Game 31, Athletics at Mariners

marc w · May 10, 2015 at 12:38 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Felix Hernandez vs. Jesse Chavez, 1:10pm

Happy Felix Day, and a very happy Mother’s Day. It was my mom who instilled a love of baseball in me as a toddler, and it’s my wife who tolerated my love of baseball and encouraged me to take our kids to countless Rainiers games.

The M’s go for the sweep against the reeling A’s, who are now a full game below Texas in last place. Their bullpen’s been atrocious, as we saw in the first game of the series, but their rotation’s been hurt by underperformance and injury. Jesse Hahn’s better than he looked yesterday, but he clearly hasn’t quite adjusted to the AL quite yet. So today the A’s are turning to Jesse Chavez, the reliever turned (effective) starter turned swingman again. Chavez’s career took off in Oakland, but he never seemed like a great candidate to move to starting, but he made 21 starts last season and was a key part of the A’s torrid start. His pitch mix changed pretty dramatically last year, as he opted for the old Brandon McCarthy special – out with the four-seamer, and in with a sinker and cutter. His fastball’s around 92-93, and he’s also got a change and a curve ball. The change-up’s a plus pitch, and it helped him dominate left-handers – he limited lefties to a sub-.300 wOBA last year, and he’s been just as successful in the early going of 2015. With the influx of new players like Hahn and Kendall Graveman, Chavez began the year in the bullpen. He moved back to the rotation in late April, and I’d expect he’ll remain there for the rest of the year. The A’s depth has taken a big hit with Jarrod Parker’s recent injury, and Drew Pomeranz has been shaky since a solid start.

1: Smith, LF
2: Weeks, DH
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, RF
5: Seager, 3B
6: Morrison, 1B
7: Ackley, CF
8: Miller, SS
9: Sucre, C
SP: El Rey

Miller’s back at SS today after Chris Taylor suffered a hand injury in last night’s game.

Tacoma’s game should be an interesting one. The Rainiers have called up Bakersfield reliever Trey Cochran-Gill to make a spot start today at Fresno. He’s obviously close by, given that he’s in the Cal League, and AAA teams do this occasionally if they’re low on pitchers – it’s not necessarily a sign that the M’s are really high on someone. That said, I’ve been intrigued by Cochran-Gill since he got a few innings for the M’s this spring. He’s got a low-90s fastball with good sink and some run, and he’s putting up extremely high ground ball rates thus far in high-A. That’s a good plan when your home park has a CF wall only 350′ away, and it’s a good plan in the homer-happy PCL as well.

Stephen Landazuri’s making the start today for Jackson as they finish up the series with Chattanooga. They’ll be home to face Biloxi tomorrow – Biloxi’s the new club in the Southern League – with Danny Hultzen on the mound.

The suddenly Cochran-Gill-less Bakersfield Blaze are off today. They lost an 8-6 decision to Visalia yesterday, despite a two-HR game from the surging Tyler O’Neill. Unfortunately for the Blaze, as O’Neill’s awoken, Tyler Marlette’s cooled off – he’s in a 3-37 slump. Edwin Diaz takes the hill for Bakersfield tomorrow.

Clinton’s also off today, but they’ll open a series at Wisconsin on Monday.


13 Responses to “Game 31, Athletics at Mariners”

  1. Kazinski on May 10th, 2015 1:14 pm

    Be nice if Felix goes 9 today and gives the bullpen the day off. The bullpen has a 6.55 tip and a 28% HR/FB rate in May, April those numbers were 3.29 and 1.3%.

    Felix doesn’t slump. Since 2006 when Felix had his first full year he leads the majors in innings and WAR and strikeouts.

  2. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2015 1:39 pm

    No fair…

    Michael Pineda, 16K’s against the Orioles today

    5-0 with a 2.97 ERA…

    Jesus Montero is an ugly looking baseball player. Blech.

  3. msfanmike on May 10th, 2015 1:49 pm

    The right handed power bat/no glove was way more important to have, remember?

    Yes, we get it … Pineda and Fister would be way more useful to have now than to have Furbush and Montero.

    It wasn’t the first/second nor will it be the second to last/last decision gone bad.

  4. msfanmike on May 10th, 2015 2:18 pm

    Ackley got a hit with RISP – good!

    First one this season – good gravy!

  5. Kazinski on May 10th, 2015 2:56 pm

    I’d like to know what the front office wants to do with Montero. With 2 SS on the club, and Cruz playing RF almost everyday bringing up Montero and have him DH and find out if he can play at this level doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Willie would be the odd man out in that scenario.

    Of course the counter argument would be that there is nothing he can do that Weeks can’t do better, although Montero is younger and cheaper, and it would be a move more for the future. And it’s a win now year. So I guess Montero needs to be patient until someone gets hurt, they fall out of the race, or September rolls around.

  6. Kazinski on May 10th, 2015 3:08 pm

    This is kind of funny, because there are probably 500 players you could find with the same profile that never panned out. But here is Montero’s comps on slow footed Latin players with no defensive position that struggled mightily in the early parts of their careers. All three were Mariners too:,1086,745

  7. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2015 3:29 pm

    More than most folks I was okay with Montero for Pineda (Mike P just looked like injury after injury waiting to happen… And DID for a few years…)

    And I would have whiffed on Fister too. He looked like a slightly harder throwing Vargas/Washburn in Seattle.

    My only point is in the here and now, I’d rather be watching a young flamethrower mowing down batters than an ice cream eating, no fielding place-keeper in the minors.

    At the time the moves happened, I was all in on Montero, Smoak, and Ackley. Even Figgins. If they had done what folks expected them to do, we’d have been sitting pretty. Instead, we end up with ice cream bars while Pineda has a career day.

    Nobody’s fault. Just the way the baseball cards fall.

  8. Woodcutta on May 10th, 2015 3:42 pm

    The Rodney Experience is in full force.

  9. mksh21 on May 10th, 2015 3:43 pm

    2000 K’s for Felix 🙂

  10. Woodcutta on May 10th, 2015 3:46 pm

    Wow, that was a bad call but I guess they’ll have to take it.

  11. Edgar Suzuki Jr. on May 11th, 2015 10:14 am

    The Adam Jones for Bedard irked me most… When was the last time the M’s produced a bat outside of Seager?!

  12. casey on May 11th, 2015 10:56 am

    yes beginning to wonder what it is the Mariners do to their hitters. Oakland As for example last couple of years have produced Josh Donaldson who was just average in three AAA years as okay hit poor defence catcher, then Brandon Moss who had flunked out with Phils, Pirates and Bosox but at 30 became an allstar big bat and now watching Tumwater guy Stephen Vogt a 29 year old catcher that did nothing for the Rays but looks like AL allstar catcher with As.

    Going to curious to watch Brett Lawrie this season – can they catch more lightning. Absolutely convinced if Ackley was traded to Athletics he would become second coming of Wade Boggs at second base.

  13. heyoka on May 11th, 2015 12:58 pm

    The strategy for keeping Ackley becomes clear – it’s to keep him from the competition.

    2000 Ks for the King. 29 Years Old, The legacy continues. For reference, Jamie Moyer didn’t get his 2000th K until he was 44…..

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