Game 100, Mariners at Pirates

marc w · July 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

James Paxton vs. Gerrit Cole, 4:05pm

The M’s finished up a great comeback win in Pittsburgh last night by making a small change-of-scenery trade of struggling relievers. The M’s sent the injured Joaquin Benoit to Toronto in exchange for Drew Storen, last seen yielding a grand slam to Nelson Cruz this past weekend. Storen’s still only 28, and just a few years removed from some very good years with the Nationals. He was drafted 10th overall in 2009, 9 spots after Washington took Stephen Strasburg 1-1. He spent much of 2010 in the big league bullpen and was installed as closer soon after. He had elbow issues here and there, but pitched well down the stretch in 2012, and came in to close game 5 of the 2012 NLDS. He yielded 4 runs with two outs, blowing the game and ending the Nats’ season. The Nats then signed Rafael Soriano, ending Storen’s tenure as closer. After a brilliant 2014 and a good start to 2015, the Nats traded for Jonathan Papelbon, shifting Storen back to set-up. The point here is: Storen’s been a bit volatile, but he’s been dealt some tough cards, and while he hasn’t played them the way you’d like (eg. breaking his thumb slamming a locker), you can see why buy-low Jerry Dipoto made this move. All the M’s gave up was Joaquin Benoit, who’s been hurt, bad, and then hurt again. Storen’s a free agent after this year, so this can’t simply be about stashing him and seeing what he’ll do next year; if he pitches well, the M’s will have to bid for his services in free agency like everyone else. If he continues to struggle, no harm done – they can just walk away.

Tonight’s match-up pits two of baseball’s hardest throwing starters against each other. The new and improved Paxton isn’t quite throwing Syngergaard-level heat anymore, but he’s close (he ranks 3rd among starters this year). And while Cole’s velo’s moderated, he’s still averaging 96+, good for 11th among starters this year. That said, while he’s had solid results, it’s been a concerning year for the former #1 overall pick. His K rate’s down along with his velocity, and then there was his recent DL trip. I never heard a solid diagnosis – he just said his arm “Didn’t feel right” and took some time off to heal up. That’s a wise move by the pitcher and the team, but that’s gotta be scary for both.

1: Aoki, LF
2: Smith, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Seager, 3B
5: Lind, 1B
6: Martin, CF
7: Zunino, C
8: O’Malley, SS
9: Paxton

No Cruz, who’ll get today and the off day to rest his injured leg. Tai Walker’s foot seems to be doing better, as he threw a sim game today.


7 Responses to “Game 100, Mariners at Pirates”

  1. Westside guy on July 27th, 2016 4:53 pm

    Man, Aoki – what was that?

    I believe in Dipoto’s vision for the outfield; but, man… other than Martin, none of these guys fit the mold. Aoki was good, once – but not any more.

  2. BebopBlues on July 27th, 2016 4:53 pm

    Aoki’s fielding really leaves something to be desired…

  3. Westside guy on July 27th, 2016 4:56 pm

    Fortunately Aoki makes up for bad fielding with his raw power at the plate.

  4. Westside guy on July 27th, 2016 5:21 pm

    Not the most graceful catch I’ve ever seen, but – nice catch by Leonis Martin there!

  5. Westside guy on July 27th, 2016 5:43 pm

    Nice double, Aoki!

    If you score, I’ll forgive you for that awful outfield play earlier. Maybe.

  6. Dennisss on July 27th, 2016 6:13 pm

    Right now Storen for Benoit looks like a fair trade.

  7. Notfromboise on July 27th, 2016 6:25 pm

    It’s like a remake of “Cocktail”. It’s a young hotshot bartender looking to sow his wild oats under the tutelage of a veteran of the trade..

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.