The Mariners Shot at .500 Runs Into New York

Matthew Carruth · May 14, 2013 at 11:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 
MARINERS (18-20) ΔMs YANKEES (24-14) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA*) -9.9 (23rd) 1.7 -9.7 (22nd) Yankees
FIELDING (RBBIP) 9.7 (6th) 2.7 -4.0 (20th) Mariners
ROTATION (xRA) 10.2 (8th) 2.4 5.4 (10th) Mariners
BULLPEN (xRA) 2.1 (12th) 1.4 11.0 (1st) Yankees
OVERALL (RAA) 12.1 (13th) 8.2 2.6 (17th) MARINERS

It seems far-fetched for the Mariners to actually be rated a better team than the Yankees here. I don’t think it is. First, the above categories do not capture everything about a baseball team. They capture a lot, and they capture what I feel comfortable with, and am able to, quantify on my own.

Secondly, other systems agree that the Mariners have slightly under performed their record while the Yankees have over performed theirs. The gap between the two teams in actual standings is six games. Baseball Prospectus’ third-order standings, which uses expected runs scored and allowed adjusted for opponents has the two team just two games apart.

The Yankees are coming off a double header yesterday. Perhaps that little extra fatigue can play into the Mariners favor this series.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw- Ct+ Qual+
M Saunders* 44 4.1 .289/.386/.474 6 13 (9) 8 / 1 / 0 / 2 87 95 119
K Seager* 44 4.2 .243/.318/.351 5 10 (6) 7 / 1 / 0 / 1 86 107 91
K Morales^ 38 3.7 .324/.395/.500 4 8 (8) 7 / 3 / 0 / 1 101 91 113
M Morse 36 3.8 .219/.324/.438 4 11 (7) 4 / 1 / 0 / 2 108 84 74
D Ackley* 36 4.3 .206/.250/.294 2 10 (3) 6 / 0 / 0 / 1 72 106 79
J Smoak^ 33 4.1 .292/.485/.417 9 6 (6) 4 / 3 / 0 / 0 80 106 138
J Bay 29 4.2 .217/.345/.522 5 5 (4) 2 / 1 / 0 / 2 85 97 89
J Montero 24 3.6 .182/.250/.409 2 5 (4) 2 / 0 / 1 / 1 105 105 140
R Andino 20 3.5 .056/.150/.056 2 6 (2) 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 85 103 86

It’s rather remarkable how little the Mariners have gotten out of their short stops hitting. You know how bad Brendan Ryan has been? He’s actually been worse than you think. And Robert Andino has been even worse than that. While manning the short stop position, Ryan has put up a .123/.200/.123 batting line. Andino checks in at .086/.179/.086.

Neither have an extra base hit out of the position. Those are the only two that have played short stop so far this season. I wouldn’t count on that being the case for very much longer.

According to wRC+ Mariner short stops as a collective have been outhit so far by the pitching staffs for the Brewers, Reds, Dodgers, and Braves. Outside of pitchers hitting, Mariners short stops have the league’s worst wRC+ at 7 according to FanGraphs. By Baseball-Reference, which has a more accurate cutoff, their relative OPS+ is -9.

They’re bad. That’s what I’m attempting to convey. Really, truly, terrible.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw- Ct+ Qual+
R Cano* 55 3.4 .255/.286/.455 0 6 (4) 9 / 2 / 0 / 3 118 115 88
B Gardner* 53 4.3 .229/.302/.333 5 13 (12) 7 / 3 / 1 / 0 100 108 84
V Wells 50 3.1 .286/.300/.469 1 6 (5) 11 / 0 / 0 / 3 119 100 120
L Overbay* 48 3.9 .273/.333/.591 4 7 (6) 4 / 5 / 0 / 3 104 105 104
I Suzuki* 46 3.9 .267/.319/.422 1 6 (6) 8 / 2 / 1 / 1 115 110 92
J Nix 45 4.0 .308/.435/.385 6 12 (7) 9 / 3 / 0 / 0 90 102 125
T Hafner* 39 4.1 .206/.325/.235 5 10 (7) 6 / 1 / 0 / 0 98 95 64
C Stewart 36 3.6 .250/.278/.344 2 4 (2) 7 / 0 / 0 / 1 106 108 48
C Nelson 33 4.2 .188/.212/.250 1 9 (9) 4 / 2 / 0 / 0 103 95 82

I won’t presume on your behalf but I find it quite amusing that Vernon Wells is now a valued hitting asset to the Yankees after being nothing more than a financial drain on the Angels. Which he will continue to be to the tune of $18.6 million next year after $9.5 million this season.

