Game 39, Mariners at Yankees

marc w · May 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Phil Hughes, 4:05pm

So, last night’s game sure was a kick in the mouth, wasn’t it? Felix dominated, but came out with a classic Mariner no-decision. In addition, he tweaked his back and had to come out after the 6th. Then, the bullpen self-immolated with a big assist from the home plate umpire. And of course, Raul Ibanez decided to kick Dave and I extra hard by putting up two hits including a homer. People asked me what I thought of the home run off of CC Sabathia, and honestly, I thought it was awesome/hilarious. To be honest, I was still giggling a bit from Ibanez’s 2nd inning infield single (!). I mentioned it on twitter, but Ibanez’s performance last night was the greatest troll in this blog’s long history. I’m sorry Mr. Unethical!!! pizza dude, you’re now in second place.

It highlights that everything we talk about – from Nick Franklin’s possible promotion, to Tai Walker’s chances of making it a MLB starter to line-up decisions – comes down to probabilities. The people who say that you can’t know anything, and that baseball’s too unpredictable to be reduced to a spreadsheet are completely right, of course. None of us would actually like baseball if this truism wasn’t, er, true. So while it’s frustrating to see a team put out a sub-optimal line-up, reducing their chances of winning from, say, 55% to 48% or whatever, that doesn’t mean we can’t root like hell for an anomalous event. If Brendan Ryan hits three home runs tonight, I think I might actually, physically die, but if he hit two home runs tonight, I’d find it hilarious and welcome and beautiful. I would not like to build a team that depended on such rare events, however.

So let’s talk a bit more about Nick Franklin and his chances to outhit RyAndino. Dave’s post below is well-reasoned, and the overall point is clearly, clearly right: you need to regress Ryan/Andino’s performance before you can figure out how much better/worse any replacement (Triunfel, Brad Miller, Nick Franklin) would be. The problem is that projections have a narrower spread than actual MLB players. There are perfectly valid statistical reasons for this, and it’s one reason you essentially never see anyone forecast to hit 40-45 HRs. Projections are going to have a higher floor than baseball players, and some of that is because part-time players won’t get the opportunity to regress towards the mean, and some of that is because teams find a few guys on their midst who are, in fact, *ex*-baseball players.

I’m not ready to say that Brendan Ryan is totally kaput as a major leaguer. The man still appears to have good range in the field. But is it crazy that a 31-year old with a best-part-of-a-decade long career of having a bat that *nearly* outweighs his amazing glove may have tipped over the line and become replacement level? The two players I associate with Ryan most are Jack Wilson and Adam Everett, two amazing fielders and not-so-hot hitters who had long careers thanks to their defensive exploits. Everett was beset by injuries at 30, but stuck around to have a half-decent half-year at age 32 in Detroit, but was done as a regular at 29. And even at 31-32, Everett made much more contact than Ryan. At 31, Wilson had a great year in the field and a bad-but-acceptable year at the plate (split between Pittsburgh and Seattle). The following year, his performance in the field and the plate slipped, and he only got into 61 games. In 2011, at 33, he was essentially done. Here’s the funny thing though: you know what his ZiPS/Steamer projections are? For this year, 2013? About a .254 wOBA. Essentially right at Brendan Ryan’s rest-of-season projection. Brendan Ryan’s ROS projection essentially ties him with retired, formerly awful hitters. The Wilson Line is basically the projection system’s floor.

The point here is that we need to know what mean to regress Ryan/Andino’s toward. This is where scouting could help, but there’s probably no way to definitively resolve the question. It’s possible, and it’s looking more possible each day, that Brendan Ryan just isn’t an everyday player anymore. That’s tough, because he’s still likely an asset in the field, but it’s possible that the non-slumping version of Ryan just isn’t worth waiting for. Robert Andino is younger, but offers less defense, and his declines in contact and K% are starting to become concerning. In any event, he’s a replacement level player, and not getting younger. Nick Franklin likely isn’t a SS, but at this point I doubt his lack of range is going to be the difference between the M’s finishing at .500 or not. At some point, the M’s need to figure out who *can* play SS going forward. No matter how they do from now through September, Ryan and Andino are not in the running.

The M’s face Phil Hughes tonight, a fly-balling righty. As you’d imagine, a guy who pitches in New Yankee Stadium and has ground ball rates right around 30% has a bit of a home run problem. He’s got decent stuff, however, so he’s managed to carve out a frustrating but decent career. He’s been a fastball-curve-change guy his whole career, but seems to have switched to a slider thus far in 2013. That hasn’t helped his platoon splits, and it’s a bit early to know what to make of the change. It’s clearly something he worked on; this isn’t a pitch fx algorithm glitch, he made this change deliberately. He’d had a cutter for years that wasn’t quite MLB-caliber, but he’d all but abandoned it by 2012. The change in 2013 is using the slider in lieu of his hook – particularly to righties. In any event, he’s got to worry about his fastball, as he gave up 25 HRs on the fourseam last year, and he’s at 6 so far this year in just over 40 innings. Let’s go Seager/Saunders.

