Game 38, Rays at Mariners

marc w · May 12, 2014 at 5:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Cesar Ramos, 7:10pm

Happy Felix Day

It’s was a gorgeous day in the Northwest, Felix is pitching and the M’s are above .500. Seems like a pretty good evening for a ballgame.

Lefty Cesar Ramos was a first rounder (pick 35, so just barely) in the 2005 MLB draft that M’s fans try not to talk about. The Padres picked him, and for a while, everything looked OK. Ramos was primarily a FB/CU pitcher who had pretty good stuff, but generally pitched to contact. It wasn’t a huge surprise that he wasn’t striking anyone out in the minors, but I think people hoped he could be a back-of-the-rotation guy eventually. Upon reaching AAA, though, his control – one of his calling cards – began to desert him. He bounced to the big leagues for brief fill-ins, but couldn’t stick, and his performances in AAA weren’t getting any better. The Pads tried him in the pen, and then, following a poor showing in 8 IP with the big club, packaged him with prospects for SS Jason Bartlett of Tampa Bay.

Bartlett went on to produce -0.9 WAR for SD, while the Rays have converted Ramos into a decent reliever/swing man. His control is still AWOL, his velocity’s down since 2010-11, and his FIP has been bad, but he’s given the Rays some decent innings, and can make spot starts like tonight. He throws a four-seamer, but he’s primarily a sinker/slider guy these days, with a change-up that he’ll throw right-handers. Of note, he had a pretty good GB% (SSS alert!) with the Padres, and the Rays got him to throw his sinker instead of his rising FB. So it’s a bit odd to me that Ramos now looks like a clear fly-ball pitcher – his sinker now gets fewer grounders per pitch, or grounders per ball in play than his four-seamer did years ago.

Ramos has walked *14* batters in five very brief starts, so the M’s should be patient. He’s never made it six innings in his career (again, he’s mostly been a reliever), but the right approach will get the M’s some at-bats against the back end of the Rays bullpen.

Felix has been frustrating to watch in recent starts. He’ll look great for a while, then succumb to a big inning. He’ll strike out a number of hitters, then do whatever that was against the A’s five days ago. Right now, his strand rate’s at 66.7%, the lowest rate of his career. Hitters have a .310 wOBA against him with men on, compared to just .260 with the bases empty. Is it a lack of focus? Boredom? I’d forgive him that, but I don’t think that’s what’s going on. With runners on, Felix strikes out MORE hitters and walks FEWER. His FIP’s great. The big difference is BABIP, and while it’s a bit simplistic to say that BABIP=luck, it’s pretty clear that sequencing and luck have been Felix’s undoing (Ok, that’s too strong – “the things that have made him look less regal”), not something more meaningful like terrible command or tons of HRs. Felix needs his D to pick him up a bit, and frankly, Felix’s D needs Felix to pick them up, too. Get some K’s, Felix.

1: Jones, CF
2: Romero, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Hart, DH
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Seager, 3B
7: Ackley, LF
8: Zunino, C
9: Miller, SS
SP: El Cartelua

In the Minors, Tacoma continues its series against Las Vegas with Erasmo Ramirez taking on Jacob deGrom – both of whom will almost certainly play in the Majors later this season. Perhaps the bigger story is the return of AA righty Victor Sanchez. The zaftig righty went on the DL with “forearm tightness” about a month ago, but he’s scheduled to start tonight against Tennessee.


91 Responses to “Game 38, Rays at Mariners”

  1. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:19 pm

    Three step sock install process (3 layers). Plus tape for balky ankles.

    Pain in the ass.

  2. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2014 8:20 pm

    So Hart learned to just stop at first?

  3. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 8:22 pm

    For a guy who doesn’t hustle, Cano almost hustled himself into some trouble there.

  4. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:22 pm

    Cano and Jones got jumbled up at 2B, so I think he just retreated to stay out of the fray

    Weird day. Sunshine in Seattle is probably the reason for it.

    That and the nick Franklin punishment theory which will now take over the blogging twitter crap fest of whatever it is.

  5. Paul B on May 12th, 2014 8:23 pm


    What a wild game.

  6. WalterNeff on May 12th, 2014 8:25 pm

    The errors should communicate to Cano this simple lesson: always run hard to first base

  7. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 8:26 pm

    So Angie is looking at her phone while a mysterious hand reaches in for the NW Sports Desk sign?

  8. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 8:27 pm

    Liking this James Jones guy

  9. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:34 pm

    Seager looks a little leaner – and better. Not an ideal way to get there, but he looks a little thinner. I had the noro virus last year and lost 11 pounds in just over one day of continuous non-stop action.

  10. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 8:50 pm

    at this point I prefer to have Brendan Ryan back at SS… I know I’m gonna get flamed for that but this is getting pathetic.

  11. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 8:54 pm

    I liked Brendan Ryan. I wonder if his at bats wouldn’t be as frustrating now that we have other guys that can actually hit?

  12. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 8:56 pm

    Westside, His D was superb, and I never thought he looked lost at the plate like Miller does right now.

  13. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:59 pm

    SS is way too valuable of a position to be getting killed by the guy playing it – on both sides of the ball (offense & defense). I think everyone would prefer .200 Brendan Ryan at this point, but man – that guy was awful to watch at the plate. Super frustrating at the plate. When .200 is a step up – the answer pretty much presents itself, but the mariners remain steadfast. Just like with Almonte.

