Game 43, Mariners at Twins

marc w · May 18, 2014 at 11:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Ricky Nolasco, 11:10am

Well, at least Nolasco’s not a ground ball pitcher. After getting shut down by Samuel Deduno and Kyle Gibson, the M’s get one of the Twins HR-plagued fly-ballers. The Twins’ 2013 starters posted the worst FIP, the worst ERA, the worst K rate, and the worst strand rate in all of baseball last year, so the fact that the Twins committed a combined $73 million on two FA hurlers seemed reasonable. Nolasco was the big prize, signing a 4-year, $49m deal after a solid season split between the Marlins and Dodgers.

The righty has always posted solid FIP numbers, with a career 3.80 mark over 1363 career innings. But, like a poor man’s Javier Vasquez, his actual runs allowed have generally come in much higher. His ERA’s been higher than his FIP each year since 2008, and in several, the gap’s exceeded one full run in two of those years. It’s not like you can point to one specific weakness; it’s not all BABIP, it’s not all sequencing. He’s just disappointed. No one capable of posting 4.4 K:BB ratios over a full year (or two!) of work in a big league rotation should post ERAs of 5. If you’ve read this site at all, you know that ERA can be misleading and that Nolasco probably isn’t a replacement-level starter, which is what his RA would tell you right now. You can’t justify the argument that Nolasco is 100% responsible for what happens once a ball is put in play. But 1,300+ innings suggest that he’s probably not 0% responsible either.

Nolasco throws a 91-93mph four-seam and two-seam fastball. His primary breaking ball’s his slider, which was very effective for many years, but has been his Achilles’ heel this year. He’s got a curve ball, but his other weapon is the oh-so-trendy splitter. It’s more like Dan Haren’s in that it looks/acts like a change-up, so it’s not terribly surprising that he only throws it to lefties. Lefties have given Nolasco trouble throughout his career, and they’re destroying him so far in 2014, but it’s not the splitter that they’re hitting. That may just be noise, or the fact that he can’t get to the splitter because they’re crushing fastballs first, but even a struggling M’s line-up isn’t a great match-up for Nolasco (at least on paper).

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

Happy 34th anniversary of the Mt. St Helens eruption. It’s one of my earliest memories as a kid – going up to the attic and looking south at the towering ash cloud.

With Brad Miller struggling, it’s not surprise that the M’s are considering re-calling the hot hitting Nick Franklin. But Franklin’s been playing some OF recently, and Lloyd McClendon’s mentioned that positional flexibility’s a key to getting Franklin more playing time. After spending the spring asserting that the SS battle was an open competition, Franklin seems to be well and truly out of the running (though he could obviously be a factor for the M’s as a utility OF/IF). That’s probably got as much to do with Chris Taylor as anything, and I honestly wonder if they’d call up Taylor if he was healthy.

Erasmo Ramirez starts for Tacoma against Sacramento. The big story involving the RiverCats this morning is the rumor that they’ll switch affiliation to the other Bay Area club, the Giants, as early as next season. Don’t know if the A’s would take Fresno or if there’d be further swapping. Tyler Pike starts for High Desert. He’s walked four batters in each of his past five starts.

Taijuan Walker and James Paxton both had bullpen sessions yesterday and seem fine today. Sounds like they may do a simulated game on Tuesday.

Comments

68 Responses to “Game 43, Mariners at Twins”

  1. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 11:17 am

    Nice start by Condor with a double. Now drive him in, Robbie!

  2. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 11:19 am

    Okay, Hart, how about it?

  3. Jake on May 18th, 2014 11:39 am

    Why does ROOT try and push the narrative that Ackley has terrific speed, and that Smoak is a gold-glove first baseman?

  4. Jake on May 18th, 2014 11:40 am

    Oooofa, Mangie please put more make-up on.

  5. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:13 pm

    Wow, memories of Raul there thanks to the Twins right fielder.

  6. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:14 pm

    Hey, great, Hart’s injured himself again.

  7. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 12:15 pm

    Kendrys’ phone will probably ring today. And then Boras will demand too much money, again.

  8. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:17 pm

    I’d rather see them bring up Franklin and start rotating guys through the DH slot.

    I wonder how long it’d take Kendrys to get into game shape, in any case.

