Game 101, Diamondbacks at Mariners

marc w · July 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Zack Godley, 7:10pm

So, yeah, not every game can end with a Gutierrez walk-off, and the M’s overtaxed bullpen is clearly struggling at this point. My heart still flutters when Carson Smith trots in from the bullpen; I’m not too worried about his mini-slump, but I would like to see the M’s play some easy games and not have Smith rack up tons of stressful innings.

I’m going to be honest: I’ve talked my share of s$#% about the Diamondbacks front office and their odd approach to player development. This is the team that seemingly gave up on their 2014 first-rounder Touki Toussaint, the team that insisted for a month or two that Yasmany Tomas was a 3rd baseman before moving him to the OF, and then insisted that Peter O’Brien was a catcher before quickly giving up and moving him to the OF where he could be blocked by Tomas. The return when they traded a veteran starting catcher seemed light – a Dominican phenom named Jeferson Mejia who was pitching well, but in the complex league, and a minor-league reliever who had good K numbers but was old for his league… some guy named Zack Godley.

As soon as he got to the D-Backs, they converted Godley to a starter and the results have been fairly remarkable. He maintained a lot of swing-and-miss but was easily able to work deep into games and flashed good control with ground-ball tendencies. Godley never sniffed the top 20 in a loaded Cubs system, but he was an afterthought in the D-Backs…less loaded system, too. No one seemed to know who he was when the D-Backs called him up to fill in for an injured Chase Anderson. He’s spent most of the 2015 season pitching for Visalia in the California league, where he faced the M’s affiliate Bakersfield twice. Less than a month ago, we talked about him briefly when he made his AA debut against Jackson – he went 5 shutout innings in that contest, striking out 2. It’s not that Arizona doesn’t have other options. Highly-touted prospect Aaron Blair is in AAA, and while he’s not exactly excelling, he’s seen a lot more of the high-minors than Godley. They could try out Allen Webster again, just as they did earlier in the year – he’s a known-quantity, on the 40-man and in AAA, though it’s worth noting that he’s been an absolute mess for Reno. The D-Backs instead called upon Godley, someone pretty much only they knew about, and he responded by throwing 6 shutout innings in his big league debut.

So what does Godley throw? It can be a bit tough to find information when Brooks is down and we’re talking about a guy who seemed like an org lifer 5 months ago, but here’s what we’ve got. Godley has 2 to 3 different fastballs, all thrown from 90-93. Gameday shows him with a sinker, a four-seamer and a cutter, and I think that’s probably true, though Gameday isn’t quite sure where the boundary between the pitches lies. I think he’s got an arrow-straight four-seam without much vertical rise, and the cutter has almost the same movement, but a touch more sink – that said, the difference is so slight that if Godley says they’re all cutters (or four-seamers), that’s fine by me. The sinker’s clearly distinct, and while it doesn’t have a ton of run, it’s a fairly text-book sinker and should get some grounders.

He should also get plenty of groundouts with his change-up – a pitch that almost looks like a splitter. It often comes in with very little horizontal movement and breaks sharply down, wherein it confuses the Gameday algorithm *again* by looking suspiciously like his curve. So much of what Godley throws breaks in a very narrow band around 0, and everything’s either 80-82 or 90-92. It’s somewhat odd, and I wonder how much of it is just pitch fx effects and not “real” – I guess we’ll find out tonight. Still, with what LOOKS like an interesting change-up, Godley seems both a bit odd and someone who shouldn’t have huge platoon issues. I have no idea what kind of report the M’s hitters got on him, and it’ll be fun to see how they approach their task.

1: Jackson, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Cruz, DH
4: Cano, 2B
5: Smith, RF
6: Trumbo, 1B
7: Miller, SS
8: Zunino, C
9: Ackley, LF
SP: Iwakuma

Tacoma heads to El Paso to take on the Chihuahuas tonight; Chien-Ming Wang gets the start for the Rainiers against former Padre and Ranger Daniel McCutchen.

Jackson faces the Biloxi Shuckers and former Angels prospect and Milwaukee Brewer Jonny Hellweg, who’s trying to come back from TJ surgery he had in 2014. South African Dylan Unsworth takes the hill for the Generals.

Bakersfield begins a series with ex-M’s affiliate High Desert tonight. Scott DeCecco, recently sent down from AA, starts versus Richelson Pena.

Clinton heads home to host Cedar Rapids, and Lukas Schiraldi will share the mound with 80s prep-school movie villain Keaton Steele.

