Mariners Venture to Vast Baked Terrain of Texas

Matthew Carruth · July 2, 2013 at 10:38 am · Filed Under Mariners 
MARINERS (35-47) ΔMs RANGERS (48-34) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA*) -10.4 (16th) 3.4 -15.1 (20th) Mariners
FIELDING (RBBIP) -16.8 (25th) 2.6 17.1 (7th) Rangers
ROTATION (xRA) 11.1 (11th) -3.1 24.0 (4th) Rangers
BULLPEN (xRA) 4.5 (12th) 1.3 -5.0 (21st) Mariners
OVERALL (RAA) -11.6 (16th) 4.3 20.9 (10th) RANGERS

The last couple days of summer heat in Seattle are just a little taste of what every single day is like in Texas. It’s a miserable thing to endure and I’m glad I don’t have to any more. Best of luck, ball players.

By my numbers the Rangers are basically an average team plus Yu Darvish. However, the Mariners will miss him on this series. Which is likely good news, but it is always entertaining to watch Darvish inexplicably scuffle against the Mariners of all teams. Though that usually only lasts for an inning or two and then he settles down to domination mode. So, nice not seeing ya, Yu.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw- Ct+ Qual+
E Chavez* 54 3.8 .212/.241/.288 2 6 (6) 7 / 4 / 0 / 0 101 104 86
K Seager* 54 3.7 .208/.222/.434 1 12 (10) 5 / 3 / 0 / 3 103 100 113
R Ibanez* 52 4.5 .313/.377/.750 4 14 (11) 7 / 1 / 1 / 6 90 92 131
N Franklin^ 52 3.9 .286/.327/.469 3 9 (7) 9 / 3 / 0 / 2 102 100 135
K Morales^ 48 4.1 .244/.327/.356 3 13 (11) 8 / 2 / 0 / 1 103 85 104
J Smoak^ 38 3.9 .265/.385/.529 4 8 (6) 6 / 0 / 0 / 3 89 98 99
M Zunino 35 3.4 .206/.229/.265 1 8 (4) 5 / 2 / 0 / 0 121 84 111
M Saunders* 28 4.1 .280/.345/.320 2 6 (4) 6 / 1 / 0 / 0 103 101 87
B Ryan 26 3.9 .167/.231/.208 2 7 (7) 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 95 86 120

Okay, Rual Ibanez. He’s now posting at the highest wRC+ of his career. He’s 41 years old and playing full time as a left fielder. In the field, that’s going about as one should expect, horribly.  This after posting a .511 OPS in April. Since then it’s been nearly a 1.000 OPS and somehow, incredulously, Ibanez’s 2013 splits are now 20 OPS points higher versus left-handed pitchers than right-handers.

I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know if he’s going to keep this up. I do know that he’s going to hit 30 home runs because he’s going to play every day from here on out and that he will be re-signed this winter.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope Ibanez is traded this month as he seriously, amazingly, might be worth something to a contending team.

Over the last 365 days, Raul Ibanez has a higher slugging percentage than Albert Pujols.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw- Ct+ Qual+
I Kinsler 57 4.2 .265/.351/.286 6 5 (5) 12 / 1 / 0 / 0 82 119 100
N Cruz 56 3.8 .333/.375/.647 4 11 (9) 9 / 4 / 0 / 4 109 99 103
A Beltre 56 3.6 .255/.286/.327 1 9 (9) 10 / 4 / 0 / 0 121 106 126
E Andrus 49 4.3 .227/.306/.250 5 8 (7) 9 / 1 / 0 / 0 92 113 73
D Murphy* 46 3.6 .256/.326/.349 3 3 (3) 7 / 4 / 0 / 0 107 112 120
A Pierzynski* 46 3.2 .233/.304/.465 3 4 (4) 4 / 4 / 0 / 2 132 109 130
L Martin* 45 3.6 .381/.422/.571 3 11 (10) 12 / 2 / 0 / 2 119 95 116
M Moreland* 38 3.9 .152/.237/.182 4 10 (5) 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 88 90 68
J Profar^ 25 4.7 .182/.320/.364 3 6 (4) 2 / 1 / 0 / 1 95 111 49

Here’s a funny thing, if you look at team wRC+ on FanGraphs, which is like wOBA but park-adjusted and stuff, similar to wOBA* on StatCorner but put on the 100+ scale, the Rangers are at 95, below average. That’s a little surprising to me given their record and general perception, but their success seems to mostly stem from defense and Yu Darvish. Meanwhile, the Mariners wRC+ is 94, just a tick below the Rangers. The Mariners, though they have the similarly awesome Felix and even the lesser acknowledged Iwakuma, are very, very bad at fielding. And also have rotation sink holes in Bonderman, Saunders, etc.

