Game 31, Mariners at Athletics
Roenis Elias vs. Jesse Chavez, 7:05pm
More on last night’s prospect showdown later. Tonight, it’s a meeting between two of the least likely effective starters. Chavez has been a so-so to worse reliever for years, and Elias has been a so-so starter in the minor leagues – a guy whose path to the big leagues depended on a rash of injuries to starters, their back-ups, and the depth behind those guys.
Elias “succeeded” somehow with a 15:11 K:BB ratio by limiting hard contact and home runs. In his last two starts, though, his K:BB ratio’s up to 16:5. It’s impossible to know what to make of Elias or his seeming transformation in the past ten-fifteen days: he’s a tabula rasa, and apparently most of the data we had on him wasn’t all that predictive. He’s learning on the job, and while he’ll stumble every now and then, he looks capable of infinitely more than I would’ve thought back in February. I say “infinitely” advisedly, as I tried to look up his ZiPS projection from this spring. There wasn’t one. You can only project so many players, and Anthony Fernandez was on the 40-man and all… I checked the Steamer projections, but he had all of one inning.
Chavez DID have projections, and they were awful. 0.2 WAR by ZiPS, 0.3 by Steamer. He’d previously been a control-challenged fastball/slider guy, but a shift to the cutter seemed to help him harness his stuff a bit better in 2013. Still, you wouldn’t have pegged Chavez to be the A’s best pitcher through a month plus, even with Sonny Gray’s emergence. Damn it.
1: Saunders, RF
2: Jones, CF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Hart, DH
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Seager, 3B
7: Ackley, LF
8: Zunino, C
9: Miller, SS
Mariano Rivera’s book apparently had some less-than-flattering comments about Robbie Cano. First his hitting coach, then the team’s HOF closer…we’ll see what Jeter says about is erstwhile DP partner after he retires. Clearly, people didn’t care for certain aspects of Cano’s preparation/hustle/whatever, though I’m still struggling to figure out how it cost them runs/games.