Game 47, Twins at Mariners

marc w · May 27, 2016 at 5:46 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Pat Dean, 7:10pm

Happy Felix Day!

And happy “it’s another org guy making a spot start” day as well. I can’t believe I was worried about that Zach Neal just because he was similar to Kendall Graveman, a pitcher getting destroyed by the AL thus far. Anyway, Pat Dean is…a left handed pitcher. The Twins drafted him in the 3rd round out of Boston College several years back, but he took a long time to move up the ladder. An inability to miss bats and occasional HR trouble kept him firmly in the value-at-org-level range, until the stars aligned and he posted a great ERA for AAA Rochester last year.

If you knew nothing about the guy, not what teams he played for or anything, and you just looked at this Fangraphs page, I think you’d accurately pick him as a Twins hurler. In a few hundred innings across A-AA, Neal posted K% in the 10-13% range, marks that are essentially outside of the general big league distribution. From 2012-2015, 8 qualified pitchers posted K rates under 13%: Henderson Alvarez, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia, Jeremy Guthrie, Clayton Richard, Mark Buehrle and Scott Diamond. Of them, *three* pitched for the Twins – Correia did it twice, once for the Twins, and once the year before they acquired him. It’s hard to make a living at this level giving up quite so many balls in play. It didn’t used to be, and you can certainly question whether the focus on the three true outcomes has become a tic, more obsessive compulsive disorder than logical thinking about winning ball games. But the stats do indicate that pitchers with Twins-level strikeouts tend to have Twins-style flameouts sooner rather than later. Diamond, Correia and Richard never qualified for the ERA title again and Buerle retired.

Dean throws a fastball without much notable movement in the 89-91 range; it has some armside run, but is pretty much average in vertical movement. His primary breaking ball is a cutter at 85 with moderate sink. He’s got a change-up without much sink at all, and a curve in the high 70s. He doesn’t elicit lots of out-of-zone swings, and he allows plenty of contact, so you’d figure he’d need to be a guy with an extremely low BABIP, but he hasn’t shown any aptitude for that, either. In his brief MLB career, it’s sky high, but it was over .300 for most of his MiLB career, and only .282 in his low ERA year last season. He’s been a fly ball pitcher which *should* help his BABIP, so I’ll just throw up my hands and say I’m not sure how Dean made it, or how he’ll stick around. Kudos to him for shutting down a good Toronto line-up in his only other big league start, but there’s a reason ZiPS’s rest-of-season FIP projection for him starts with a 5.

The Twins offense has been the worst in the AL thus far, with a slash line of .235/.301/.374. That’ll beat out the AAA clubs at the bottom of the NL, but that’s still pretty atrocious – it grades out to a wRC+ of 84. With a low-ish walk rate and bottom-third power, this may be a good match-up for Felix. His command hasn’t been elite yet, but he hasn’t really paid a price for it. He should feel emboldened to attack the zone a bit tonight, especially against the softer underbelly of the offense. It’s not entirely bad; Miguel Sano has pop, as does newcomer Byung-ho Park. But the back end of the line-up, with SS Eduardo Escobar, CF Danny Santana looks very much like a chunk of a Mariners’ line-up from 2010-2014 or so. Santana’s up because top prospect Bryan Buxton completely face-planted in April, and 2B Brian Dozier’s break out seems like it was a long time ago; in the last calendar year, Dozier’s posted a wRC+ of 89 with a .222/.295/.400 line.

1: Aoki, CF
2: Gutierrez, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, RF
5: Lee, 1B
6: Seager, 3B
7: Iannetta, C
8: Romero, RF
9: Sardiñas, SS
SP: El Rey

With Leonys Martin’s hamstring injured, the M’s have a decision to make. They can DL him and bring up an OF, or hold off for a few days to see if he’s ready. Martin apparently doesn’t want to go on the DL, but the M’s may want to be cautious…hamstrings can be stubborn. Boog Powell is still with Tacoma, so that’s not it. As Mike Curto just reported, Stefen Romero – hitting .358/.417/.601 at the moment – is flying to Seattle in case the M’s decide to DL Martin. [Edit 5:46] Ok, now we know: Martin’s heading to the DL retroactive to yesterday, and as you can see, Romero’s up and starting.

