Game 127, Mariners at Red Sox

marc w · August 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Joe Kelly, 4:10pm
Wild Card Odds – Fangraphs.com: 41.2% Baseballprospectus.com: 40.6%

That series in Philadelphia was neither entertaining nor helpful. Now, the M’s head to Fenway, where they’ve lost nine consecutive games. Ahhh, but we’ve got Felix and you’ve got…Joe (checks again) uh, Kelly. The guy with the…(checks) sinker? A guy with a sinker.

So yes, Mr. Kelly, who came over from St. Louis in the John Lackey deal, throws a very hard sinker, a curve, and a change-up. When he first came up in 2012, his primary breaking ball was a slider, but after working on his curve (and looking at his wide platoon splits), he evidently decided to go with the hook instead. And it’s been a good pitch for him – unlike many curve balls, he gets an extraordinary amount of ground ball contact with it. According to BrooksBaseball, his curve’s GB/balls-in-play ratio is over three standard deviations from the mean, which is good, considering his sinker is pretty standard. So he gets over 50% of ground balls, and almost no one can elevate the curve. Is he a great pitcher? Well, no.

In 2013, Kelly posted a brilliant ERA in over 100 innings despite a poor FIP that resulted from his low K% and poor BB%. The grounders helped him avoid HRs (for the most part), but as Dave and others pointed out, what was driving that sparkly ERA wasn’t HRs, it was BABIP, or more accurately, BABIP in certain situations. Everyone talked about the Cardinals’ offense, and their incredible hitting with runners in scoring position. Kelly was the pitching version of Allen Craig last year, running a .224 BABIP with RISP, and thus generating a strand rate over 82%. Just as Craig’s RISP numbers tumbled this season, Kelly’s BABIP with RISP this year is .304, and that’s helped knock his strand rate down to just over 70%. That’s not the ONLY thing that’s changed with Kelly, but it’s another example of why it’s usually a good idea to be skeptical that a small-sample performance is predictive. A year after posting an ERA well over a full run lower than his FIP, his ERA’s now OVER his FIP, and he’s been essentially replacement level on the year.

In his career, he’s yielded a .350 wOBA to lefties and a .295 wOBA to righties. By FIP, it’s about one run higher to lefties than righties. This is a sinkerballer, after all, so it’s not terribly shocking. And he’s faced more RHBs than lefties in his career – another perk of pitching for St. Louis in the NL Central. Since moving to Boston, he’s actually faced two NL Central teams (including, famously, the Cardinals – in his first start in a Boston uniform) and the Astros. This is a pitcher with real problems against lefties, and for whatever reason, those problems weren’t as evident in 2013 thanks to BABIP and all of that. But they’re just as real in 2014 as they were in 2012, and this is a good opportunity for the M’s to use their lefty-heavy line-up to gain a significant advantage…er, even more of an advantage than they had by just starting King Felix.

Kelly’s sinker is a lively one, averaging around 95mph, and that’s something of a worry. The M’s platoon splits against lefties have been discussed quite a bit, and by picking up Jackson/Denorfia, the M’s have tried to address the issue. But their splits against ground-ball pitchers are actually worse. Henderson Alvarez comes to mind, as does Kyle Gibson. Those two had much better control, however. One way for the M’s to avoid 4-3′ing their way to a loss is to be a lot more patient. Kelly’s thrown a below-average percentage of strikes throughout his career, and it’s been quite low this year. He’s not been able to get batters to chase, either, as his slider – the pitch he doesn’t throw much anymore – was the pitch that got him a lot of out-of-zone swings.

Some might wonder if Kelly was always going to struggle after leaving the Cardinals thanks to their incredible pitch-framer Yadier Molina. Catchers adept at picking up the low strike can be extremely beneficial to sinkerballers, and obviously Molina’s adept at essentially every aspect of catching. It’s probably true that a portion of Kelly’s brilliant 2013 shouldn’t be called “luck” – it should be called “Molina.” But there’s a new catcher in the league who’s among the very best pitch framers we’ve yet seen. I…ok, yes, that description might work for Mike Zunino, but I’m talking about Red Sox backstop Christian Vasquez. Jeff’s article at Fangraphs is a good introduction. If you’re in a hurry, 1) why are you reading this game preview (thank you!), and 2) just go to the second gif in that article. If someone doesn’t understand the concept of pitch framing, or what it is that a catcher’s supposed to DO to get a strike call, have them watch that. Maybe part of it is an artifact of the gif itself, but it looks a bit like magic. Vasquez has caught Kelly twice – two games, two wins, two solid-ish performances for a guy without good control or a swing-and-miss pitch. Kelly’s one awful game for Boston came against Houston, and was caught by Daniel Butler. Am I saying…no, I’m not saying anything, I’m just…look at that gif again, would you?

