Game 87, Mariners at Reds

marc w · July 6, 2013 at 11:25 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Jeremy Bonderman vs. Mat Latos, 4:10pm uh make that 1:10pm pacific

It’s been raining like crazy all morning in Cincinnati, but it may hold off long enough to get the game in. If they play, the M’s face right-hander Mat Latos, the ex-Padre who was solid in his first year in Cinci (and Great American Ballpark) in 2012, and is enjoying an even better 2013 season.

In spacious Petco Park, Latos used a good, hard four-seam fastball along with a blizzard of sliders. He mixed in the occasional change and curve, and also threw a sinker occasionally, but his bread and butter was a mid-90s four seamer with essentially zero horizontal movement. Since moving to the not-so-spacious GABP, he’s thrown quite a few more sinkers instead, and now the four-seamer is reserved mostly for RHBs. Latos’ fastball is really somewhat strange, as his extreme over-the-top delivery gives it slight arm-side movement. 99.9% of pitchers have glove-side run on their fastballs – more on sinkers, less on four-seamers – and that’s why pitches like cutters can be effective. Similar velocity but an opposite break is a good way to confuse hitters. Latos’ fastball has about 1″ of horizontal movement *away* from righties, which looks an awful lot like the 2″-3″ of horizontal movement his slider gets. The trade-off is that his over-the-top, old-school pitching machine delivery generates a lot of “rise,” or vertical movement – this can minimize platoon splits and occasionally generate more whiffs. His release point is essentially directly in the center of the plate, and well above 7′ – it’d be interesting to see if this straight-line-from-the-rubber-to-the-plate approach gets him more called strikes, as umpires don’t have to guess where a pitch coming in from the right or left side crossed the plate.*

Latos’ change-up isn’t a great pitch, so he uses a fair number of sliders to lefties as well. That’s part of the reason why, despite his over-the-top fastball, he’s always had normal platoon splits. His FB’s generated good results against lefties, but his sinker and change have not. He’s given up 5 HRs to lefties this year, all on the the sinker and change. Thanks to his slider, he’s been a very effective pitcher against lefties, with about 21% Ks since moving to Cincinnati, and a good walk rate. Like Mike Leake, a portion of his success this year is due to incremenetal improvement in his K:BB and a big improvement in the ever-volatile HR/FB rate, but Latos is legit: he’s got a BABIP over .300 and a FIP under 3, pitching is a tough park. The M’s have a challenge today, and they’ll be without Nick Franklin, who bunted a ball off of his knee in yesterday’s game and looked like he was moving in pain the rest of the game. Brad Miller slides to 2B and Brendan Ryan starts at SS.

1: Miller, 2B
2: Chavez, RF
3: Seager, 3B
4: Morales, 1B
5: Saunders, LF
6: Zunino, C
7: Ackley, CF
8: Ryan, SS
9/SP: Bonderman

Didn’t end up making a separate post about it, so I should mention that the big international signing day, July 2nd, recently passed, and the M’s have signed a couple of Latin American prospects. Baseball America ranked OF/IF Greifer Andrade the #21 prospect eligible to sign this year, and the M’s signed the Venezuelan last week. The M’s also nabbed Dominican catcher Onil Pena for just under $400,000. Just as with the amateur draft, each team has a bonus pool – the amount they can spend to sign players, with fairly severe penalties for exceeding it. This year, the bonus pools are based in part on a team’s record in the previous year, so the Astros had a lot to spend and the Nats/Yanks having quite a bit less. In a new twist, the Collective Bargaining Agreement assigns values to slots within a team’s bonus pool (more like the draft) as opposed to an undifferentiated mass of money – and, importantly, allows teams to trade those slots. The Cubs made the first trade for international bonus space when they sent Scott Feldman to Baltimore for Pedro Strop and Jake Arrieta. The cash coming to Chicago allowed them to get the top two international free agents available, OF Eloy Jimenez and SS Gleyber Torres. If you’re interested in the international market, you’re probably already reading Ben Badler’s coverage at BA -it’s outstanding. And don’t miss Dave’s post at Fangraphs on the precedent-setting Feldman deal.