Everett had a day-game today to finish off their series with Vancouver, and the AquaSox came away with an 8-5 win. While starter Andrew Moore pitched fairly well, the game was notable because Moore finally walked a batter – his first on the year, bringing his K:BB ratio down from infinity to a mere 27:1. Anthony Misiewicz, an 18th rounder out of Michigan State, followed Moore and again delivered a whiff-filled performance, going 4 IP and striking out 6 without a walk. In his last two appearances, he’s thrown 8 innings, given up no runs on 2 hits and 1 walk, and K’d 13.


22 Responses to “Game 101, Diamondbacks at Mariners”

  1. jak924 on July 28th, 2015 7:03 pm

    I just have to say that swapping out Sims for Goldsmith in the TV booth last night was a lousy move. Granted Dave Sims may not be Vin Scully. And I was spoiled by Scully while living in SoCal for 39 years, but having been in broadcast management for many, many years, I can confidently say that Aaron Goldsmith shouldn’t be allowed within 30 feet of a big-league TV booth. Last night’s offerings from this “not ready for primetime” non-entity included repeating some of the most inane and silly observations. It was reminiscent of my student days listening to WSU campus com majors call ballgames on KWSU. Just wasn’t able to say much that was appropriate and would add to the broadcast. “Hey Mike, Miller sure wears his pants high. Did you wear your pants high when you played?” Mike: “Huh?” Seemed as though Blowers was so taken aback by Goldsmith’s mindless and substance-less chatter, all he could do was reply ‘huh?’ I felt badly for Blowers and am pretty sure he just wanted to run. I
    think MLB fans and particularly long-suffering M’s fans deserve much better than this. Tip for M’s organization: your PBP announcer must deliver to the viewer a sense of credibility, knowledge and gravitas. Otherwise, you’really wasting everyone’s time.

  2. WTF_Ms on July 28th, 2015 7:21 pm

    Miller…..a minor leaguer at best. Wow. Cost us another run. When do we start shopping for a decent SS?

  3. bluemoonking on July 28th, 2015 7:27 pm

    Thats why I watch the text version of the Mariners games on Spoiled by Scully too. The promising season seem over anyway. Kuma’s last start in a Mariner uniform tonight. Maybe the Mariners will have a new GM by Xmas. Knowing the Mariners, probably not a good one though…

  4. mrakbaseball on July 28th, 2015 7:30 pm

    Aaron Goldsmith, by all accounts is a nice young man, but keep in mind, he is, for the lack of a better word, Dave Niehaus’ replacement.

  5. bluemoonking on July 28th, 2015 7:31 pm

    According to Dave Cameron and Jeff Sullivan, Miller an Ackley both have value, just not in Mariner uniforms.

  6. bluemoonking on July 28th, 2015 7:36 pm

    Nothing but the best on the field, in the front office and in the booth.

  7. WTF_Ms on July 28th, 2015 7:45 pm

    I’d add Jackson to that mix too. Value, yes, just not in an Ms uni.

  8. Dennisss on July 28th, 2015 7:51 pm

    My impression of Miller is that he is one of the few bright spots on the team, a home-grown product who is a solid player. Not a great defensive shortstop, but nearly a league-average hitter, and fifth on the team in WAR among position players (although Cano will pass him soon.) Miller absolutely has value.

    Ackley – barely, only because someone will hope that he will play better than he has.

  9. bluemoonking on July 28th, 2015 7:58 pm

    But when .234 passes for a bright spot, that says volumes.

  10. eponymous coward on July 28th, 2015 8:56 pm

    But when .234 passes for a bright spot, that says volumes.

    Batting average in pure isolation is a bad way to gauge value.

    Are you new enough here that you haven’t heard that yet?

  11. Westside guy on July 28th, 2015 9:22 pm

    Brad Miller has an ISO of .151 – pretty darn good for a shortstop. His wRC+ is, as of this moment, right at 100 – again, pretty decent at his position.

    But I do understand the frustration with his defense. Thing is, he makes some rather difficult plays… but then he makes some totally boneheaded blunders on balls that should be routine. His focus just seems to completely disappear at times. That was the scouting report while he was at AAA, I believe, and unfortunately he’s never outgrown it.

  12. WTF_Ms on July 28th, 2015 9:43 pm

    The thing with stats are, that they don’t tell you when they make boneheaded plays/errors. Miller has a habit of making them when they hurt the most. In other words, he messes up most under pressure.

  13. Dennisss on July 28th, 2015 9:51 pm

    Put it another way, the Mariners could really use upgrades at catcher, first base, left field, center, relief pitching across the board, and starters. Shortstop is low on the list. Look at it like that, and Miller is a relative bright spot.