Line-up:
1: Jackson, CF
2: Ackley, LF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Morales, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Morrison, 1B
7: Zunino, C
8: Chavez, RF
9: Miller, SS

The big story of the baseball world today is the signing of Cuban OF Rusney Castillo by the Red Sox. Boston beat out a number of teams, including the Tigers and M’s, to ink Castillo to a 6-year, $72m contract. It’s back-loaded, so Castillo will make something like the $500,000 this year. Castillo’s contract beats out the $68m the White Sox gave Jose Abreu in the offseason in a deal that’s worked out pretty nicely. The rapidly rising prices paid for international free agents has a few causes – from the quicker-than-expected impact from guys like Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, Masahiro Tanaka and Abreu, to the dampening of bonuses paid both to draft-eligible players and the July 2nd international signings. International signings are still discounted, of course, because we’re still not quite sure how they’ll fare in the US (I’m shaking my head at all of the unnamed scouts/executives who questioned Abreu’s batspeed this offseason), but they’re able to produce right away, giving teams bidding on their services more information about their own place on the win curve. Thanks in part to the nearly-instant success of Puig/Abreu, some talked about Castillo moving right into the Boston line-up. I’m not sure that’s going to happen, especially given that Boston’s out of the race in 2014, but he’s probably not long for the minors.

Here’s your basic Sam Miller article auto-link: Has Replay Killed Lying in Baseball? It’s Sam Miller, it’s gifs of attempted subterfuge…just click it.

Tacoma’s final homestand of the season continues tonight at 7:05 against Omaha. The red-hot Rainiers send Jimmy Gilheeney to the mound against Aussie control-pitcher/HR-maven Liam Hendriks. Lefty Tyler Pike starts for Jackson. There are always ups and downs as prospects move up the ladder, but I have to say I’ve been especially dismayed by Pike’s 2014. He struggled in High Desert, and that’s understandable, but the walk rate has been absurd. In hindsight, it never really matched up to the “plus pitchability” scouting reports, but it’s gone haywire this year. Pike is talented, and in AA before he can legally drink, so don’t take this as me writing him off. It’s just a statistical line that I would never have guessed we’d see from him.

Speaking of prospects, RP Carson Smith – a guy I thought could make an impact in MLB this season – is locked in for Tacoma right now. He suffered an injury early in the season, and had a very poor April, but in his last 26 innings, going back to June 6th, he’s given up three runs, struck out 29 and walked 7. In the process, he’s knocked his ERA down from 6.00 to 2.93.

Comments

116 Responses to “Game 127, Mariners at Red Sox”

  1. Paul B on August 22nd, 2014 4:24 pm

    The promo on 710 AM today was touting this game as one where the Mariners were playing a team in the playoff race.

    I don’t think so.

  2. Paul B on August 22nd, 2014 4:46 pm

    So did they have to wake up the replay guy in New York?

    What if the guy has to review several games at once?

  3. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 4:50 pm

    There is more than one guy, but whoever this guy was sure did like the drama. The replay guys are all former/senior umpires. I thought there was one assigned for each game in progress, but I am not sure about that.

  4. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 4:54 pm

    8 umpires and a bunch of technicians – with 30 TV’s – and 12 possible viewing angles at each game – according to a quick google search.

  5. IndianaMike on August 22nd, 2014 5:05 pm

    Felix looks to have settled down after that first inning. Now if the M’s can put a run or two on the board.

  6. Paul B on August 22nd, 2014 5:07 pm

    I guess when there is a day game on the east coast and a night game on the west coast, that could make for a long day.

    Other than that, sounds like a pretty good job.

  7. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 5:25 pm

    Hell yeah … And they are drawing their senior umpire salary while doing it.

  8. Westside guy on August 22nd, 2014 5:40 pm

    An article I read (but can’t find again) implied that one of Rusney’s years was this year, and the BoSox were paying him $10 million this year because they are currently way below the luxury tax threshold – so it was in their advantage to so?