Erasmo Ramirez got the win last night for Tacoma, but had one of his worst outings of the year in doing so. The Nicaraguan walked 6 in 5 1/3 IP, gave up 7 hits and lot of loud contact, and struck out 4. He left having surrendered 2 R, and that moved to 3 when Bobby LaFromboise gave up a HR to the first batter he faced. His command was off the whole night, and he looked like he didn’t trust his change-up, going with the breaking ball instead even to lefty hitters. Oh well. Brandon Maurer starts tonight for Tacoma at Salt Lake.

* This theory is hurt by Felix Hernandez’s history. Felix also throws a straight four-seam FB with very little horizontal movement, and he’s famously one of the most victimized pitchers out there – he gets an inordinate number of called balls on pitches located within the pitch fx strike zone. Some of that has to do with the crew of catchers the M’s have employed, and some of it has to do with his darting, devilish change-up and sinker.

Comments

84 Responses to “Game 87, Mariners at Reds”

  1. DarkKnight1680 on July 6th, 2013 11:35 am

    Back to back games against RHPs without Smoak in the lineup, despite being a better 1B than Morales and hitting 287/393/462 vs RHPs, while Morales is 259/312/429.

  2. seattlesonsofbaseball on July 6th, 2013 11:59 am

    Brad Miller is going to be your next SS… but to get Brendan Ryan in, you shove Brad to 2nd base. Ryan can play 2nd base, did it when we first traded for him and had Jack Wilson at SS. Winning these games mean less then the development of the young talent now. Nick is our 2nd baseman, Brad Miller is our SS… Brendan Ryan is now a defensive sub… TREAT HIM THAT WAY, WEDGE! Stop moving the young guys all over… move the worthless veterans who can actually play both positions.

  3. californiamariner on July 6th, 2013 12:30 pm

    One good piece of news: Pryor is scheduled to throw a bullpen today and a simulated game on Wednesday.

  4. Will on July 6th, 2013 12:31 pm

    “Brad Miller is going to be your next SS… but to get Brendan Ryan in, you shove Brad to 2nd base. Ryan can play 2nd base, did it when we first traded for him and had Jack Wilson at SS. Winning these games mean less then the development of the young talent now. Nick is our 2nd baseman, Brad Miller is our SS… Brendan Ryan is now a defensive sub… TREAT HIM THAT WAY, WEDGE! Stop moving the young guys all over… move the worthless veterans who can actually play both positions.”

    Ryan hasn’t played second base since he played a little bit there with the Cardinals back in 2009. Why is it that big of a deal if Miller plays second while Franklin is out for a day or two? In three weeks, Ryan will be out of the picture.

  5. Will on July 6th, 2013 12:32 pm

    By the way, does anyone know how to use a quote in the comments with the blue line like you guys use? I don’t know how to use italics or anything either.

  6. GhostofMarinersPast on July 6th, 2013 12:33 pm

    *seattlesonsofbaseball

    I’m no fan of wedge, and am excited to see him go, but this makes sense because Ryan is hands down a better defender. So you put the better defender at the tougher position. I think that it’s safe to say miller is our SS of the future, but when your super sub is an elite defender you have to use that to your advantage

  7. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 12:49 pm

    Will, you have to enclose the quoted text inside of blockquote tags. Type it exactly like this:

    <blockquote>text to be quoted</blockquote>

    I wonder if there’s a reason Wedge is using Saunders in the corners right now? He’s definitely a better CF than Ackley or Chavez.

  8. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 1:18 pm

    SEAGER!!

  9. CoolHwhip on July 6th, 2013 1:20 pm

    Seager ate his Wheaties this morning.

