Extra Fake Game (#10), Mariners at Athletics
Jordan Pries vs. Scott Kazmir, Noon
Sorry for the late post here, but the game time got bumped up as part of Will Ferrell’s day-long attempt to play all nine positions in several different games. He’ll play some IF for the M’s by taking Willie Bloomquist’s spot at some point.
The story of yesterday wasn’t Erasmo’s start, Kyle Seager’s home run, or the final score. The best thing about yesterday’s game was seeing Danny Hultzen again for the first time since September of 2013. After missing all of last year recuperating from labrum surgery, Hultzen looked better than I would’ve expected, with velocity higher than I saw in 2013, and throwing all three pitches from his modified delivery. The mechanical change is fairly subtle, but his right leg steps much more towards the plate than it did when he was with the Rainiers. The M’s believe that “Crossfire” delivery may have added stress on his shoulder, hence the post-surgery adjustment.
That said, I do wonder how much of that delivery aided his deception; he was very good against righties in college and in the minors despite a change-up that flashed plus but that he struggled to command consistently. Would the new delivery make it easier for righties to see the ball? We certainly don’t know from a single inning, but I liked the way he used the change to the righties he faced after walking Troy Tulowitzki to start the inning (when he was clearly amped up, touching 95, but missing badly at times. He took several deep breaths in the at bat, trying to calm down, and after the walk, he looked great).
Today, RHP Jordan Pries makes his second start against the A’s Scott Kazmir.
1: Jackson, CF
2: Ruggiano, LF
3: Romero, DH
4: Cruz, RF
5: Kivlehan, 3B
6: Zunino, C
7: Montero, 1B
8: Bloomquist, 2B
9: Marte, SS
The big sabermetric news yesterday was this exciting post (ok, to ME anyway) by Jonathan Judge at THT. Judge has come up with a new run estimator (think FIP, xFIP, SIERA, etc.) using an entirely new approach, and he’s attempting to incorporate context in ways that haven’t been included in previous models. ERA, FIP, etc. all assume that the batters a pitcher faces essentially even out over the course of the year, and while we know that’s probably not actually true, it’s tough to try to account for it without making the modeling overly complex. Is this new metric the gold standard? I’m not sure, and I’ll have more to say later, but it’s still some groundbreaking work, and I’d encourage you to take a look.