    Plus it sounded like he wanted to make at least a token appearance in the MLB this season.

    Oh, wait – it appears what matters for the luxury tax is the average annual value of a contract, and the way the money is distributed may be irrelevant.

  9. G-Man on August 22nd, 2014 5:48 pm

    Wow, a curve to Miller on 3-2. Rather face Jackson?

  10. Seattleguy527 on August 22nd, 2014 5:52 pm

    He probably figured Miller would be looking fastball so he could strike him out with curve. But yeah, certainly looks like he didn’t fear Jackson knowing Miller might draw a walk.

  11. Seattleguy527 on August 22nd, 2014 6:05 pm

    Next inning will be interesting. Will Lloyd let Felix finish the 6th? Or will Beimel be brought in to face Ortiz?

  12. Seattleguy527 on August 22nd, 2014 6:22 pm

    Ballgame. See y’all tomorrow.

  13. WalterNeff on August 22nd, 2014 6:23 pm

    What channel is Seahawks on?

  14. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 6:26 pm

    He’s done. Go get him, Lloyd.

  15. californiamariner on August 22nd, 2014 6:26 pm

    Mariners, please don’t go on one of these streaks…

  16. WTF_Ms on August 22nd, 2014 6:30 pm

    Cali, is that 8 game losing streak flashing back??? If that were only a 6 game streak, we’d be solid in the WC race….yet, here we are! I’m glad we are at least in the race. Even if it’s only a 2nd WC spot.

  17. californiamariner on August 22nd, 2014 6:31 pm

    Years upon years are flashing back.

  18. WTF_Ms on August 22nd, 2014 6:32 pm

    Where’s the “like” button? I agree with you. Years….and years….

  19. JMB on August 22nd, 2014 6:37 pm

    Does it concern anyone else that Felix doesn’t throw over 100 pitches anymore and/or seems to run out of gas when he gets there? I know the bullpen is very solid, but I feel like there’s going to be a game (in the post-season, if we manage to get there) where we’re going to need a heroic 130-pitch outing from him, but I’m not sure he’s capable.

  20. californiamariner on August 22nd, 2014 6:43 pm

    Honestly, I feel like if Felix has to throw 130 pitches, then he hasn’t been very sharp that day anyway and you’re probably better off with the bullpen coming in after everyone in the lineup has seen him 3 times.

  21. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 6:50 pm

    Gee, Jackson comes up with runners on and won’t do anything good. Where have we seen this before?

  22. stevemotivateir on August 22nd, 2014 6:52 pm

    I had a bigger problem with the intentional walk than I did with Felix’s pitching.

  23. WTF_Ms on August 22nd, 2014 6:54 pm

    Detroit?

  24. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 6:54 pm

    Great AB, Jackson.

  25. GP20 on August 22nd, 2014 6:54 pm

    Austin Jackson = Al Martin all over again.

  26. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 6:56 pm

    Did he play football at USC, too?

  27. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 6:56 pm

    I was thinking the 5th inning, but Detroit is correct also.

  28. WTF_Ms on August 22nd, 2014 7:06 pm

    Good hustle down the line Robby….not.

  29. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:10 pm

    Wow, Kendrys … You have sure been a pleasure to watch this season.

  30. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:26 pm

    Zunino!!!

  31. Grayfox3d on August 22nd, 2014 7:26 pm

    I hope I’m wrong but this could very well be the beginning of the end for our fun little run, which really sucks, but again I hope I’m wrong.

  32. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 7:26 pm

    Another good plate discipline day for Zunino. 0-4 4 Ks, nice job.

  33. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 7:28 pm

    Striking out in 36% of his at bats. I understand that he hasn’t had much development time, but this is really ridiculous.

  34. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 7:31 pm

    7 walks, 1 HBP = 0 runs.

  35. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 7:31 pm

    I don’t understand pinch hitting Denorfia for Miller against a right-hander.

  36. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:31 pm

    Carlos Peguero territory with his strikeout rate. How dumb does that sound. Crimony.

  37. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 7:33 pm

    Yay, the reverse jinx worked. Can Austin Jackson screw up with runners on yet again?

  38. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:33 pm

    Jackson with runners on …

  39. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:34 pm

    Good work Jake.