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

    Westy, can you find Seagers stat line when the team wins vs. when the team loses.

  10. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 12:22 pm

    Kendrys game shape? Was he ever in shape? I would estimate 2-3 weeks to get his timing. Or, right around the time LoMo might re-appear – or when Hart can come back. Kendrys is the best hitter of the three, but I know … Complications, past attempts to sign, hard feelings about QO not bejng accepted/being offered in the first place … Mariners.

  11. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:23 pm

    I’ll try, Mike – but in the meantime I just noticed how bad his splits against lefties has been this year.

  12. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:25 pm

    Dammit Brad.

  13. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 12:26 pm

    These guys stink

  14. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:27 pm

    I’m striking out so far, Mike.

    Just like Brad Miller.

  15. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 12:28 pm

    I agree with you Syd, but Miller is one of the “turn back uniform” wearing models, so he needs to stick around until at least after that series.

  16. jak924 on May 18th, 2014 12:31 pm

    Wow, Mariners just lost Corey Hart. Is Jason Bay still out there?

  17. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:38 pm

    But once again this team finds itself in a spot because of poor roster construction. Two of Zduriencik’s big moves this past offseason were picking up Hart and LoMo, both of whom have significant track records of missing time on the DL – and what a surprise, both have continued the trend of being either on the DL or just unavailable due to lesser aches and pains.

    I suppose, come September, we’ll get to hear Jack Z state “no one could’ve predicted…” again.

    Come on Michael!

  18. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 12:43 pm

    Atta boy, Michael!

  19. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:43 pm

    Condor!!!

  20. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:44 pm

    Nice break for the Mariners there!

  21. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 12:46 pm

    Romero needs to get that runner over to 3B – at a minimum.

  22. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 12:47 pm

    … And if he had – Cano would have scored on Smoak’s ground out.

    Pick them up, Kyle.

  23. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:49 pm

    Man, I suppose it’s not a surprise but – Romero has really fallen off.

  24. Section329 on May 18th, 2014 12:54 pm

    Thnx for the thread, Westi. Plan must be to watch Brad suffer, along with the rest of us. I have not given up on him but he has to get out of there because its in his head.
    Anyone to bring up besides Franklin?

  25. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 12:57 pm

    Taylor apparently broke his finger, so… no.

    What seems to being increasingly said by the beat writers is that the Mariners see Franklin as a utility guy, not a shortstop. Which seems obvious, but wasn’t the narrative the FO was trying to sell earlier.

  26. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 1:03 pm

    Lloyd has an inordinate fondness for the ol’ hit and run.

  27. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 1:05 pm

    Give it a day or two, the org will change its mind on Franklin, again. Assuming they actually have an opinion, now … Which is probably a silly assumption for me to make.

  28. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 1:10 pm

    Bases loaded for the Condor…

  29. absolutsyd on May 18th, 2014 1:13 pm

    I swear to god, someone is going to shoot Miller when they get home…

  30. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 1:14 pm

    Miller needs to sit.

  31. juneau_fan on May 18th, 2014 1:14 pm

    Can someone please give Miller base running lessons?

  32. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 1:14 pm

    Miller has become his own keystone cop routine.

    Putrid.

  33. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 1:16 pm

    Now that I a mental lapse worthy of being benched.

  34. r-gordon-7 on May 18th, 2014 1:19 pm

    Well, sure, we’re down on Miller because he can’t hit, field or run the bases, but let’s not fail to credit him for all the other aspects of the game he does well… ;-)

  35. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 1:20 pm

    BTW the org is apparently changing the Franklin narrative. Now the story is he wasn’t sat down for mental lapses, it was his back.

    Probably figures that doesn’t hurt his trade value as much…

  36. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 1:20 pm

    He DOES rock those stirrups, r-gordon-7.

  37. juneau_fan on May 18th, 2014 1:21 pm

    But Miller has grit. And Crazy Legs. Which unfortunately keep going when he should just stand on the base, darnit.

  38. absolutsyd on May 18th, 2014 1:21 pm

    At least we have Seager, and he’s pretty good at playing baseball. I like watching guys who are pretty good at playing baseball.