Line-up:
1: Saunders, CF
2: Ackley, 2B (!)
3: Seager, 3B
4: Morales, DH
5: Morse, RF
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Ibanez, LF
8: Montero, C
9: Ryan, SS
SP: Iwakuma

Comments

72 Responses to “Game 39, Mariners at Yankees”

  1. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 4:12 pm

    Ackley walked!

  2. djw on May 15th, 2013 4:15 pm

    And got very lucky on a baserunning screwup!

  3. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 4:18 pm

    Catcher let Ichiro’s throw get by, that’s a tough E9.

  4. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 4:20 pm

    Wow. Just, wow.

  5. ivan on May 15th, 2013 4:21 pm

    Bad decision to start Raul. You bet!

  6. tstream07 on May 15th, 2013 4:21 pm

    Oh my!

  7. djw on May 15th, 2013 4:21 pm

    LOL. Wedge: supergenius.

  8. californiamariner on May 15th, 2013 4:22 pm

    Lets go! Woooo!

  9. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 4:22 pm

    Don’t think Hughes will be around long tonight.

  10. jase411 on May 15th, 2013 4:23 pm

    Haha, on mlb.coms gamecast “scout” :
    Dangerous count for Phil Hughes; Brendan Ryan is a dead-red fastball hitter, with a .468 OPS against them this season and .339 against everything else.

  11. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 4:23 pm

    At least Hughes is a righty. And Ibanez does hit well against righties in Yankee stadium.

  12. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 4:24 pm

    Wow, just turned on the game and it’s 6-0. Thank you Mr. Hughes!

  13. spuuky on May 15th, 2013 4:24 pm

    I… I can live with this inning.

  14. killeverything on May 15th, 2013 4:26 pm

    Brendan Ryan….keeping expectations.

    Let’s go M’s!

  15. The_Waco_Kid on May 15th, 2013 4:26 pm

    Everyone in the lineup has done something good!

  16. scraps on May 15th, 2013 4:26 pm

    Felix didn’t come out with a no-decision, he came out with a (potential) win, which the bullpen blew.

  17. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 4:27 pm

    And it is still the top of the first!

  18. Klatz on May 15th, 2013 4:30 pm

    Raul Ibanez proving doubters wrong since yesterday.

  19. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 4:31 pm

    Had to check Fangraphs. Yankees have 6% chance of winning.

  20. californiamariner on May 15th, 2013 4:32 pm

    That was fun

  21. Slats on May 15th, 2013 4:33 pm

    Wow. What happened?

  22. The_Waco_Kid on May 15th, 2013 4:35 pm

    Nice to have a great inning. Nicer vs. the Yanks.

  23. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 4:38 pm

    So we all agree, Ibanez should be the starting left fielder and extended immediately, right?

  24. spuuky on May 15th, 2013 4:40 pm

    I’m just wondering if we could maybe get two more clones of Ibanez for the other outfield positions.

  25. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 4:43 pm

    ^Cardboard cutouts of Ibanez should do the same job.

  26. Prozach on May 15th, 2013 4:44 pm

    Must be a weird Yankee thing with Raul

  27. The_Waco_Kid on May 15th, 2013 4:52 pm

    We need Raul to bat for Ryan

  28. msfanmike on May 15th, 2013 4:52 pm

    Is it rational for me to believe the Mariners will need to score 2-3 more runs today?

  29. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 4:57 pm

    Let’s see Mike…

    They’re at Yankee Stadium, it’s early, Hughes is out of the game……

    BUT, we do have Iwakuma pitching, though again, they’re at Yankee Stadium…..

    My conclusion is that we may very well indeed need more runs if Iwakuma doesn’t last 8 innings.

    So I do believe your thinking is rational;)

  30. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 5:04 pm

    If Wells, Overbay, Ibanez and Bay all have good seasons, is that a sign of the apocalypse?

  31. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 5:08 pm

    No. If the Marlins win the World Series, we can assume the end is coming.

  32. bookbook on May 15th, 2013 5:08 pm

    I’m ready to trade Ibanez to the Yankees. The man needs to be playing the lion’s share of his games in this stadium.

  33. thedude1987 on May 15th, 2013 5:17 pm

    So, Montero has thrown out 1 base runner this season and he stumbled and ran back to first. Montero may have a decent arm but he doesnt seem to throw from his ear. He reaches way back. He takes way too long to throw after he receives the ball. It seems like he could work on his pop up time a little. He is just awful at getting rid of the baseball.

  34. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 5:22 pm

    They’ve addressed his pop-up. They gave him a list of things to work on, including that one-knee drop and his throwing motion. Jeff might be onto something with the way he’s being used now, but honestly, it seems like this is a case of trying to teach an old dog new tricks, except he isn’t that old.

  35. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 5:29 pm

    Morse just walked? Maybe the end IS near?

  36. bookbook on May 15th, 2013 5:30 pm

    Don’t look now, but Catricala’s hitting for a 1,000 OPS in his last ten games. If he could re-emerge from a 1.5 year funk…

    Morban’s at 1,185 for the season. His BA is .377. I’d send him to Tacoma to get as many PAs as he can against the toughest possible competition before he injures himself again…

  37. andybrnr on May 15th, 2013 5:34 pm

    Holy heck Raul.