  40. JMB on August 22nd, 2014 7:35 pm

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! JACKSON!

  41. Section329 on August 22nd, 2014 7:35 pm

    Amazing

  42. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:35 pm

    Ackley never comes through. He’s horrible.

  43. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 7:36 pm

    It’s a start. Let’s go.

  44. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:36 pm

    Good job me!

  45. JMB on August 22nd, 2014 7:36 pm

    HOLY CRAP! Are you kidding me?!?!?!

  46. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 7:36 pm

    Holy shit they bailed Felix out YAY

  47. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:37 pm

    That freaking AB by Endy led to this. He had a great night.

  48. californiamariner on August 22nd, 2014 7:37 pm

    OH MY GOD MARINERS!!!

  49. Grayfox3d on August 22nd, 2014 7:37 pm

    reverse jinx lives!

  50. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 7:38 pm

    I turned this thing off after the Cespedes HR and been looking at Gameday every few minutes. I’m absolutely shocked. This would be such a huge morale booster, and possibly put them back in the wild card spot.

  51. Jake on August 22nd, 2014 7:39 pm

    WOWWWWWWWWWW

  52. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:40 pm

    How the hell did he score on that!

    Sweet job, Ackley.

  53. Grayfox3d on August 22nd, 2014 7:40 pm

    holy crap! our 3rd base coach did something positive!

  54. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:41 pm

    Nava fell asleep at the wheel!

    Ha!!!

  55. JMB on August 22nd, 2014 7:41 pm

    That’s what you get for sticking a 1B out in RF.

  56. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:43 pm

    Another chance to be mad at Kendrys.

  57. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:44 pm

    Thanks for not disappointing, Kendrys.

    Great inning, boys.

  58. Grayfox3d on August 22nd, 2014 7:45 pm

    Kendrys can exit stage left anytime now.

  59. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:48 pm

    Oooooooooh my … Cano!!!!!!

  60. djw on August 22nd, 2014 7:48 pm

    Stupid Gameday is telling me Brandon Kintzler just induced an inning-ending groundout from Travis Snider to end the top of the 9th. I looked him up, he’s doesn’t look much like Morales at all.

  61. Grayfox3d on August 22nd, 2014 7:48 pm

    Cano makes playing 2nd base look so damn easy!

  62. djw on August 22nd, 2014 7:50 pm

    Gameday is now showing all these pitches to Betts as strikes….

  63. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:51 pm

    Not even close to strikes.

  64. msfanmike on August 22nd, 2014 7:52 pm

    Woot!

    Stole it.

  65. JMB on August 22nd, 2014 7:54 pm

    Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, Dave. That’s the phrase you tried TWICE to get out but could not. Man he’s terrible.

  66. Paul B on August 22nd, 2014 7:54 pm

    I don’t believe it.

    That is what Dave would have said.

  67. djw on August 22nd, 2014 7:54 pm

    I’m so glad I got confused and thought this was a late game, otherwise I would have been obsessively checking my phone every five minutes. Instead, I get home and turn on gameday just in time for Austin’s double. Sweet. (Meanwhile, Minnesota with a chance to pad the lead over Detroit…)

  68. JMB on August 22nd, 2014 7:54 pm

    But seriously, Mariners!

  69. blackhook on August 22nd, 2014 9:04 pm

    Just curious, does anyone have a recording of the game? …what i’m wondering is how many “punch-out pitches” i.e., 2-strikes, 2-outs) did we have in the 9th? I’m guessing 12-15 …Chavez had several in his at-bat before he walked, then a bunch more 2-strike at-bats. Unreal finish!

  70. Sowulo on August 23rd, 2014 3:00 am
  71. ivan on August 23rd, 2014 4:43 am

    Hey, don’t you guys know Endy is utterly useless, and he has been utterly useless for years, and the idea that he should be on this team five seconds longer than necessary just proves you don’t understand baseball? I mean, some smartmouth wrote that right here, so it must be true.

  72. G-Man on August 23rd, 2014 10:59 am

    Anybody home?

  73. JMB on August 23rd, 2014 11:06 am

    Apparently not. :-(

  74. Westside guy on August 23rd, 2014 11:16 am

    Yes, the way you evaluate a baseball player properly should be by looking at one game – not his last several seasons.

    And, if a team has a winning record with said player on the roster, it must be that he is the best possible person to fill that roster spot – replacing him with a statistically superior player would obviously result in team getting worse.

