Game 47, Astros at Mariners

marc w · May 23, 2014 at 6:09 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Rudy Owens, 7:10pm

So we’ve got a pitcher making his major league debut tonight, a hurler who came up through the Pittsburgh system, studiously avoiding the Cactus League and the Arizona Fall league, ensuring that there’s absolutely no pitch fx data to look at. That’s too bad, because scouts were somewhat divided on Owens’ velocity and stuff – it’d be great to have some data to settle that debate.

Owens, a lefty, was a late-round draft pick in 2006 who moved steadily up the chain in the Pittsburgh system thanks to extremely low walk rates. Looking back at his line, it’s tough to know how to see him – great control, but occasional bouts of ineffectiveness. Like he was able to keep the ball in the zone, but unable to prevent hitters from punishing him for keeping the ball in the zone. Moving over to Houston in the Wandy Rodriguez deal, he got knocked around in his first taste of the PCL. He started back in Oklahoma City again last year, but had a foot injury that required season-ending surgery after just 17 innings. This year was his third go-round in OKC, and familiarity hasn’t improved the raw results. PCL hitters are hitting over .300 against him, leading to an ERA over 6 despite the still sterling walk rate and an extremely low HR rate. He’s not overpowering, and he’s been a bit of a fly ball pitcher over the course of his career. Thanks to a solid change-up, he’s run reverse platoon splits in the minors, though this is purely the result of HRs. You’ve got to assume he’d run fairly average splits in the majors, but the minor league record’s a sign that his change is probably his best pitch. If he had a good slider/curve, you’d assume he’d have a better K rate against same-handed hitters, but I’m just guessing at this point.

1: James Jones, CF
2: Stefen Romero, DH
3: Cano, 2B
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Seager, 3B
6: Gillespie, RF
7: Ackley, LF
8: Zunino, C
9: Bloomquist, SS
SP: King Felix

Taijuan Walker threw a simulated game today at Safeco, and Ryan Divish has some video of it here, and he quotes Walker as saying he’s ready to head out on a rehab start.

Speaking of rehab starts, James Paxton will start for Tacoma tomorrow at Cheney in the Rainiers double-header against El Paso.

Today’s MiLB starters include Erasmo Ramirez, Tyler Pike, Carlos Misell and Victor Sanchez. Pike and Sanchez were consensus top-10 Mariner prospects heading into 2014, but their stock has fallen a bit thus far. Sanchez missed time due to injury, and he’s been homer prone. After yielding four HRs over 113 innings last year for Clinton, he’s given up five just since coming back from the DL – over the course of just 13 2/3 innings. He’s just 19 and in AA, so he’s still a good prospect, but it’s a less-than-ideal line. Pike, as I’ve talked about frequently, has suffered from control lapses in the California League, as his K:BB ratio is currently 32:31. That said, he’s avoided a lot of damage – he’s had 9 starts on the year, and he’s given up 2 or fewer runs in 6 of them. Sure, the ERA isn’t pretty, as he’s given up plenty of runs in two disaster starts, but it’s High Desert. Still, a dead even K:BB ratio isn’t what we wanted to see.


47 Responses to “Game 47, Astros at Mariners”

  1. smb on May 23rd, 2014 6:53 pm

    Yay Paxton rehab start! Woooohoooo!!!!

    And for another non-game side topic for tonight…it looks like it’s finally going to happen, at long last…Ichiro, the pitcher?!

  2. MrZDevotee on May 23rd, 2014 6:59 pm

    Is Felix in the doghouse with Skip? Romero, Gillespie and WFB all starting tonight? I understand the lefty and all that, but c’mon, Lloyd, help out the King…

  3. Westside guy on May 23rd, 2014 7:07 pm

    McLendon said he wanted to give Saunders a day off, since he’d been going pretty hard since that ankle/knee thing. He might want Franklin to have a day to breathe since he hasn’t had a good first three games since his call up… and really, I’m not gonna complain about Bloomquist getting a spot start over Miller at this point in time.

