Game 116, White Sox at Mariners

marc w · August 10, 2014 at 11:50 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Erasmo Ramirez vs. John Danks, 1:10pm

As a rebuilding team, it’s probably not that surprising that the White Sox have some payroll flexibility in the next few years. Paul Konerko’s gone after this year, and Adam Dunn’s four-year deal expires. Most of the players under contract are still good, and most of the contracts are remarkably team friendly. Jose Quintana’s due all of one million next season. Alexei Ramirez isn’t great, but his $10m salary isn’t crippling, either. Jose Abreu’s under contract until 2019, and I think the Sox are OK with that. In any event, he’s due just $7m in 2015. But then there’s John Danks.

Danks was a solid starter around 2010, topping 200 IP twice and riding a 92mph fastball and a very good change-up to around 15 fWAR in the four seasons from 2008-2011. The change-up was good enough that it inspired a counter-strategy by Tampa – Joe Maddon would stack his line-up with *lefties* against the left-handed Danks to try to get him to throw fewer change-ups. At the end of that 2011 campaign, the Sox locked him up on a 5-yr-$65m extension, covering 2012-2016. So far it…well it hasn’t been good. He made all of nine (bad) starts in the spring of 2012 before going down with a season-ending shoulder injury. After a difficult surgery to repair a torn capsule, he returned to make 22 starts in 2013. Unfortunately, his velocity was down, and he got hammered in those starts, finishing with an ERA and a FIP over 5.00.

So, 2014 – another year removed from surgery, another opportunity to re-build arm stre…no, just, no. His velocity’s down again, now hovering from 88-89 with his fastball, and while his change-up’s still a decent pitch, it’s harder to get to it when batters are teeing off against his fastball. The Danks Theory thing is probably out the window as well – right-handers are eating that not-so-fastball alive. RHBs have a total of 12 HRs against his four- and two-seam fastballs this season alone, on their way to 20 HRs off of him in all. After running remarkably even splits for years, even some reverse splits, RHBs are teeing off. I don’t think we’ll see Endy Chavez, is what I’m saying. We may be seeing the sad end to Danks’ career, as he’s not been able to pull his FIP below 5 since his injury. The HRs are mounting, and it’s not like he can get a change of scenery – his contract is unmovable. Next year, Jose Quintana and Chris Sale will make $7m COMBINED, while Danks will take in $14.25m. He’ll out-earn Quintana/Sale again in 2016, but the odds he’ll actually pitch for the White Sox that year are looking pretty remote.

Erasmo Ramirez has a Danksian change-up, but he’s struggled with the long ball as well. Danks had a useful cutter for a few years to keep lefties honest, but Ramirez’s slider has been remarkably bad against right-handed bats. If it was me, I’d tell him to shelve his two-seamer and work on a cutter or a curve.

1: Jackson, CF
2: Ackley, LF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Morales, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Denorfia, RF
7: Morrison, 1B
8: Taylor, SS
9: Sucre, C
SP: Erasmoooooo

Tough end to the game last night. It’s actually a good sign that the M’s are sticking with Taylor today after his inglorious end in the 10th last night (error, then game ending DP). The Royals keep winning, and they and the Yankees have home games today. This is a big game, M’s.


44 Responses to “Game 116, White Sox at Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on August 10th, 2014 12:21 pm

    Let’s hope Danks doesn’t look like Cy Young against the Mariners! Tee off on him, guys!

    I will say that, at least to my eye, Mac is not nearly as prone to benching a guy for perceived mental lapses as Wedge was.

  2. PackBob on August 10th, 2014 12:25 pm

    Feel bad for Chris, but I’d bet most players have had similar games, or worse, even the best players. Chris had bad timing, but with the Mariners scoring just 1 run in 9 innings, it’s the whole team that didn’t hit well and lost the game.

    As a whole the M’s have been hitting a little better so far in August. It would be great if they could go some games without the recurring dud.

  3. Skymaster T on August 10th, 2014 12:28 pm

    I think that Wedge hurt guys confidence when he did that, Westside guy. One of the things Mac is really good at is getting players to want to play for him. It was something Wedge really struggled at, IMO.

