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