Does $18.6 million have a tune? I suppose it depends on which side of that dump truck full of hundreds you’re standing. It can’t be a peppy tune for the Angels. Hey, did you know the Angels aren’t playing well at all this season? Haha, Angels.

MARINERS ΔMs YANKEES EDGE
INFIELD 5.1 (11th) 1.9 -5.4 (23rd) Mariners
OUTFIELD 4.6 (11th) 0.8 1.4 (15th) Mariners
RBBIP 0.295 (7th) -.002 0.311 (19th) Mariners
OVERALL 9.7 (6th) 2.7 -4.0 (20th) MARINERS

Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) puts the Mariners’ defense at six runs below average to date. Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) states they’re five below. I say they’re nearly 10 above. Which is more right? I don’t know. But I’ll point out that the Mariners’ pitching staff currently has only a .278 batting average on balls in play, which is the seventh lowest in baseball. And the fielders have been charged with only 12 errors, tied for third lowest with the Tigers.

So if they’re not committing many mistakes and they aren’t allowing a lot of balls to fall in for hits, is the stuff on the fringe, turning double plays and the like, enough to weigh them down so much?

14 MAY 16:05 – CC SABATHIA* vs FELIX HERNANDEZ

The Yankees are rolling out three impressive starters in this series in terms of name recognition. And historically, all three have been good to great pitchers. But so far in 2013, none of the three have actually been dealing. CC Sabathia’s strikeout and ground ball rates have fallen to it’s lowest rate in the pitch f/x era.

On the other hand, by xRA, Felix (duh), Hisashi and Aaron are the three Mariner starters who’ve been better than the AL average. All three have strikeout rates above 20% and walk rates at 6% or lower.

15 MAY 16:05 – PHIL HUGHES vs HISASHI IWAKUMA

Phil Hughes is getting smacked around to the tune of a .342 RBBIP (reached base [hits+errors] on balls in play), which is obviously partly the blame New York’s defense, but also reflective of Hughes’ high line drive and pulled fly ball against rates.

16 MAY 16:05 – ANDY PETTITTE* vs AARON HARANG

Pettitte’s strikeouts are down a couple notches, his walks are up and his line drives are up. His contact rate has risen from 78% to over 80%.

Aaron Harang last season started off 56% of hitters with a strike. That’s up to 61% this season.

Reliever BF Str+ nBB Ct- K(sw) GB+ HR Qual- LI
B Beavan 48 100 4 98 8 (6) 94 2 104 0.5
C Capps 42 102 1 90 13 (11) 57 3 134 1.1
H Noesi 39 102 2 107 6 (4) 51 0 126 0.3
T Wilhelmsen 38 115 1 98 9 (6) 130 0 107 1.4
Y Medina 35 96 3 98 12 (7) 136 0 53 0.4
O Perez* 31 97 4 72 13 (11) 113 1 123 1.1
C Furbush* 29 103 2 79 14 (11) 113 1 91 1.1
Reliever BF Str+ nBB Ct- K(sw) GB+ HR Qual- LI
M Rivera 50 114 2 102 10 (8) 101 1 93 2.3
D Robertson 48 102 4 88 16 (12) 121 2 81 1.7
A Warren 46 99 5 103 10 (10) 124 1 83 0.6
D Phelps 41 98 6 103 14 (10) 68 2 154 1.5
S Kelley 36 102 1 93 15 (10) 91 1 64 0.6
B Logan* 28 100 0 95 10 (7) 113 1 81 1.3
J Chamberlain 23 116 0 102 3 (3) 102 0 76 2.0

Getting rid of Shawn Kelley was stupid. So incredibly stupid. He has 24 strikeouts and four walks allowed. He’s allowed a couple too many home runs and that’s what the Mariners hated about it, what the Mariners seemingly could not see past. It’s a blind spot they have that’s led to them discarding useful pieces like Jaso, Delabar, and Kelley for underwhelming returns. It frustrates me.