MARINERS ΔMs RANGERS EDGE
INFIELD -2.4 (15th) 2.4 17.3 (5th) Rangers
OUTFIELD -14.5 (25th) 0.1 -0.2 (16th) Rangers
RBBIP 0.316 (25th) -.001 0.298 (7th) Rangers
OVERALL -16.8 (25th) 2.6 17.1 (7th) RANGERS

02 JUL 17:05 – JUSTIN GRIMM vs JOE SAUNDERS*

Joe Saunders goes from Safeco to Texas in the midst of a summer heat wave. This should be fun.

03 JUL 17:05 – DEREK HOLLAND* vs FELIX HERNANDEZ

04 JUL 17:05 – MARTIN PEREZ* vs HISASHI IWAKUMA

Over the past 365 days, Iwakuma’s xFIP ranks 23rd in all of baseball. His ERA is fifth best, thanks to a very low .256 BABIP. Hisashi Iwakuma has been more deserving of attention for how he’s pitched as a starter, but not quite as much as his ERA indicates.

Reliever BF Str+ nBB Ct- K(sw) GB+ HR Qual- LI
B Beavan 66 113 2 110 11 (8) 94 2 101 0.3
Y Medina 55 96 5 103 11 (9) 137 0 82 2.2
T Wilhelmsen 45 102 4 100 10 (7) 66 2 120 1.6
D Farquhar 44 101 4 90 13 (11) 84 2 100 1.6
O Perez* 39 108 3 88 15 (11) 63 1 90 1.9
C Capps 33 95 3 104 7 (6) 79 4 114 1.0
C Furbush* 32 102 3 85 14 (11) 90 0 116 1.2

Blake Beavan as a starter in 2011 and 2012 had about a 10.5% strikeout rate, a 5% walk rate and a 38% ground ball rate.

Blake Beavan as mostly a reliever this season has about the same walk and ground ball rates, but his strikeout rate is up to 15%. Why? Perhaps it’s from the very large decrease in fastball usage, down about 10-15 points from his previous levels.

Reliever BF Str+ nBB Ct- K(sw) GB+ HR Qual- LI
R Wolf 58 107 3 119 3 (2) 120 0 72 1.6
R Ross* 57 104 7 105 18 (12) 99 1 93 1.7
N Cotts* 55 103 5 95 17 (14) 103 0 99 1.6
T Scheppers 47 92 6 111 8 (6) 117 1 103 2.0
J Nathan 40 103 3 98 10 (8) 59 0 99 2.6
K McClellan 34 91 5 116 2 (1) 67 1 147 0.7
J Frasor 31 97 3 98 9 (8) 143 0 75 1.2
J Ortiz* 21 103 1 109 1 (1) 107 3 87 0.3

Comments

28 Responses to “Mariners Venture to Vast Baked Terrain of Texas”

  1. bfgboy on July 2nd, 2013 11:47 am

    Am I alone in wondering what the heck the M’s are doing off the field? Virtually EVERY team has announced international signings today, EXCEPT the M’s. The single best destination for one of our over-the-hill starters, the Orioles, just overpaid for Scott Feldman. Where are they?

  2. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2013 11:50 am

    I would certainly be less annoyed about Raul if he were DHing much of the time, which won’t happen thanks to the four other 1B/DH types also on the roster.

    Yeah, I know that’s not an original comment – but my annoyance with the roster construction seems to be going up as the season progresses. It’s like a scab that stays itchy and refuses to heal.

  3. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2013 11:51 am

    Bfgboy, the front office is probably too busy negotiating Ibañez’s extension to pay attention to trivial matters like trades or international signings.

  4. scraps on July 2nd, 2013 12:05 pm

    Seattle’s fans, most of them, will howl if Ibanez is traded. (I know that most front offices don’t pay attention about fanbases [mostly], but I think the Mariners’ front office is a little different.)

  5. phineasphreak on July 2nd, 2013 12:06 pm

    I like that Saunders avg is going up (a little). I love what Raul is doing, and I wish him the best when when trade him to a contending team this month (please). I hope to see Kendrys’ SLG % increase as he begins to feel better. I really would like him on the team as our primary DH moving forward. Most of all, I really like that slash line from Smoak (I still believe). If he could take the offseason and pack on some more muscle and lose stomach of that tummy, maybe his fly balls would STOP DYING AT THE WARNING TRACK.

  6. scraps on July 2nd, 2013 12:10 pm

    couple days of summer heat in Seattle

    And I have to move the last two and the next three or four days. Uggh.

  7. Paul B on July 2nd, 2013 12:10 pm

    Hitting edge: Mariners

    WTH? This must be some alternate universe I blundered into.

  8. scraps on July 2nd, 2013 12:14 pm

    Seriously, I think Smoak is doing what he can on putting on some muscle etc. The front office presumably will frown on Smoak if he doesn’t.

