Game 40, Mariners at Orioles
Nate Karns vs. Tyler Wilson, 9:35am
Early game = abbreviated game post.
It’s funny the way we associated teams with a certain style of pitcher, or at least starter. The Orioles of the past few years were a great example: Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen all came from different countries, threw at various speeds, Chen was a lefty, Tillman a righty, etc., but there were all basically the same pitcher. They threw rising fastballs, gave up tons of fly ball contact, and used the resulting low BABIP to work around the home run issues that were a byproduct of this approach. I think most fans here would probably point to the Twins as well. Minnesota’s staff famously ranked last in baseball in strikeouts for a few years. It seemed that all of baseball followed the trend towards more and more whiffs, and the Twins decided that 1987 was great, and that they’d just like to stay. This is the club that signed Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey to free agent deals. The club that brought us Nick Blackburn, (the bad version of) Liam Hendriks, and Scott Diamond.
Given all of that, the only thing I think when looking over Tyler Wilson’s repertoire and results is: how did Minnesota miss this guy?
Wilson throws a straight fastball without much vertical rise, and he pairs it with a slow slider (MLBAM calls it a curve) and a change-up that’s remarkably whiff-proof. It all adds up to an extreme pitch-to-contact guy with above-average ground ball rates. This is Nick Blackburn reincarnate. Thus far, though, Wilson’s been fine as a 5th starter. In 66+ big league innings, he’s only given up 25 runs thanks to a very low HR rate that makes up for that fact he’s only struck out 28. That’s interesting, because in the minors, Wilson gave up tons of HRs. Is he going to get exposed the more hitters see him, the way Blackburn and, I don’t know, Blake Beavan were? I think so, and that in this era, it’s damn near impossible to be even a fifth starter with a K/9 under 4.
1: Aoki, LF
2: Smith, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Lind, 1B
7: Clevenger, C
8: Marte, SS
9: Martin, CF
Rainiers open a home series against the Iowa Cubs today. In recent years, fans would’ve had this one circled on the calendar for months, as the Cubs high minors have been overflowing with big prospects, but that’s less true now. Still, it IS a good opportunity to see old friend Munenori Kawasaki, who’s now with the I-Cubs. They also feature CF prospect Albert Almora, as well as 1B Dan Vogelbach, RP Carl Edwards, Jr., and NPB single-season hit king Matt Murton. Donn Roach takes the hill for Tacoma against his former team.
Jackson opens a series against Chattanooga today with Brett Ash facing off with DJ Baxendale.
Tyler Marlette wins M’s affiliate player of the night last night with two HRs and 6 RBIs (one HR was of the grand variety). It’s been a rough year, but maybe this’ll get him going. Bako beat High Desert 10-3, by the way. Andrew Moore’s on the mound for the Blaze tonight.
Quad Cities beat up on Clinton, 9-3. Lukas Schiraldi starts today for the L-Kings against the Bandits’ Makay Nelson, who’ll be making his first career appearance above rookie-ball.