  38. Prozach on May 15th, 2013 5:34 pm

    Well that happened. Again.

  39. msfanmike on May 15th, 2013 5:35 pm

    Hopefully the Yankees will remember this moment around the trading deadline.

    Good job, Raul!

  40. The_Waco_Kid on May 15th, 2013 5:35 pm

    Glad he didn’t retire yet.

  41. pgreyy on May 15th, 2013 5:35 pm

    My wife (Raul’s biggest fan) is the happiest woman in the world right now.

    (Shame that I had so little to do with that.)

  42. Slats on May 15th, 2013 5:35 pm

    Raul!

  43. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 5:35 pm

    Catricala’s problems were primarily in Tacoma, though. He was demoted to Jackson. I’d be surprised if they bumped him up any time soon, unless they ditched Liddi. I would think Miller would be next in line for a promotion.

    Nice job there by Jesus (kidding).

  44. Klatz on May 15th, 2013 5:36 pm

    Sonofa…..

    Raul hates process-based thinking.

  45. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 5:36 pm

    What the heck?. Opposite field?

    What is the horn that blows when Raul homers? Do they do something at Yankee stadium when visitors homer?

  46. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 5:38 pm

    Raul is ours, and you can have him for the right price!

  47. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 5:40 pm

    Actually, after taking a harder look at Miller’s stats, I doubt he’ll be promoted any time soon. Still needs to work on hitting lefties and apparently his fielding. Eight errors on the season at short already. Yikes.

  48. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 5:41 pm

    It’s not Raul, it’s Wedge’s brilliance. His mystical gut told him this would happen.

  49. The_Waco_Kid on May 15th, 2013 5:42 pm

    Paul, that horn is the sound of the entire Bronx booing.

  50. bookbook on May 15th, 2013 5:45 pm

    I wouldnt promote Cat at all this year. Morban, i’d get to AAA asap. Just me.

    Good thing Marc promised to die for Ryan’s Babe Ruth impression, not Raul’s. The guy may just hit that third dinger.

  51. californiamariner on May 15th, 2013 5:48 pm

    It is pretty obvious that the reason for Raul’s outburst has been his desire to get revenge against his old team

  52. The_Waco_Kid on May 15th, 2013 5:49 pm

    I second Morban to AAA

  53. andybrnr on May 15th, 2013 5:50 pm

    I think someone should remind them to save some of these runs for later…

  54. msfanmike on May 15th, 2013 5:50 pm

    Crushed it!!!

  55. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 5:51 pm

    Heard the horn when Seager homered too.

  56. The_Waco_Kid on May 15th, 2013 5:55 pm

    Paul, it’s gotta be the TV. It shows the BNSF logo and says “BNSF Blast”

  57. msfanmike on May 15th, 2013 5:58 pm

    Thanks Steve. Is it rational for me to believe the Mariners have enough runs now to win this game? There is only so much damage that last nights HP umpire can do from 3B tonight.

    I don’t like to get on the umps – cuz I used to be one – but that ass clown was horrible last night. And it didn’t take much to provide the Yankees with the necessary number of assists. A pitch here and a pitch there were enough to do it. And he did it.

  58. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 6:03 pm

    That must be it, guess I wasn’t paying close attention to the TV screen. I was reading with the game on.

  59. Paul B on May 15th, 2013 6:04 pm

    So when does Endy come in?

  60. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 6:16 pm

    Why would he put Endy in?! He’s not likely to hit a home run.

  61. MissouriMariner on May 15th, 2013 6:35 pm

    Endy is in…..allowing Saunders an early shower…

  62. MissouriMariner on May 15th, 2013 6:44 pm

    How does anyone get an infield single when Montero is on base???? Interesting….

  63. MissouriMariner on May 15th, 2013 6:47 pm

    Ackley with his second walk of the day….

  64. jordan on May 15th, 2013 6:49 pm

    3 walks for Ackley is very encouraging.

  65. MissouriMariner on May 15th, 2013 6:50 pm

    3 walk….my bad….Vernon Wells playing Second…Girardi is incredible really…

  66. The_Waco_Kid on May 15th, 2013 6:52 pm

    I’ve never seen a position player come in to pitch

  67. JG on May 15th, 2013 6:56 pm

    Ackley must not have liked Jeff’s post. Loving the walks.

  68. MissouriMariner on May 15th, 2013 6:57 pm

    Nice Win!!!! Nice to see some offense…

  69. juneau_fan on May 15th, 2013 7:53 pm

    Watching the replay knowing the outcome in nice.

  70. Westside guy on May 15th, 2013 8:19 pm

    I couldn’t listen to the game because of work, but I read the box score afterward.

    Why did Chavez replace Saunders later in the game? Is Condor hurt?

  71. msfanmike on May 15th, 2013 8:28 pm

    Saunders did not get hurt. He just hit the showers early. His work for the day was done.

  72. Westside guy on May 15th, 2013 9:13 pm

    Thanks Mike.

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