  9. scraps on July 2nd, 2013 12:23 pm

    You know what alternate universe I’ve stumbled into? wOBA Differential: Mariners -0.013. Yankees -0.016.

  10. miscreant on July 2nd, 2013 12:59 pm

    The Mariners have already scheduled 4 Raul Ibanez bobblehead nights for the 2014 season. 1999 Raul, 2006 Raul, 2013 Raul and Future Raul, a reasonable prediction of Raul in his role as the 2017 Mariners starting DH.

    Don’t wait!!! Buy your tickets now!!! These things will disappear like hotcakes!!!!

  11. naviomelo on July 2nd, 2013 1:23 pm

    Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but overnight low temperatures are forecast to challenge all-time records here in Texas during this series. It’s (thankfully) unseasonably cool.

  12. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2013 1:44 pm

    All-time record lows for July in Texas… so what does that mean, it might get down to 90? :-D

  13. Eastside Suds on July 2nd, 2013 1:47 pm

    I think we all know that Rauuuul isn’t going anywhere. His current pace and somewhat surprising durability is definitely putting butts in the seats. Maybe not tens of thousands, but it definitely is drawing folks to the Safe. He has a chance to break a pretty cool record on an otherwise sh*^# team.

    BUT, the M’s brass had better jettison the flotsam and do their jobs as far as getting something for the mediocre players that can be dealt. The “wanted sign” had better say, “OUTFIELDERS NEEDED” in big BOLD letters.

  14. californiamariner on July 2nd, 2013 2:04 pm

    We are embarrassingly desperate for OF help. A lot of people on here (myself included) have blasted management for not going after Swisher. However, to my surprise he has actually been not that great this year. Sure, I’d still like to have him, but I didn’t realize how mediocre he has been this season.

  15. lokiforever on July 2nd, 2013 2:28 pm

    CA Mariner

    By WAR, a pretty good proxy for value of a player’s contribution, Swisher is more than twice as valued as Ibanez (1.3 WAR vs. 0.5 War), and is oodles above the other part-timers roaming the grass out there.
    I still wish we had Swisher.

  16. californiamariner on July 2nd, 2013 2:35 pm

    Right, Swisher still has value. My point is that he is slugging just under .400. His wRC+ is 107. Is that worth 4 or 5 years at 15 mil or so per year (he signed with CLE for 4/56 mil)? I know he’ll likely perform better than that going forward.

  17. Choo on July 2nd, 2013 3:21 pm

    The Mariners DID go after Swisher, but he turned Seattle down. He was scheduled to visit Seattle and changed his plans at the last minute in order to visit Cleveland. Those stories were abundant at the time and are still accessible if you Google them.

  18. stevemotivateir on July 2nd, 2013 3:28 pm

    ^Shannon Drayer posted a piece that addresses that. I can’t remember if it was her interview, or if it was with someone else and she simply re-posted it, but Swisher made it clear he wasn’t ruling Seattle out. In fact, he spoke highly of the possibility.

    You really can’t read into schedule changes and crap like that much. The bottom line is that if Seattle wanted him, they would have made a decent offer. I haven’t heard anything about an offer, but if there was, I’d love to know what it was. Maybe they made a firm offer that was ridiculously low, so he simply put them off?

  19. Choo on July 2nd, 2013 3:38 pm

    You are right. Few people know exactly how it went down. Seattle had allegedly prepared an offer to present during his visit. Perhaps they shared the numbers with him prior, and that is what prompted him to cancel. Or maybe those rumors about his wife refusing to live in Seattle were true. Perhaps Seattle’s offer was the same as Cleveland’s, but he decided he would rather play in his home state.

    Whatever happened, I think it’s a little harsh to criticize the M’s for not going after Swisher – they did. I guess we can criticize them for not going after him harder, but the result may have been a 2008-style overpay, something this FO has done a good job of (narrowly*) avoiding.

    * Josh Hamilton.

  20. lokiforever on July 2nd, 2013 3:48 pm

    Quite right regarding Swisher. At $14 million/year, he needs to be at 3.0 to 3.5 WAR to be worth it. And if he’s already fading, career curve decline, this contract may be an albatross.

  21. stevemotivateir on July 2nd, 2013 3:50 pm

    Well, he grew up in West Virginia. He was born in Columbus and went to school there (OSU), not Cleveland, so I don’t know if there was much of a location factor. It’s closer, sure, but it’s Cleveland!

    A half-assed offer isn’t a real offer, and I’m sure there’s tons of those every year. Until we know (if we ever get word!) what that figure was, assuming there was one, I wouldn’t say with certainty that the M’s went after him (realistically).

    Given where the Indians organization sat at the time, it’s really hard to imagine Cleveland looking that much more appealing than Seattle. Personally, I think it was more likely that Cleveland simply offered significantly more $.