Comments

14 Responses to “The Mariners Shot at .500 Runs Into New York”

  1. Westside guy on May 14th, 2013 11:15 am

    According to wRC+ Mariner short stops as a collective have been outhit so far by the pitching staffs for the Brewers, Reds, Dodgers, and Braves.

    This actually made me laugh out loud. Which is probably good, since the alternative is to weep.

    BTW, Yankees – Kuma is ours and you can’t have him.

  2. maqman on May 14th, 2013 11:37 am

    If you look at the standings the M’s should get creamed. I’m not going to look at them.

  3. jordan on May 14th, 2013 12:08 pm

    You have to feel good about having Felix and Kuma starting this series.

  4. Westside guy on May 14th, 2013 12:27 pm

    Matthew, I just looked at today’s lineup and I noticed one factor you are consistently not including in these comparisons – the manager disadvantage.

    Wedge is – I’m totally serious – starting Ibañez tonight against Sabathia. He’s starting a guy who’s been helpless against lefties… against one of the better left-handed pitchers in the game.

    Now, I admit I’m sorta trying to be funny. But really, Wedge’s decision to DH Ibañez instead of Montero or Smoak probably has a non-trivial impact on the probability Felix will win tonight.

  5. MrZDevotee on May 14th, 2013 1:27 pm

    But Westy-
    His crafty veteran grittiness will be in full effect against the Evil Empire that didn’t want him back after last season! You can almost hear the annoying little blonde kid from “Shane” yelling “Raouuul!”… “Come back, Raouuulll!?”

    He’s going to get a tremendous uptick in wily-ness tonight, and heroic “good-guy-ness”.

    Probably 0-4 with 3 K’s and a soft roll-over groundball to 2B… Instead of 0-4 with 4 K’s…

  6. Woodcutta on May 14th, 2013 1:44 pm

    Ibanez is returning to his former team so that must mean he’s going to go 2-3 with a double, home run, and a walk. Of course that one out he makes will be with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th and the game tied.

  7. bookbook on May 14th, 2013 2:10 pm

    The one argument one might make is that Yankee stadium is a place where Ibanez has enjoyed success. Now, I wouldn’t make that argument, but Wedgie…

  8. Westside guy on May 14th, 2013 2:10 pm

    Hehe MrZ -

    “Come back, Raul! Joe’s got things for you to do!”

    And from Raul…

    “Tell your mother… tell your mother there are no more bats in this valley.”

    (I love that movie, even though it’s absurdly cheesy in spots)

  9. diderot on May 14th, 2013 2:41 pm

    “Getting rid of Shawn Kelley was stupid.”

    So is thinking that ‘shortstop’ is two words :)

  10. californiamariner on May 14th, 2013 2:44 pm

    It’s pretty funny how Wedge never fails to start someone when they are facing their old team for the first time. No I don’t have stats to back this up and I don’t care to look into it but I swear he has a 100% success rate in these situations.

  11. PackBob on May 14th, 2013 2:51 pm

    Wedge is putting Ibanez in a position to suck-cede.

  12. absolutsyd on May 14th, 2013 2:58 pm

    I wonder what the record for fewest extra base hits from the shortstop position is, or the record for most games without having one…

  13. Westside guy on May 14th, 2013 3:00 pm

    I don’t remember what position he was playing for us (I’ve blanked it out), But beloved Mariner Icon Willie F. Bloomquist went a year between extra base hits…

  14. MrZDevotee on May 14th, 2013 3:16 pm

    So I honestly don’t know the rule… Can you DH for someone else besides the pitcher?

    How funny would that be… We DH for Ryan and let Felix hit.

    We could use some more eyes-closed-foot-off-the-ground Grand Slams… (one of my favorite Mariner hits of all time– courtesy the King!)

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