  39. r-gordon-7 on May 18th, 2014 1:23 pm

    See, Westy, I knew there was something…

  40. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 1:26 pm

    “I a mental lapse.”

    Would have been kind of funny if I had done it on purpose. It’s even funnier that I didn’t.

  41. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 1:28 pm

    I a mental lapse Devotee

  42. Section329 on May 18th, 2014 1:28 pm

    hart day to day L hamstring pull. Looking at rainier stats they have him w 30 games @2nd like he needs work there,not. can’t find how many other positions he has played. Anyone know?

  43. bookbook on May 18th, 2014 1:29 pm

    It’s like the team is trying to destroy Franklin’s value.

  44. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 1:32 pm

    He played in LF last night. Only game in the outfield since his demotion – that I am aware of. He had been at SS/2B/DH exclusively – until late last week per Drayer/Divish.

    You gotta figure with one game under his belt in the outfield at Tacoma, he is probably ready.

    Most definitely.

    No worries.

  45. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 1:32 pm

    Mike is typing on his iPhone, I bet.

    I say that because I’ve had that exact same typo before.

  46. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 1:34 pm

    My unsubstantiated guess is the org had planned to bring up Taylor (and possibly Franklin as well). But Taylor ruined the plan by selfishly breaking his finger.

  47. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 1:35 pm

    Yep.

    I had a bad back related I-phone mental lapse … Per Divish/Drayer.

    This org straight getting stories given had a has hard time of.

  48. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 1:39 pm

    msfanyoda last post by, was.

  49. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 1:43 pm

    NICE, Cano!

  50. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 1:48 pm

    Smooth Cano Robbie is.

  51. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 1:50 pm

    Miller should bunt every time stevemotivatier says be should. Even the times when Steve says nothing.

  52. G-Man on May 18th, 2014 1:58 pm

    Please let Felix pitch the 9th. I want a nice relaxing Sunday, not a Rodney, edge-of-my-seat closing.

  53. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 1:59 pm

    The throw to 1B by Felix.- on that bunt attempt – was thrown as hard as any pitch he made today. Not sure how they will gauge it toward his pitch count total, but let’s hope it’s not enough to have to bring in Rodney.

    Blyleven sure has some disdain for modern day pitch counts per today’s pre-game radio interview. He made some really good points, too … Leaning heavily to the “old school” side of the equation, as one might have been able to guess.

  54. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 2:00 pm

    … Then he simply said the pitch count total (barometer) should be 120 instead of 100 – for a starting pitcher. Seems as if he is not totally for or against pitch counts.

  55. r-gordon-7 on May 18th, 2014 2:02 pm

    Uh-oh, they just mentioned Rodney… Time to power up the defib…

  56. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 2:02 pm

    Holy Cow! Blyleven pitched, like, forever! 1970-1992…

  57. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 2:02 pm

    Why can’t everyone try to hit the ball up the middle and to the other side? Works for Cano.

  58. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 2:04 pm

    … And right on cue – Smoak with an extreme pull to the 1B

  59. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 2:04 pm

    Hey this is interesting…

    Things Bert Blyleven Has Worn on His Head

  60. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 2:06 pm

    Ah, Smoak, my favorite Mariner…

    He’s not the team’s biggest problem – not by a long shot – but he irritates me no end.

  61. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 2:06 pm

    Do you have more than one available port on that defib?

  62. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 2:08 pm

    Oh man, can’t we have a nice no-stress ninth inning for ONCE?!

  63. Section329 on May 18th, 2014 2:11 pm

    sadly, only one per person on defibrillator.

  64. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 2:16 pm

    Woo!

  65. msfanmike on May 18th, 2014 2:16 pm

    Good win. Nice one game roll.

  66. r-gordon-7 on May 18th, 2014 2:17 pm

    Nice – only one base runner – how un-Rodney-like!
    Putting away the difib until next 9th inning lead.

  67. Westside guy on May 18th, 2014 2:17 pm

    Thank you, Fernando Rodney, for a fairly stress-free ninth inning.

  68. HighlightsAt11 on May 18th, 2014 2:46 pm

    I’m ok with letting the BBQ guy play SS for the M’s.

    Please, let Miller be in Tacoma’s starting lineup tomorrow against Reno.

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