  4. MrZDevotee on August 10th, 2014 1:00 pm

    Well, if Brad Miller is the alternative to Taylor, he’s already lost a game this year with an error with 2 outs in the 9th, that took us to extra innings– a Felix game that took away a win for the King.

    I like Taylor… He plays within himself and looks good both in the field and at the plate.

    He made that great play early in the game, on a tough ball up the middle that almost popped out of his glove, but he stuck with it and got the runner. We were at the game, and I made people laugh out loud by saying “Miller would have recovered and then threw the ball into the 10th row behind 1B.”

    BTW, Grandpa Lou was great with his way too long speech and tons of tears, all while stumbling over his words.

    Best story was Buhner talking about when Lou had the team driver pull the bus over on the way back from a game to the hotel. There was a Little League field next to the freeway and Lou said “Maybe we should go play THOSE guys, and then maybe you guys could win a game…?”

    Also fun to see all the old classic Lou commercials…

  5. MrZDevotee on August 10th, 2014 1:03 pm

    Does anyone know why Elias got sent down and Erasmo is pitching?

    Elias (Walker)

    I never heard about this till I saw Erasmo on the mound for today.

  6. bookbook on August 10th, 2014 1:14 pm

    They’re trying to limit his innings by having him pitch innings in Tacoma!

  7. Paul B on August 10th, 2014 1:16 pm

    And his start in Tacoma is only supposed to be a couple of innings.

    I will say that, at least to my eye, Mac is not nearly as prone to benching a guy for perceived mental lapses as Wedge was.

    Or Lou, IIRC.

  8. Mid80sRighty on August 10th, 2014 1:45 pm

    Walker’s getting pounded in Tacoma so far. Nice day for a game, though!

  9. pgreyy on August 10th, 2014 1:50 pm


  10. msfanmike on August 10th, 2014 1:51 pm

    Sucre scores from first … I love it!

  11. msfanmike on August 10th, 2014 1:51 pm

    Ackley robbed — dammit.

  12. Paul B on August 10th, 2014 1:52 pm

    Sucre looked a little winded in the dugout.

  13. Paul B on August 10th, 2014 1:53 pm

    You know, last winter, if you would have asked me to name the people in the Mariner HOF, I probably would have named Lou. I actually thought he was already in.

  14. stevemotivateir on August 10th, 2014 2:00 pm

    @bookbook & ZD

    He’ll probably only throw a couple innings in Tacoma. I’m just curious if they’ll keep him down there for another scheduled start.

  15. Mid80sRighty on August 10th, 2014 2:13 pm

    Walker with 5 straight k’s since the first. Seems to have settled down a bit.

  16. msfanmike on August 10th, 2014 2:21 pm

    BABIP and sun Deity’s are looking favorably upon Chris Taylor today.

  17. Westside guy on August 10th, 2014 2:25 pm

    Somehow Griffey always seems to have other engagements when these Mariners HOF inductions happen.

  18. ivan on August 10th, 2014 2:32 pm

    That’s kind of a quick hook, no, with a 3-0 lead and the double play in order? If I was Erasmo, I’d be getting the distinct impression that the manager doesn’t like me.

  19. msfanmike on August 10th, 2014 2:33 pm

    This one was unavoidable from Griffey’s perspective, though. And it was happenstance to boot. The Reds picked their day for Griffey’s (and others) HOF induction ceremony. The mariners and reds could have done a better job aligning with one another – I guess – in picking their ceremony dates. Randy Johnson wasn’t available either, but I never did hear the reason.

  20. msfanmike on August 10th, 2014 2:36 pm

    Erasmo is perpetually on a short leash with him, apparently. Erasmo looked good for the time he was in the game, though.

  21. Paul B on August 10th, 2014 2:37 pm

    Shannon said Randy Johnson was travelling with the USO. So I assume he was out of the country.

  22. Paul B on August 10th, 2014 2:40 pm

    I complain a lot about Lloyd’s decisions, but I will say I think he is doing a really good job with the pitchers.