  4. Westside guy on May 23rd, 2014 7:15 pm

    If Ichiro pitches, I want to see it!

  5. Kazinski on May 23rd, 2014 7:26 pm

    If Smoak is going off the wall to LF then he isn’t going to match frames with Felix.

    Says Seager.

  6. MrZDevotee on May 23rd, 2014 7:29 pm

    Too lazy to check, but are 2 runs of support the most Felix has ever had before the 5th inning as a Mariner? (ba dum *cymbal crash*)

  7. BoomBoom on May 23rd, 2014 8:01 pm

    I like the scowl on Felix’s face when he walked off the mound after that last K. “I can not BELIEVE they got a base runner against me!”.

    Domination, thy name is Felix.

  8. Westside guy on May 23rd, 2014 8:09 pm

    Surprisingly, I believe Felix has gotten rather good run support for most of his games this year. The pitcher who isn’t getting any support is Kuma.

  9. Kazinski on May 23rd, 2014 8:25 pm

    Felix with a 1/6 bb/k ratio looks to take over the current fWAR lead from Corey “Who?” Kluber.

  10. Kazinski on May 23rd, 2014 8:32 pm

    That’s pretty much as hard as Willie can hit it. He’s got near warning track power. But I’ll take it.

  11. Paul B on May 23rd, 2014 8:32 pm

    Why don’t those guys that drink 40 shakes at Sonic weigh like 500 pounds?

  12. Paul B on May 23rd, 2014 8:34 pm

    Kuma doesn’t need any wimpy run support. Score 1 on an error somehow, and he’s good.

  13. Longgeorge1 on May 23rd, 2014 8:44 pm

    Felix is King, Kuma is God(zila)

  14. Paul B on May 23rd, 2014 8:47 pm

    Smoak’s double in the first inning was a thing of beauty. Exactly what he needs to try to do.

    The announcers pointed out it just needed about 6 feet of elevation. But if he had elevated it, it would have been a fly out.

  15. Kazinski on May 23rd, 2014 8:52 pm

    Did Seager get hit by that pitch, or was it a commercial?

  16. Westside guy on May 23rd, 2014 8:56 pm

    He got hit, according to the ump. I missed it.

  17. Breadbaker on May 23rd, 2014 9:00 pm

    It got him on the sleeve.

  18. Westside guy on May 23rd, 2014 9:01 pm

    SO bloody close…

  19. Paul B on May 23rd, 2014 9:02 pm

    WTH? WFB?

  20. Breadbaker on May 23rd, 2014 9:03 pm

    Willie F!

  21. juneau_fan on May 23rd, 2014 9:03 pm

    Tee-hee. Willie made a funny.

  22. Westside guy on May 23rd, 2014 9:03 pm


  23. Grayfox3d on May 23rd, 2014 9:04 pm

    Willie BOOM BOOM!!!!!!

  24. Kazinski on May 23rd, 2014 9:05 pm

    Is that you Willie?

    Its was just over the wall but that’s never a trivial feat for RH in safeco.

    A 3 RBI night for Willie, so far.

  25. Paul B on May 23rd, 2014 9:08 pm

    Sims pointed out it was his first homer since August of 2011.

    That was his 18th career homer. In 13 years.

  26. stevemotivateir on May 23rd, 2014 9:09 pm

    Did I really just see Jones attempt a bunt, foul it, then actually bunt again?

    Why on Earth would you do that, when the pitcher is struggling with his control and your batter has been swinging a hot bat?

    You’re in the hot-seat, Lloyd.

  27. MrZDevotee on May 23rd, 2014 9:10 pm

    See, I know how to work those South Kitsap kids (Bloomquist)… Diss on ’em and then he’ll hit a homer to spite me.

  28. smb on May 23rd, 2014 9:11 pm

    You don’t see that every day!

  29. Westside guy on May 23rd, 2014 9:13 pm

    You don’t see that every YEAR!