  22. stevemotivateir on July 2nd, 2013 4:00 pm

    @lokiforever

    That may very well prove to be the case, though it’s still early.

    But the outfield we ended up with still sucks and it was more of a stretch to think Ibanez, Morse, and Bay would produce as solid outfield options.

    Real anxious to see how it’s addressed moving forward. Maybe nervous is a better descriptive word?!

  23. bfgboy on July 2nd, 2013 4:16 pm

    Dream Outfield in 2014: Choo in LF, Ellsbury in CF, Stanton in RF, Ackley and Saunders on bench.

    Hopeful outfield in 2014: Ackley in LF, Ellsbury in CF, Castallenos in RF, Saunders & Bay on bench.

    Probable Outfield in 2014: Raul in LF, Ackley in CF, Morse in RF, Saunders and Bay on bench.

    Ugh…

  24. Choo on July 2nd, 2013 4:37 pm

    The 2013 FA OF class was weak, and there have been a number of disappointments:

    I was sad Seattle didn’t go after Melky Cabrera, as risky as he may have been. Still, he has been worth -0.4 WAR. Bullet dodged?

    I was also hoping Angel Pagan would hit the market before he re-signed with the Giants for 4/$40. He has been worth 0.5 WAR so far. Bullet dodged?

    Like most everybody, I was bummed when Swisher signed with Cleveland for 4/$56. But at 1.3 WAR (a lot of which is tied to baserunning which has never been his strong suit), he will need to pick it up in the 2nd half to earn his dinero. Bullet dodged?

    Michael Bourn was just Figginsy enough to make most M’s fans nervous. Still, he was an option before signing with Cleveland for 4/$48. At 2.0 WAR and with aging speed, I am not sure I like that deal either. Bullet dodged?

    Shane Victrorino? 3/$39 and at 2.0 WAR so far, not horrible. Still seems scary on the back end, though.

    Cody Ross at 3/$25? No thanks.

    And then there was Josh Hamilton for a gazzilion dollars. Eesh. Nuclear bomb dodged.

    None of those figures involve buyouts and the loss of the #12 pick, either. I’m not saying the M’s couldn’t have done better this off-season – they most certainly should have. But, man, as hard as it has been to watch our OF this season, I’m not sure I would trade that experience for another taste of 2008.

  25. stevemotivateir on July 2nd, 2013 4:53 pm

    There’s also the Upton trade that fell through. He has positive WAR (Similar to Swisher’s), but for that package?

    Cabrera and Pagan were certainly on my radar as well. The entire Giants outfield was on my radar! I was actually a little bummed when Young went to Oakland as well.

    But yeah, with the early stages of hindsight, a lot of the players available seem like a stretch for the prices they commanded (or simply by their performances). At the same time, I’m still not convinced guys like Swisher and Bourn weren’t the right options.

    Time will tell. There’s certainly reason to suspect we could have been screwed regardless, though. Really hope 2014 isn’t a repeat.

  26. djw on July 2nd, 2013 5:48 pm

    is definitely putting butts in the seats.

    Evidence please. They’re on pace for virtually identical attendance numbers as the Raul-less 2012 squad, and the vastly superior weather of 2013 + mildly improved local economy would seem to lead to an expectation of a slight improvement, given the similarity in the overall quality of the on-field product. It’s possible, I suppose, but use of the word “definitely” is obviously unwarranted. It’s an entirely speculative claim.

  27. djw on July 2nd, 2013 5:56 pm

    Michael Bourn was just Figginsy enough to make most M’s fans nervous. Still, he was an option before signing with Cleveland for 4/$48. At 2.0 WAR and with aging speed, I am not sure I like that deal either. Bullet dodged?

    This is silly. He’s doing exactly what he always does, and it on pace for another ~4 WAR season, despite missing about 25 games. He’s been worth almost 20 WAR the last 4 years, and he’s exactly the same player this year. His outfield defense is particularly needed by the Mariners this year, as is someone for the lead-off slot. His contract was a mild bargain the off-season, and nothing that has happened so far this year has changed that.

    Also, the “Figginsy” thing is nonsense and a silly way to think about player acquisitions. An organization can’t swear off all players similar to anyone who ever didn’t work out for them. Plays like Figgins and Bourn don’t actually age worse than other players as a group. Figgins’ career arc was an outlier, and has nothing to do with Bourn.

  28. Gary Gramson on July 2nd, 2013 10:22 pm

    Considering how every trade in recent memory(sans Kendrys) has worked out for the M’s, I’m not sad they haven’t made any trades yet. Dave has always said it’s best to try and win as many games as possible, and I cannot remember the last useful player picked the M’s picked up for an aging veteran. I do however remember Jesse Foppert.

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