    As an aside… I believe that’s how Miguel Olivo stayed in the major leagues for so long.

  75. Grayfox3d on August 23rd, 2014 11:20 am

    Who’s the smart guy who sends Kyle Seager home on a ball hit to Cespedes…. I understand being aggressive but the whole league should know who and who not to run on.

    And then a 4 pitch walk to the #8 hitter to lead off an inning.

  76. Grayfox3d on August 23rd, 2014 11:52 am

    If your watching the game, that right there is exactly why Endy is a part time player, runner on 2nd and 3rd no outs, and you swing and miss at 3 straight pitches.

  77. msfanmike on August 23rd, 2014 11:57 am

    Sucre in the lineup for his bat!

  78. msfanmike on August 23rd, 2014 12:02 pm

    Perfect!

    Ackley squared that one up.

  79. californiamariner on August 23rd, 2014 12:04 pm

    I don’t even know what to do right now. This is fun!

    By the way, it was 3-0 when I turned this game on. (YOU’RE WELCOME)

  80. eponymous coward on August 23rd, 2014 12:05 pm

    I wonder if we’ll get daily game threads if we make the playoffs…

  81. Grayfox3d on August 23rd, 2014 12:07 pm

    You would think we could get them daily being that were in the hunt for the playoffs *snicker*

  82. Section329 on August 23rd, 2014 12:08 pm

    Woo! Bet we will get those threads, eponymous.

  83. Grayfox3d on August 23rd, 2014 12:24 pm

    Yes Chris, we want you to strike out the first two hitters and then fall apart after, just to make this interesting.

  84. californiamariner on August 23rd, 2014 12:28 pm

    Big strikeout from the bartender!

  85. Seattleguy527 on August 23rd, 2014 12:33 pm

    I don’t think anyone is focusing on one game with Chavez — coming into today he’s hitting .278 with an OBP of .315. Is he a worldbeater? Nah. Is he even “good?” No, probably not. But it’s funny how the people who are so bent on complaining about him ad nauseum seem to forget that he’s a 36-year-old journeyman OF who we signed to a MINOR LEAGUE contract. Jack decided not to address the OF situation so we got stuck with him playing more than he should. Given the fact that we had no reason to expect anything whatsoever from him, I’m pretty damn ok with the results.

    Oh, and he’s making a fraction of what they paid Corey Hart. And yet there are a lot more complaints about Chavez than Hart on here. Sure, that’s rational.

  86. leon0112 on August 23rd, 2014 12:56 pm

    The Twins are killing the Tigers again. If this holds up, the Mariners will be a game and a half ahead of the Tigers. Isn’t scoreboard watching in late August fun?

  87. leon0112 on August 23rd, 2014 1:10 pm

    Twins 12, Tigers 4

  88. Grayfox3d on August 23rd, 2014 1:35 pm

    Those strike calls to Taylor were so horrible! who the hell are these umps and why are they still being paid!

  89. leon0112 on August 23rd, 2014 1:52 pm

    A Red Sox was chucked out for arguing a checked swing call. Why not Llyod?

  90. leon0112 on August 23rd, 2014 2:06 pm

    What a great bullpen.

  91. Dennisss on August 23rd, 2014 2:44 pm

    Bullpen goes 5 and 1/3, 2 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts, no runs. Nice work. Not to mention the 1/3 was with the bases loaded when Wilhelmsen came in.

  92. Woodcutta on August 23rd, 2014 2:58 pm

    Seattleguy,

    I’ve been reading the posts on here for almost the entire season and I don’t remember anyone saying Chavez isn’t doing his job or that he hasn’t been better than expected. The issue is he shouldn’t be starting so much and on a playoff team he probably shouldn’t be on the 25-man roster. Also, his below average/average-ness is better than some of the other options Jack Z has forced Lloyd to trot out there this year. That doesn’t mean we should be happy he’s playing so much or on the team.

  93. Seattleguy527 on August 23rd, 2014 3:22 pm

    You’re kidding, right Woodcutta? There are numerous examples of people complaining about Endy’s production. As Ivan mentioned earlier, he has even been called “utterly useless.” Oh, and then there was the time when people were criticizing him because his slugging percentage wasn’t high enough. That was pretty comical. Endy has always been a guy who is more of a slap hitter who relied on his speed more than anything (which is dwindling because he’s now 36). So no, he’s never going to have a high slugging percentage. What’s next? Should we argue that Cano isn’t good because he doesn’t steal enough bases?