  30. Paul B on May 23rd, 2014 9:17 pm


  31. leon0112 on May 23rd, 2014 9:25 pm

    Over .500 over Memorial Day weekend! Who are these guys?

  32. msfanmike on May 23rd, 2014 9:28 pm

    Pretty sure Jones was just trying to bunt for a hit – on his own. I doubt Lloyd gave him the order. It’s a good weapon for jones to employ once in a while.

    Once in a while.

    Doing it two pitches in a row certainly would surprise the defense. I know it surprised me. It just wasn’t a very good bunt.

  33. juneau_fan on May 23rd, 2014 9:28 pm


  34. Kazinski on May 23rd, 2014 9:29 pm

    Id love to see them close out a sweep get 3 games up on .500.

    Knock that shit out Felix.

  35. msfanmike on May 23rd, 2014 9:30 pm

    Altuve loves hitting and hitting against Felix. That little dude sure can play, though.

    If your’re good enough – you’re big enough.

  36. MrZDevotee on May 23rd, 2014 9:40 pm

    Unlike basketball, where if you’re big enough, you’re good enough…

  37. juneau_fan on May 23rd, 2014 9:40 pm

    Willie used all his energy on the homer. Couldn’t swing again.

  38. Westside guy on May 23rd, 2014 9:55 pm

    Bloomquist seems like a nice guy there – he was kind of making fun of himself in the post game interview.

  39. LongDistance on May 24th, 2014 12:13 am

    They now seem to actually be what they are, which is not the same as saying they are what they seem to be, which is to say I don’t want to say it because it feels it could jinx it. But all that, nicely, means an even shot of watching them win at Safeco. Which also means that when I take the kid to watch a game, I don’t have to feign optimism that they could win. That … wow …

    I’m even feeling generous towards them, WFB included.

    As a digression, I’m trying to understand what it is about Oakland on the road

  40. eponymous coward on May 24th, 2014 8:39 am

    It’s a good thing they have the Astros in the division, though the problem is the A’s and Angels will be playing them as well (and padding THEIR wins).

    A mediocre, occasionally good, but flawed team is a damned sight better than a bad one, though.

    All that being said… .500 is just a step on the road.

  41. okinawadave on May 24th, 2014 9:40 pm

    If anybody is watching tonight’s game, in the bottom of the 6th Saunders hit a ball off the first baseman’s glove and the second baseman caught it (in the air). He threw to second for the force. But since he caught it in the air (the ball never hit the ground), shouldn’t Saunders have been out and whoever was on second (maybe Cano?) would have been doubled up? I’m so confused but the announcers didn’t address it.

  42. Westside guy on May 24th, 2014 10:30 pm

    Sorry, since today is maybe the only dry day of the weekend (west of the mountains anyway) I decided I’d better give this game a pass and get some stuff done outside.

    I can’t find video of the play, unfortunately. I’d be very interested to see it though.

  43. Woodcutta on May 24th, 2014 10:30 pm

    It wasn’t a line drive. He hit a ground ball to the first basemen.

  44. eponymous coward on May 25th, 2014 9:57 am
  45. Westside guy on May 25th, 2014 10:57 am

    I can’t fault Willie for that, and I like his attitude (based on the quotes in that article – thanks eponymous). But I have no idea what the org is doing at shortstop. Why did they call up Franklin but now have him sit three days in a row? Are there any indications that “back problem” (from his minor league stint) has reared its head again?

  46. Westside guy on May 25th, 2014 11:07 am

    BTW today’s (Sunday’s) game is’s free game of the day, which means you can watch it even with an audio-only subscription… as long as you live outside the blackout zone.

    Or as long as you’ve got a jailbroken phone that can run a location faker. Not that I would know anything about that topic, nosiree bob.

  47. okinawadave on May 26th, 2014 7:22 am

    Nobody will probably ever see this, but to follow up on my question six comments above, the ball that Saunders hit was NOT a ground ball. It was a line drive. It can be seen here in the condensed game from the night: Scroll to the bottom of the 6th with the bases loaded.

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