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.


84 Responses to “Game 87, Mariners at Reds”

  1. 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.

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

    Man the M’s are throwing batting practice…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

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

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

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

    Congrats to Felix and Iwakuma on being all stars!

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

    My bad, didn’t see Iwakuma on there…

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

    Nice catch by Endy there!

  12. 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.

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

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

  14. 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.

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


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

    Mariners baseball!

    Defense doesn’t matter…

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

    Officially amateur hour…

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

    This is what a bad baseball team looks like.

  19. 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.

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

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

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


    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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

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


    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?

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

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

  30. 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.

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

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

  32. 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)

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


    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.,608754

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


    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.

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