Tacoma pitchers’ string of 27 consecutive scoreless innings came to an end in last night’s 4-1 loss to Round Rock. James Paxton started well, but gave up 2 unearned runs in the 6th, and then the bullpen let a few more. Efren Navarro’s HR accounted for the Rainiers’ lone run. It’ll be Brad Mills on the mound for Tacoma tonight against New Orleans and fellow big league vet Chris Narveson.

Jackson beat Montgomery 8-5 thanks to HRs from DJ Peterson and 2B Tim Lopes. Brett Ash got the win, but the story on the mound may have been Edwin Diaz, who got a 4-out save, coming on with men aboard in the 8th. He K’d 3 of the 4 hitters he saw. He’s now made 7 appearances in relief, tossing 8 1/3 scoreless innings. He’s allowed 3 hits, no walks, and has struck out 14. The M’s thought he could be ready soon when they made this move. If he shows he can handle pitching on back-to-back days (coming up soon, I’d think), then he’ll be ready. Performance wise, this has gone better than anyone could’ve hoped. Jordan Pries takes the mound today for Jackson.

Bakersfield’s 3 run 6th propelled them to a 4-3 win over Rancho Cucamonga. Tyler Herb K’d 6 in 6 solid innings, though he did give up 2 home runs. Kyle Petty had 3 hits including 2 2Bs for the Blaze. The story in the league last night was Lancaster’s drubbing of Stockton by a football score of 29-11. The only Ports pitcher who didn’t get absolutely lit up was their left fielder, Melvin Mercedes who ended the game with 1 1/3 scoreless and a strikeout. Anyway, it’s Tyler Pike’s turn in the rotation tonight for Bakersfield as they face 16-32 Inland Empire, the Angels affiliate who swept them earlier in the year.

Clinton beat Wisconsin 7-6 with a walk-off sac fly in the 11th inning. The Lumberkings held a 6-2 lead late, but gave up 4 runs in the 7th/8th to send it to extras. Art Warren started and went 5 IP with 8 Ks, and Darin Gillies K’d 5 in 3 scoreless innings to pick up the win. Zack Littell starts for Clinton tonight.


40 Responses to “Game 47, Twins at Mariners”

  1. Grayfox3d on May 27th, 2016 6:14 pm

    I’m really excited to see Diaz pitch in the bigs and hope he has a seamless transfer as he gets promoted.

    My buddy is a Twins fan and cheers to hopefully kicking their butts this weekend!

  2. marc w on May 27th, 2016 6:29 pm

    Tough year to be a Twins fan, Grayfox. So much optimism after last year and the wave of prospects they’ve brought in and…this. Ugly start.

  3. Westside guy on May 27th, 2016 7:29 pm

    I really hope Martin heals quickly – hamstrings can be a real problem.

    I’m not particularly excited about seeing Romero in left field. That may just be leftover PTSD from the Zduriencik years, though.

  4. Grayfox3d on May 27th, 2016 7:41 pm

    Does anyone ever feel that we are better with out Aoki? maybe that’s just me.

  5. Westside guy on May 27th, 2016 7:48 pm

    The org isn’t that deep in outfielders… I’m not sure who you’d want to run out there in Aoki’s place.

    He’s certainly not knocking anyone’s socks off, though.

  6. Grayfox3d on May 27th, 2016 7:54 pm


  7. msfanmike on May 27th, 2016 7:55 pm

    I could certainly do without Felix getting raked all over the ballpark by the worst team in the American League. Baseball is sometimes weird that way, though.

  8. msfanmike on May 27th, 2016 7:57 pm

    Foul ball off the foot RBI … You don’t see that very often.

  9. marc w on May 27th, 2016 7:59 pm

    Shut up, baseball.

    Way to take my preview and shove it down Felix’s throat, you vindictive, cruel game.

  10. Grayfox3d on May 27th, 2016 8:05 pm

    At least Guti came to play today! There’s a bright spot through all that darkness.

  11. Westside guy on May 27th, 2016 8:08 pm

    Yup! I’m always happy to see Guti out there.

  12. stevemotivateir on May 27th, 2016 8:09 pm

    Obviously none of you realize what we’re witnessing… the Twins just scored their last runs of the season.

  13. Grayfox3d on May 27th, 2016 8:11 pm

    So Felix gets obliterated in the 3rd, then starts off the 4th with a 3 pitch K… where was that last inning!