  10. smb on July 6th, 2013 1:25 pm

    Thanks for the update on international signees, marc!!

  11. terryoftacoma on July 6th, 2013 1:29 pm

    Liddi to the Orioles.

  12. tablesetter on July 6th, 2013 1:32 pm

    I wouldn’t fault Wedge for keeping Ackley in center right now. I agree that Saunders is much better, but as a new outfielder, Ackley may only be acclimated to center right now, and thrusting him into a corner may prove to be more than he can handle, at least in the short term.

  13. smb on July 6th, 2013 1:34 pm

    via waiver claim or what?

  14. smb on July 6th, 2013 1:35 pm

    Ahh

    The Mariners have traded third baseman/first baseman Alex Liddi and the Mariners’ international signing slot No. 3 for the Orioles’ international signing slot No. 2.

    Read more here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners/2013/07/06/mariners-trade-alex-liddi-to-the-orioles/#storylink=cpy

  15. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 1:36 pm

    This whole blather about the sequence that led to Saunders’ sacrifice fly and RBI last night being their “most important run of the year” really drives home that Eric Wedge’s understanding of baseball is 40 years out of date.

  16. smb on July 6th, 2013 1:36 pm

    must be someone we wanted with that 2nd pick..anyone have any idea who?

  17. terryoftacoma on July 6th, 2013 1:36 pm

    We traded Liddi and our No. 3 international slot for their no. 2.

  18. Breadbaker on July 6th, 2013 1:37 pm

    Ackley at bat included a called first strike, a swinging second strike and a called third strike. This thing is broken.

  19. GhostofMarinersPast on July 6th, 2013 1:39 pm

    I really enjoy watching Seager play. Offense and defense. This offseason I had an opportunity to talk with Z. He was candid in discussing a trade with me. He told me the other team had a very strong interest in Seager. I was all in favor of including Seager in this deal. Jack straight up laughed at me, and said how good of a player Kyle was. I was convinced we had seen a career year out of Seager. Turns out the big man was right. Glad I was wrong, and he knew it.
    Not that my opinion mattered, but it was a very fun exchange that I enjoyed

  20. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 1:50 pm

    We should hold onto Seager forever – quality third basemen don’t grow on trees.

    I’ve followed this team for a few decades now, and I can remember a lot of sub-par guys playing at the hot corner…

  21. Kazinski on July 6th, 2013 2:14 pm

    Bonderman looks a lot better when he can strike out a few batters. He looks a lot better when he’s not allowing 4 doubles an inning too.

  22. californiamariner on July 6th, 2013 2:22 pm

    SCARED OF BRENDAN RYAN

  23. Will on July 6th, 2013 2:32 pm

    You can’t just serve up pitches right down the middle just because he’s a pitcher… Goodness gracious.

  24. Sports on a Shtick on July 6th, 2013 2:34 pm

    When it rains…

  25. GhostofMarinersPast on July 6th, 2013 2:35 pm

    Arrrgh. A decent arm in CF and Latos is gunned by a mile. Not good

  26. Will on July 6th, 2013 2:36 pm

    Can we can Bonderman already? He’s not good at all…

  27. msfanmike on July 6th, 2013 2:36 pm

    Well, that backfired in spectacular fashion.

    Cutoff man (Morales) was late getting to the back of the mound and it made Ackley’s throw look worse than it was … and it cost the Mariners another base.

  28. californiamariner on July 6th, 2013 2:37 pm

    Uh Ackley is going to have to improve that throw.

  29. Will on July 6th, 2013 2:38 pm

    Ackley is a future c

  30. GhostofMarinersPast on July 6th, 2013 2:40 pm

    *will
    Kind of scared to ask what c stands for there

  31. Will on July 6th, 2013 2:43 pm

    Haha, accidentally pressed enter on my phone. I meant to say he’s a future corner outfielder or first basemen, because his arm is too weak for CF.