  23. ivan on August 10th, 2014 2:50 pm

    Can’t argue with the result in this case.

  24. stevemotivateir on August 10th, 2014 2:55 pm

    Maybe Ramirez felt something, said something, and left as a result? I have to follow via gamecast today, so I’m at a distinct disadvantage.

  25. msfanmike on August 10th, 2014 2:56 pm

    Has Morales hit a ball hard – even one time – in the past three weeks?

  26. stevemotivateir on August 10th, 2014 2:57 pm

    Ok, I think I’m catching up. I didn’t realize he was pulled in the middle of an AB.

  27. stevemotivateir on August 10th, 2014 2:58 pm

    Yes, Mike. He took a foul to the crotch.

  28. msfanmike on August 10th, 2014 3:19 pm

    Oh yeah, the old crotch ball … Ha!!

  29. pgreyy on August 10th, 2014 3:19 pm

    Wooo: Electric Boogaloo!

  30. msfanmike on August 10th, 2014 3:20 pm

    Good day for Jackson. Good time to score a run, too.

  31. leftfield limey on August 10th, 2014 3:27 pm

    Please pinch hit for Morales – don’t think I can bear another strike out/weak ground ball.

  32. groundzero55 on August 10th, 2014 3:31 pm

    When will Lloyd move Morales down? Seager is clearly a more capable cleanup hitter than Morales. At this point I’d probably prefer Logan Morrison over Morales.

  33. Paul B on August 10th, 2014 3:37 pm

    Shouldn’t be hard to find a hitter better than Morales at this point. Pretty much any replacement level hitter would do.

  34. Section329 on August 10th, 2014 4:00 pm

    Oh no!

  35. msfanmike on August 10th, 2014 4:04 pm

    Good win, needed it.

  36. ivan on August 10th, 2014 4:15 pm

    No matter what people think ERA means or doesn’t mean, the M’s team ERA was right at 3.00 before this game. Kinda would be cool to see it drop under that.

  37. Longgeorge1 on August 10th, 2014 4:24 pm

    Even though ERA is somewhat fielding and ballpark dependent, I think it is still a meaningful, quick easy number

  38. Westside guy on August 10th, 2014 4:54 pm

    I wonder… while there may be nothing more to this than bringing Saunders back very carefully, two of his first three rehab starts have been at DH. I wonder if there’s some thought that Kendrys might be on a short leash?

    Of course, the other side of that is Saunders injured himself twice BATTING – so maybe they are mostly concerned that he can hit without re-injuring himself. 😛

  39. Grayfox3d on August 10th, 2014 7:49 pm

    Speaking of Walker, seems he had a pretty nice game today down in Tacoma with 13k’s.

  40. MrZDevotee on August 10th, 2014 10:29 pm

    From the interview I heard last week, Lloyd said Saunders was taking longer to heal than anticipated, and he couldn’t throw free and easy yet, but they wanted to send him down (out on rehab) so he could get some at-bats at DH just to keep from losing his timing.

    So the plan for awhile has been to just play him at DH, to get AB’s… Until he’s ready to go and then bring him back up.

  41. Westside guy on August 11th, 2014 12:12 am

    Thanks, MrZ.

  42. bongo on August 11th, 2014 7:34 am

    i don’t know if the rehab strategy is working. On Friday Saunders walked three times and struck out once. How much timing can be gotten out of that?

  43. Mid80sRighty on August 11th, 2014 9:30 am

    Yep, Grayfox3d, Walker ended up having a fantastic day after a rough 1st inning…13 k’s, no walks. Saunders seemed to look pretty good to me. 1 for 3 with a K and a walk, and hit another ball fairly well. He didn’t seem to be showing any signs of the injury, unless the bat he let fly into the stands was because he tweaked something.

    Not a lot of offense for either team. Chris Heston, for Fresno, threw a damn good game as well.

  44. eddieranch on August 11th, 2014 9:31 pm

    I’ve heard McClendon repeat often how he is a big advocate of not wasting his pitchers to save them for the stretch. Why would he not take Felix out with a 9-1 lead in top of 7th?

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