    For the record, I agree with you and everyone else who doesn’t want to seem him playing so much. It would have been nice if Jack had gone out and gotten somebody so Endy wouldn’t even need to be on the roster. Or, it would be nice if Michael Saunders could actually stay healthy and not live his life on the DL. Unfortunately, neither of those things happened/are happening.

    Complaining about him being on the roster at all is a valid complaint, IMO. We should have had better options. But I think people who complain about his production either have unrealistic expectations or they’re complaining just to complain.

  94. ivan on August 23rd, 2014 3:46 pm

    No one is claiming that Endy is good, or that he is the best player available, or that he should be playing as much as he is. If they were to deem Saunders ready to play regularly before the rosters expanded, and someone had to go to clear space, Endy would be the logical choice, and if that was who Lloyd cut, I’d defend it.

    I was just pointing out the sheer idiocy of the “utterly useless” label, and the notion that if you think he has any value whatever, you don’t understand baseball. That is every bit as silly, and as much hyperbole, as calling him, from the other end of the spectrum, a “veteran player who knows how to win.”

    But hey! That’s exactly what Lloyd called him, over on Shannon Drayer’s blog, saying also that the walk Endy drew was the most important AB of the season.

    Whereas Lloyd is the manager and none of us are, my guess is we’re going to see Endy on the playoff roster. Speaking for myself, I’d rather see the team succeed, and my ideas of how a team should be run be trashed, than have my ideas of how a team should be run be validated while the team fails. Almost every team has a “25th man” who might be replaced by someone better.

    Having been a daily reader of this blog from the beginning, and a regular follower of Dave, Derek, and Jason since the alt.sports.baseball.seattle-mariners days on Usenet, I can’t help but think that for some people here, it’s exactly the opposite.

  95. djw on August 23rd, 2014 5:11 pm

    Chavez is obviously useless. He’s a true talent sub-replacement level player who has played above his head and is…replacement level. That’s his upside. The organization’s bizarre infatuation with him is is leading them to bury/ignore a useful player in Saunders. That’s very bad, given their current position. A rational organization would see a healthy Saunders as an excuse to be grateful he hasn’t been worse and bring in a real player. I’m glad he’s doing well, but I know enough about baseball to know the organization’s silly attachment to him is decreasing our chances of making the playoffs, as Saunders’ “rehab” approaches two weeks.

    One of the most baffling things about Mariners fans is the eagerness with which they convince themselves terrible players aren’t terrible. We’ve seen it over the years with Bloomquist, Peguero, and others. The current infatuation with Chavez is the latest example.

  96. HighlightsAt11 on August 23rd, 2014 5:36 pm

    It appears last nights game number was correctly updated. But no game thread today? You win some and you lose some.

    Endy gets a lot of crap on this forum when he fails. But when he succeeds where are the accolades? Quote all the stats you want but I’m glad Endy is available to “fill in”. If he wasn’t “available”, who in the system would be filling in instead?

    If you’re unhappy with the outfield roster direct your insults at Jack.

    As someone wise previously explained to me on this forum, you go with what (who) you got, at each moment.

    I prefer LoMo not be in the outfield. And sounds like Saunders rehab put on temporary hold due to flu-like symptoms. I understand the M’s need to make a decision on him by 8/27.

    So what’s the deal with Hart? Went on the 15-day DL on 8/2. Has that been extended? Is he in rehab somewhere? Is he out for the season?

  97. djw on August 23rd, 2014 5:44 pm

    Endy gets a lot of crap on this forum when he fails. But when he succeeds where are the accolades?

    No one is “giving Endy crap”. I have no doubt he’s doing his best, and I’m glad when he succeeds. He’s just a contant reminder of the limitations of the current front office, and the chances that front office’s inattention to detail in filling out a roster properly may cost us a one game playoff. He’s below replacement level, Saunders is a league average player, and they don’t get that. It’s incredibly frustrating, but it’s not Endy Chavez’s fault. Who is saying otherwise.