  32. gopilots70 on July 6th, 2013 2:44 pm

    lots of managers like to see the pitcher leading off an inning. lots of managers would be wary of putting the tying run on base. lots of managers would take their chances with a .196 hitting catcher knowing that anything other than a home still keeps the lead with the pitcher up

  33. Kazinski on July 6th, 2013 2:44 pm

    I haven’t seen anything from Ackley that indicates he can play centerfield, is routes to the ball look terrible, he doesn’t have great speed, and he has a second baseman’s arm.

    Ackley could be a decent LF but I’ve seen enough of him in Center.

  34. Breadbaker on July 6th, 2013 2:46 pm

    No, Blowers, the main thing is to get a hit. “Moving the runner along” is a potential byproduct of working the right way to do that.

    And Bill James called bullshit on the “walk the guy in front of the pitcher to get to the pitcher” idea about 30 years ago. Wedge (and Baker) clearly didn’t get the memo. Even though it “worked” for Cincinnati, wouldn’t they have preferred getting Bonderman out with the first out this inning rather than having Brad Miller lead off and walk?

  35. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 2:47 pm

    I (obviously, I guess) agree with Kazinski – but further, making Ackley learn a difficult new position while he’s still a work in progress with his bat is yet another stupid decision made by Eric Wedge.

  36. don52656 on July 6th, 2013 2:48 pm

    Someone is going to have to explain the logic of intentionally walking a weak-hitting backup catcher with absolutely no power when you are up by 2 with 2 out and a man on second.

    It seems to me that the downside of pitching to Hanigan is that he gets a hit and scores the runner on second. The chance of a home run is extremely small. If Hanigan does get a hit, then you probably stay out of a big inning by retiring the pitcher.

    Instead, by walking Hanigan, you put the tying run on base and if you don’t retire the pitcher, you are facing the top of the order.

    Isn’t the smart move to pitch to Hanigan? Then if you retire him and end the inning, you are facing the pitcher to lead off the inning.

    I absolutely hate Wedge’s love for the intentional walk.

  37. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 2:50 pm

    Eric Wedge and Dusty Baker are truly kindred spirits. They are immovable objects fixed to some point in time, decades ago, while the rest of baseball has moved on.

  38. msfanmike on July 6th, 2013 2:51 pm

    Baserunning error by Miller costs the Mariners run – at least to this point. Now need a two out hit.

  39. smb on July 6th, 2013 2:53 pm

    frustrating game already….ugghhh

  40. californiamariner on July 6th, 2013 2:54 pm

    I agree with don. That move was horrible

  41. msfanmike on July 6th, 2013 2:56 pm

    Lots of K’s: check
    Can’t hit with RISP: check
    Questionable managerial logic: check
    Bad baserunning: check
    Missed cut off man/weak throw: check

    And the game is only half over.

  42. gopilots70 on July 6th, 2013 3:00 pm

    And Dusty Baker’s move was in a completely different situation. They are behind by two and the pitcher, Bonderman, coming up just got his first at bat in six years.

  43. gopilots70 on July 6th, 2013 3:01 pm

    Really beginning to believe that Eric Wedge will make the same move no matter what the score, inning, situation, or batter at the plate==offense or defense

  44. Sports on a Shtick on July 6th, 2013 3:05 pm

    And that’s probably curtains for Bonderman as a Mariner. Or at least it should be.

  45. Kazinski on July 6th, 2013 3:07 pm

    It worked out so well last time, lets try it again.

    The Mariners lead the AL in giving IBB’s.

  46. msfanmike on July 6th, 2013 3:07 pm

    Yeah, that looks like a HS arm strength in center field.

  47. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 3:10 pm

    I was referring to their decision-making track records and stated philosophies rather than to specific moves during this game.

    Dusty Baker and Eric Wedge are cut from the same cloth. Neither one really has any business being allowed to manage a baseball team in this millennium.

  48. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 3:14 pm

    Way to go Brendan!