    Steadfast is important.

  14. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 9:00 pm

    I loved Brendan Ryan’s defense, but at least with Miller you feel like there is some potential for him to do something on offense. Ryan was pretty much a finished product. And his finished product at the plate was pretty awful.

  15. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 9:02 pm

    If you really want to get flamed, add Ichiro along with Brendan Ryan – to your wish list.

    Check out the LL article on the 2-hole production this year and then wonder out loud if Ichiro couldn’t produce at that level … Half drunk and right handed.

  16. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 9:07 pm

    I was really hoping that we would put a nice dent into the Ray’s bullpen, but Maddon sticking with this kid and making it thru 6 is pretty suprising.

  17. Section329 on May 12th, 2014 9:09 pm

    Ah,yes, but do you really want a non-team player who doesn’t dive for the ball or speak English ? Teasing.

  18. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 9:09 pm

    Price vs. Iwakuma should be fun tomorrow.

    Weird stat!: David Price has only made 1 start in his career against the Mariners.
    (He’s made 10 vs Texas, 9 vs the Angels, and 7 vs Oakland)

  19. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 9:13 pm

    Hey, maybe that’s why we haven’t seen Franklin come up yet – the Mariners are still hoping to trade him for Price, and they don’t want to give the Rays a chance to see his defense up close and personal.

  20. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 9:15 pm

    This is starting to get eerily familiar, big lead late in the game only to let the other team come charging back…

  21. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 9:18 pm

    You have been a mariner fan for too long grayfox.

  22. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 9:25 pm


    All my life my friend, Well as long as I can remember at least.

  23. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 9:26 pm

    And that is how you keep an emotional edge in a really long season … Get upset about little things to keep yourself pumped up for the next appearance.

    I guess.

    It’s really okay, Felix – you pitched a nice game.

  24. nvn8vbryce on May 12th, 2014 9:26 pm

    Boy, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Felix so pissed before… not surprised that he got tossed, and I think it was a well-deserved chewing he gave the ump.

  25. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 9:26 pm

    Mad Felix!

  26. JasonJ on May 12th, 2014 9:27 pm

    Was a strike – just barely, but the ump has been calling it all night. It’s a 9-0 game, call the strike, moron.

  27. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 9:41 pm

    This Tampa Bay pitcher reminds me of Anthony Vasquez. It’s hard to forget the Anthony Vasquez experience. Glad the guy is now healthy – but wow – he was memorable!!!

  28. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 9:56 pm

    Woodstock theme, huh. That might help to explain the 4 early errors by the Rays.

  29. nvn8vbryce on May 12th, 2014 10:00 pm

    Dang… That ball is in orbit!

  30. nvn8vbryce on May 12th, 2014 10:07 pm

    Sheesh… Save some runs for tomorrow guys!

  31. Eastside Suds on May 12th, 2014 10:09 pm

    Samoakin!! What is up with him? Has the fine wine begun to mature on the shelf? Whatever it is, I’m a fan.

  32. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2014 10:20 pm

    The bandaid is very slowly being pulled off…

  33. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 10:27 pm

    A very nice game. It’s good to have one that doesn’t raise my blood pressure too far, at least once in a while.

  34. MrZDevotee on May 13th, 2014 12:09 am

    We’re leading the Wild Card hunt. 4th team to 20 wins in the AL… The 3 division leaders, then us and then Texas… (All but 3 teams in the AL are between 16 and 20 wins right now… Pretty incredible.)

  35. LongDistance on May 13th, 2014 2:40 am

    Still in prolonged apnea mode with these guys, and this may be a season-long thing, but it’s a good sort of not breathing. WTF. I’ve decided to be stupid, and enjoy the nearly forgotten game day sensation of feeling they might/can win, rather than trying to think/imagine/hope how the hell they might win.

  36. naviomelo on May 13th, 2014 11:13 am

    Nick Franklin is not in the lineup in Las Vegas today.

  37. Westside guy on May 13th, 2014 12:07 pm

    According to Curto, apparently Franklin is being disciplined for some “mental lapse” in the previous game.

  38. msfanmike on May 13th, 2014 12:50 pm

    Mental lapse in the previous game (defensively) … which most assuredly means he is ready to be called up, now.

    He is potentially being punished for a quick twitter finger and most certainly being punished for a recent defensive mental lapse. Okay, good enough … call up Taylor.

  39. Westside guy on May 13th, 2014 3:05 pm

    I’d be interested in seeing Taylor – but that would require a 40-man move.

  40. msfanmike on May 13th, 2014 3:23 pm

    I’d be interested in a 40-man move because they could easily make a few with no discernable loss. IMO

    Franklin did PH today and drew a game tying passed ball in advance of being walked, so the ‘punishment’ does not appear to have been too severe.

  41. MrZDevotee on May 13th, 2014 4:48 pm

    Just heard an interesting stat on the Radio… The Mariners lead the league in “Hard Hit Balls”… ie, average velocity off the bat, for all balls put in play.

    Justin Smoak is 3rd in the league, and Kyle Seager is 4th, for position players/DH’s in all of baseball.

    Smoak also LEADS the league in Line Drive outs, with 13.

    Supposedly this stat over a season is a fair predictor of hitting success. I know nothing about it, other than they were talking about in on the radio as a reason to be optimistic about the M’s offense moving forward.

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