  98. ivan on August 23rd, 2014 6:02 pm

    Unless you are calling Lloyd and the whole front offics a pack of liars — and we have read that here before — Saunders isn’t fit yet. When he is, he’ll be here, and as I said above, if they cut Endy to make room for him, it will be the correct move. So do me a favor, pal, and don’t accuse me of saying things I haven’t said.

  99. mksh21 on August 23rd, 2014 6:21 pm

    Well the optimist says we’ve come this far in spite of the disasters filling out the Outfield. I root hard for Endy, but I know its a useless endeavor. You wouldn’t think it wouldn’t be THAT hard to find a better option.

    But hey if he stops playing once Saunders comes back and the M’s have a one or two game lead, i’ll take it. (well maybe if we didnt play endy at all the lead would more :) )

  100. mksh21 on August 23rd, 2014 6:50 pm

    Ichiro is pretty cheap right now….. Yankees have no use for him… Wouldn’t that be neat?

  101. Will on August 23rd, 2014 7:43 pm

    I’d like to hear some viable reasoning as to why Chavez isn’t completely useless… because he is. What does he do well? Nothing, but we’ve still managed to give him 210 PAs this year. Can’t help but chuckle at somebody arguing that we should keep Chavez because he’s hitting .278.

    Guess who else is hitting .278? Munenori Kawasaki… if you’re still evaluating players based on their batting average with all of the advanced data we have now that pretty much downplays its significance, you’re naive.

  102. Grayfox3d on August 23rd, 2014 8:05 pm

    Were 12 games above .500 and fighting for a playoff spot, who the hell cares about Endy Chavez at this point. He’s not going anywhere any time soon.
    Ackley started hitting and no one complains about him anymore, what about LoMo hitting .220? where’s his complaints. Hart goes on the DL and everyone shifts their hate towards Chavez.

  103. Will on August 23rd, 2014 8:16 pm

    Were 12 games above .500 and fighting for a playoff spot, who the hell cares about Endy Chavez at this point. He’s not going anywhere any time soon. Ackley started hitting and no one complains about him anymore, what about LoMo hitting .220? where’s his complaints. Hart goes on the DL and everyone shifts their hate towards Chavez.

    Because with Chavez we actually have a legitimate, MLB-worthy alternative in Michael Saunders. Who are you going to replace Morrison with at this point, Smoak? The frustration is that our third best position player is waisting away in the minors while we give semi-regular playing time to a 36-year-old scrub.

  104. Will on August 23rd, 2014 8:20 pm

    In other news, Cleveland acquired Chris Gimenez today for some cracker jacks. I’d take him as a backup over Sucre any day.

  105. Grayfox3d on August 23rd, 2014 8:32 pm

    Will,
    That’s the thing, Saunders has not been able to stay off the DL this season, and right now he’s sick and according to Lloyd he’s not ready for MLB action. What happens when Saunders get’s hurt again? who do you trust more at this point Endy or Jones?

  106. Seattleguy527 on August 23rd, 2014 8:42 pm

    Nah, I’m not naive, Will. The reason I brought up batting average was because people on this site were using that same stat against him earlier in the season. Goose/gander, right? And I’m all in favor of advanced stats, but I also know that people love to cherry pick advanced stats to suit their own purposes.

    I find it funny that for some people on this site if you don’t irrationally hate Endy Chavez or constantly complain about him, you’re somehow a fan of his. Apparently we’ve now moved on to conspiracy theories that the organization has Michael Saunders stuffed in a suitcase somewhere because they think Chavez is the greatest thing since sliced bread? What, no “Ohhhh great, now they’re going to sign Chavez to a 5-year deal!” posts after last night’s game? Personally, I think those are my fave. You guys must be slipping.

    There, I think that was hyperbolic enough to be a legitimate USSM post, no?

  107. Seattleguy527 on August 23rd, 2014 8:47 pm

    Haven’t you heard, Grayfox? The reason Saunders is sick is because Jack and Lloyd are slowly introducing arsenic into his protein shakes. Shhhhhhh, this needs to look like an accident. We can’t have this ending up on Forensic Files, ya know?

  108. naviomelo on August 23rd, 2014 8:52 pm

    Chavez isn’t going anywhere. That seemed pretty clear to me when Lloyd made the comment about it being too late in the season to have guys try and figure things out at the big league level. When they’re forced to make a move with Saunders, it would seem that it’s going to mean the end of the eight-man bullpen, not the end of Endy Chavez.