  49. Will on July 6th, 2013 3:21 pm

    I’m pretty sure we can’t get a hit with RISP, guys…

  50. Breadbaker on July 6th, 2013 3:27 pm

    While I agree that the M’s typical “let’s have someone learn two things at once” rule (see Figgins, Chone) shouldn’t have been applied to Ackley in the majors this year, ultimately that means Carlos Peguero would be on the roster right now, because when Guti went down there was no other outfielder even close to ready and on the 40 man.

  51. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 3:31 pm

    Well they could’ve chosen to let Ackley play one of the corners, which are significantly easier positions to defend.

  52. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 3:32 pm

    Man the M’s are throwing batting practice…

  53. californiamariner on July 6th, 2013 3:34 pm

    Wedge, being the genius that he is, decides to bring in Capps, the guy we all know has struggled to get lefties out, to face guys like Choo, Votto, and eventually Bruce.

  54. Breadbaker on July 6th, 2013 3:36 pm

    If they’d let him stay in Tacoma until September and just let him learn the position, that might have been better for his longterm development. But we have no one in a position of authority who is thinking of any year but this one.

  55. bigsmooth on July 6th, 2013 3:39 pm

    Not only is Seager the best bat on the squad…how about that play he made to end the last ending defensively by picking off Hanahan. He is a rock.

  56. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 3:41 pm

    I’m a little worried that they may be attempting to “showcase” Ackley’s versatility with the idea they could trade him.

  57. Will on July 6th, 2013 3:41 pm

    We need to all write letters/e-mails to the owners of the Mariners asking for Zduriencik and Wedge to get fired, because I think the consensus around here is that we all want this to happen…

  58. Will on July 6th, 2013 3:45 pm

    In other news, Iwakuma missed the All-Star game.

  59. californiamariner on July 6th, 2013 3:46 pm

    Congrats to Felix and Iwakuma on being all stars!

  60. Will on July 6th, 2013 3:48 pm

    My bad, didn’t see Iwakuma on there…

  61. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 3:48 pm

    Nice catch by Endy there!

  62. californiamariner on July 6th, 2013 3:51 pm

    So they keep talking on the broadcast about how they’d like to see Raul and Perez make the all star team (lol not happening) but that’s a little disrespectful that they don’t even mention the name of Kyle Seager.

  63. Will on July 6th, 2013 3:53 pm

    Exactly, California. Seager only has 3.1 WAR compared to Ibanez’ 0.8 mark… pathetic.

  64. Breadbaker on July 6th, 2013 3:55 pm

    Lots of guys on 4th place teams that don’t score runs get All-Star slots having the season Raul is having, so long as they don’t have any other players on the team. Because someone has to. But we’re quite fortunate to have two All-Stars; no way we were getting three.

  65. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 4:09 pm

    Ugh.

  66. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 4:14 pm

    Mariners baseball!

    Defense doesn’t matter…

  67. bigsmooth on July 6th, 2013 4:14 pm

    Officially amateur hour…

  68. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 4:19 pm

    This is what a bad baseball team looks like.

  69. sawsatch on July 6th, 2013 4:24 pm

    We need outfielders. Perez could be dealt to a team like Detroit who needs a closer and/or packaged with other players to acquire outfield talent.
    I’m afraid that Perez won’t be dealt because that would mean more losses, scary to the GM and FM.

  70. Breadbaker on July 6th, 2013 4:25 pm

    Our last Tigers trade didn’t work out so good.

  71. Woodcutta on July 6th, 2013 4:37 pm

    I was wondering how great of a month Puig had so I looked at WAR and compared it to the other four players us fans can vote for the last spot on the NL All-Star team. Here’s the breakdown…

    Puig – 2.4 (0.1 dWAR)
    Freddie Freeman – 2.4 (-0.2 dWAR)
    Hunter Pence – 2.2 (-0.6 dWAR)
    Ian Desmond – 2.7 (0.3 dWAR)
    Adrian Gonzalez – 2.0 (-0.1 dWAR)

    I was wondering what you guys think of Puig potentially being on this year’s All Star team.