  14. stevemotivateir on May 27th, 2016 8:48 pm

    Did anyone tell Romero he needs to chip-in offensively tonight? They’ll shave his head and throw him out of the duggout if he doesn’t produce any runs.

  15. Westside guy on May 27th, 2016 9:07 pm

    It’s not Felix’s night tonight, despite the strikeouts.

  16. Grayfox3d on May 27th, 2016 9:26 pm

    Not Felix’s night… better yet, not the team’s as a whole night.

  17. stevemotivateir on May 27th, 2016 9:37 pm

    It’s not our night.

  18. Grayfox3d on May 27th, 2016 10:00 pm

    Definently not my night as I’m stuck at work! yay.

  19. Westside guy on May 27th, 2016 10:17 pm

    You know who’d look good in our outfield right now? A certain tall Canadian, nicknamed after a ungainly huge bird, who’s OPS’ing .932 and batting cleanup for the Blue Jays.

  20. Grayfox3d on May 27th, 2016 11:21 pm

    Westside, He sounds like he would be a perfect fit! Can he play defense at a respectable level at safeco?

  21. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 1:53 am

    I dunno, Grayfox3d – he seems to move reasonably well, but he has an affinity for tripping over sprinkler heads. Are there any in Safeco’s outfield?

  22. Kazinski on May 28th, 2016 9:01 am

    A disappointing result. But looking at the standings somehow we are just a half game back of Boston for the best record in the AL. We are 2nd in run differential too, 17 ahead of #3 Cleveland, and still first in runs allowed in the AL.

    This may not be the team we’ve been waiting so long for, but I do think it’s better than any team we expected, so far.

  23. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 7:15 pm

    Saturday’s Line-up:
    Aoki, CF
    Smith, LF
    Cano, 2B
    Cruz, His natural position
    Lind, 1B
    Sexy, RF
    Clevenger, C
    Sardines, 3B

    And now… what’s the deal with Sano? Does he think he’s Cano?

  24. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 7:20 pm

    I really don’t get those Union 76 ads. What’s a chicken on a copy machine got to do with gasoline?

  25. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 7:22 pm


  26. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 7:42 pm

    Come on Clevenger, do it.

  27. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 7:56 pm

    Heads up play by Lind.

  28. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 8:04 pm

    Is it my breath??

  29. Milendriel on May 28th, 2016 8:29 pm

    Probably has something to do with the holiday weekend… or maybe disgust at the Mariners leaving the bases loaded with no outs for approximately the millionth time?

  30. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 8:32 pm

    Hey this inning Clevenger didn’t GIDP!

  31. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 8:37 pm

    I figured as much, Milendriel – it’s just too bad it was on the night Aoki chose to hit a home run!

  32. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 9:18 pm

    Hey, Sardinas!

  33. stevemotivateir on May 28th, 2016 9:21 pm

    Why on Earth did Acta have Smith running on that shallow fly ball?

  34. mrakbaseball on May 28th, 2016 9:51 pm

    At least Nelson Cruz hit a ball out of Safeco during BP…

  35. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 10:10 pm

    It’s just that the Mariners are all about charity, and they’re trying to help the Twins feel better about themselves!

  36. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 10:44 pm

    WHAT the HECK was that?

    What’s with the Mariners and stupid base running?

  37. Westside guy on May 28th, 2016 10:45 pm

    I think O’Malley, at least, was safe.

    … but I’m not the guy in New York making that decision.

  38. WTF_Ms on May 28th, 2016 10:55 pm

    Holy cow…my user name comes through again! Really guys, WTF? The Twins are the WORST team in the LEAGUE. Not the division….the LEAGUE! Better come through tomorrow, or the attendance will go back to “normal”!

  39. Grayfox3d on May 29th, 2016 12:00 am

    Oh man that was a new way to lose! I wonder what neat thing we will see in tomorrows game.

  40. Notfromboise on May 29th, 2016 3:41 pm

    I saw it form work and man… Neither guy was clearly out.. Far from it. How both were called out after replay I’ll never know.

    The truly sick part was once Guti drove it through the hole to go 1st and 3rd with no one out my brain instantly said “two Ks and a pop up incoming” and… well, it ended even grosser than that. Somehow.

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