  109. Will on August 23rd, 2014 9:49 pm

    I find it funny that for some people on this site if you don’t irrationally hate Endy Chavez or constantly complain about him, you’re somehow a fan of his.

    Never said that you were a fan of his, but please enlighten me as to what you’re trying to argue here…

    I don’t understand why you think we shouldn’t complain about playing 36-year-old scrubs like Chavez on a regular basis.

  110. ivan on August 24th, 2014 2:23 am

    Management plays favorites in all walks of life. Baseball is no different. Managers play favorites in baseball, almost with a vengeance. Endy is one of Lloyd’s favorites, and there isn’t jack $hit you can do about it while Lloyd is the manager. That’s why it is silly to complain. Lloyd is going to do things for his reasons and not for yours. It’s his job on the line and not yours. If you refuse to acknowledge this human dynamic, all the advanced stats in the world aren’t doing you any good.

  111. KDawg on August 24th, 2014 2:38 am

    This blog lacks content. But it has for the last 2 years. For a team that is finally in a pennant race for the first time in 7 years, I am truly disappointed. Wish you guys picked up your game.

  112. naviomelo on August 24th, 2014 2:55 am

    Somebody send this guy a refund.

  113. djw on August 24th, 2014 6:25 am

    Endy is one of Lloyd’s favorites, and there isn’t jack $hit you can do about it while Lloyd is the manager. That’s why it is silly to complain.

    You can’t be serious. It’s “silly” to talk about the organization’s shortcomings and errors? I can’t believe you’re still reading this blog after all these years, since one of its core themes–arguably its raison d’etre–is “silly”.

    Were 12 games above .500 and fighting for a playoff spot, who the hell cares about Endy Chavez at this point.

    It’s precisely because we’re fighting for a playoff spot that the organization’s delusions about Chavez are so maddening. Do you really need someone to spell out for you why giving an ancient sub-replacement level scrub with no upside regular playing time isn’t wise for a team trying to win more games than the Detroit Tigers in the next 40 days?

    So what’s the deal with Hart? Went on the 15-day DL on 8/2. Has that been extended? Is he in rehab somewhere? Is he out for the season?

    He appears to have begun his rehab in Tacoma yesterday.

  114. ivan on August 24th, 2014 6:40 am

    Why can’t you believe I’m still reading this blog after all these years? I read this blog for my reasons and not for yours. I never said sabrmetrics were silly. I’m a SABR member. I don’t think sabrmetrics are silly. I think some of the people who practice them are silly, and that some of the people who practice them are just flat-out dogmatic and arrogant about it (are your ears tingling?)

    Why do I think that? Because stats and metrics do not explain everything about baseball, and it’s high time some people quit pretending that they did. Even Bill James has said this. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.

    I read this blog to learn, and every day I learn. I even learn stuff from you sometimes.

  115. eponymous coward on August 24th, 2014 10:05 am

    All told, if Saunders isn’t ready (which wouldn’t be surprising, after having his rehab interrupted by paternity leave AND illness), the M’s don’t have a ton of options in the OF. We already know this.

    Now, if Saunders was on the MLB roster and not playing AT ALL, and Chavez was the starter, yeah, we should probably bitch about this. But the M’s starting one of their raft of replacement-level players over the other when there aren’t any other options? Meh.

    (And yeah, Jones is probably the younger, worse-fielding version of Chavez, though if he could field as well as Chavez did in his salad days, he’d be an OK 4th OF, like Chavez was. But he’s not at present.)

  116. Seattleguy527 on August 24th, 2014 10:55 am

    Will,

    I wasn’t saying people shouldn’t complain that Chavez is playing too much. I completely agree that he’s playing more than he should. In my first post I acknowledged he shouldn’t even be on the roster because Jack should have went out and upgraded the OF, but he didn’t.

    What I’m saying is given his limited, if any, skillset, his production is what everyone should have expected. Yet there are people who complain about his production and wring their hands anytime he does something even remotely bad. I assume this is because they are bitter he’s on the roster in the first place. I think some people would rather see a guy fall on his face and be right than see a guy they don’t like help the team (also see: Ibanez, Raul).

    Also, for everyone who’s complaining that he’s playing too much — you realize he would be playing a lot less if Saunders could stay healthy, right?

    Ok, I’m spending way too much time talking about Endy Chavez. I really need to get out more.

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