  72. Woodcutta on July 6th, 2013 4:40 pm

    I wonder if the Marlins would part with one of Ozuna/Yelich/Marisnick. One of those outfielders would greatly improve the current M’s outfield.

  73. Woodcutta on July 6th, 2013 4:46 pm

    I am watching the Giants/Dodgers game and the Giants hit out of order in the 1st inning. To make it even worse, Gregor Blanco was on third base when Posey hit for Sandoval and lined a single to drive him in. At least we haven’t seen the M’s do that yet.

  74. smb on July 6th, 2013 4:47 pm

    I don’t really agree with Puig’s selection, except for the fact he probably helps their team based on how well he’s playing currently, but he has too few games under his belt for my tastes. But I’m not at all burned up about it. I’m more disappointed Franklin didn’t make it than upset Puig did.

    edit: Woodcutta–what happens when that occurs? Anything, rules-wise?

  75. Woodcutta on July 6th, 2013 4:59 pm

    smb,

    The team that hits out of order is given an out and the runner goes back to where they were. Then, they hit in order the rest of the game. So in this case, Posey’s hit was wiped away and the Giants were given a second out. Blanco went back to 3rd and Posey hit in his correct spot in the lineup which meant he stayed at the plate to hit.

  76. smb on July 6th, 2013 5:02 pm

    thanks! I’ve seen a lot happen in baseball, flubbed counts, strange bad calls, balls getting stuck in interesting places, odd and sometimes hilarious foreign objects invading the field…but interestingly enough I don’t think I’ve ever seen batters hit out of order outside of a Little League game.

  77. Breadbaker on July 6th, 2013 5:05 pm

    So long as the All-Star game is played so “everyone can play” including the mandatory Astros and Marlins players, and they are as likely to be interviewing someone in the dugout as that player be involved in the game, I will consider it a glorified spring training game and not give a hoot who is playing.

  78. gopilots70 on July 6th, 2013 6:50 pm

    smb,

    I seem to remember the Mariners batting out of turn once. If my fading memory is even partially accurate. I believe that it was against a Billy Martin team and Billy waited until the a key situation in the game and then protested and got the out.

    And I think that Maury Wills was the M’s manager.

    I could be confusing this with the time that Maury Wills was caught altering the dimensions of the batters box.

    Any help any M’s historians?

  79. smb on July 6th, 2013 7:33 pm

    oh god I’d love if someone remembers more about that…thanks for sharing

  80. sawsatch on July 6th, 2013 7:34 pm

    Breadbaker – You’re so right. Pitcher for outfielder
    didn’t work so well last time.
    If at first you don’t succeed; maybe you should give up.

  81. sawsatch on July 6th, 2013 7:35 pm

    Unless you’re a competent GM that is. Then, by all means full speed ahead.

  82. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 8:34 pm

    After 87 games…

    2013 Mariners: 38-49 RS 322, RA 387 (diff -65)
    2012 Mariners: 36-51 RS 337, RA 365 (diff -28)

  83. gopilots70 on July 6th, 2013 11:44 pm

    smb,

    Could not locate anything about the M’s batting out of turn, but I did find this hilarious Steve Rudman article from 1981 about Maury Wills’ reign as M’s skipper.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1955&dat=19810512&id=xN0hAAAAIBAJ&sjid=56AFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6009,608754

  84. gopilots70 on July 7th, 2013 12:17 am

    smb,

    Well, I did find something and, believe it or not, it was the Seattle Pilots flub that I remember. (Possibly from reading “Ball Four”)

    The Mariners actually batted out of order in 1980 and 1983. This site lists many of the times it has happened in MLB.

    http://retrosheet.org/outturn.htm

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