  14. Westside guy on July 28th, 2015 10:13 pm

    Whelp, they seem to like being 10 back don’t they?

  15. WestyHerr on July 28th, 2015 11:09 pm

    you know those times when games are outta hand and they put in a position player to pitch? I bet we’d lower that guys ERA

  16. marc w on July 28th, 2015 11:28 pm

    Well put, Eponymous. Miller is not the main problem here, and another example of the frankly weird phenomenon in which good players on bad teams take the fall for the performance of the team as a whole. This could be called the Ichiro effect.

    Also, I am not predisposed to be a Goldsmith fan, but I’m a bit surprised to see such a strong reaction to him. Seems like a decent PBP guy to me, though this is far more subjective than anything on-field could ever be.

  17. mrakbaseball on July 29th, 2015 1:30 am

    Aaron Goldsmith is in his third season calling Mariners games and he still doesn’t have a home run call, even Fairly did. It’s obvious from his various tidbits that he actually prepares and researches players’ backgrounds and the like. To me, he is more suited to the role of a Kevin Cremin, producer/engineer type. Instead of growing up listening to Dave Niehaus, Goldsmith grew up listening to Joe Buck and it shows. It’s no coincidence that he’s done Fox national games.

  18. bluemoonking on July 29th, 2015 7:11 am

    I get that Miller is a good shortstop and there is more to it than BA. My comment was more of what passes for a roster these days. Miller on a lot of other teams would have more value. The M’s need base runners. Those solo homers are getting old.

  19. Snuffy on July 29th, 2015 9:29 am

    I’m a Miller fan. The job of management is to put players in a position where they can best contribute. Don’t expect them to do what they can’t do.

    vLHP .194 .214 .209 .423 Hr-0 T-0 D-1
    vRHP .252 .345 .442 .787

    Of course it’s hard to improve vLHP from the bench. Now that the season is likely lost… whatever.

  20. eponymous coward on July 29th, 2015 1:08 pm

    The thing with stats are, that they don’t tell you when they make boneheaded plays/errors. Miller has a habit of making them when they hurt the most. In other words, he messes up most under pressure.

    Brad Miller is tied for 10th place in MLB with 5 other shortstops for most errors made.

    You’re going to have to do better than that.

    Well put, Eponymous. Miller is not the main problem here, and another example of the frankly weird phenomenon in which good players on bad teams take the fall for the performance of the team as a whole. This could be called the Ichiro effect.

    Ding ding ding ding.

    Bitching about Miller is complaining that the band isn’t playing “Nearer Oh My God To Thee” very well as the Titanic is sinking. He’s the fourth-best position player on the team by WAR, perfectly adequate as a starter. The M’s would be fine if Cano was playing like he was last year, and the OF/1B combo of Ackley/Trumbo/Jackson/Morrison wasn’t a dumpster fire of being collectively below replacement value. This is your problem right there.

    The bottom line is that the M’s still have the same problem they had years ago: crappy OF and crappy 1B play. The things they have done to try and fix it (move Ackley, pick up Jackson and Trumbo, put Smoak on the trash heap and pick up LoMo off a different trash heap) haven’t helped.

    The thing is… this was a problem in 2009. At the beginning of Jack Z’s tenure. How long does it take to develop some bats and OFers in your minor league system?

  21. bluemoonking on July 29th, 2015 2:42 pm

    Jack Z was counting on Cano playing like Cano and production from Ackley/Smith/Ruggiano/Weeks/Jackson/Morrison and to some extent Zunino. I don’t care if you are the best defensive catcher in the game. You have to hit at least at the Mendoza line. It would be nice if he could put some good at bats together.

    Then there is the bullpen and Fernando (Robin Hood) Rodney. Sheesh…

    Now, get this… D.J. Peterson is joining the Rainiers today because he is having an tough year. This is the way the M’s (currently) do things. It’s been a struggle since he got beaned. I guess they are hoping he plays up to the competition.

    The M’s have developed a lot of AAA talent. They need a new GM to get baseball people here who can develop MLB talent. Then maybe a roster that takes advantage of the park they play in.

  22. dantheman on July 30th, 2015 1:30 pm

    “I just have to say that swapping out Sims for Goldsmith in the TV booth last night was a lousy move.”

    You must be joking. Sims has become nothing but a “homer”. Fly balls hit by Mariners are now accompanied by the soundtrack of the announcer (Sims) saying, “Get out! Get out!” He is an embarrasment to professionalism. Rizzs has caught the same disease – all of the Mariners are referred to by their first name or nickname while opposing players are only known by their last names. It’s pathetic.

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