Game 114, Mariners at Athletics
Joe Wieland vs. Sean Manaea, 7:05pm
The red-hot M’s take on the Athletics in a series in Oakland, with Joe Wieland making his debut in an M’s uniform. He’ll be facing Sean Manaea, the lefty prospect who’s numbers look a bit better than they did early on, but is still having something of a rough go in his first MLB season.
Ariel Miranda was scheduled to start this one, but now it’s Joe Wieland’s turn to take the hill. Wieland was just selected from Tacoma, and to make room on the 40-man, the M’s have DFA’d Daniel Robertson. To make room on the active roster, the M’s sent down Jarrett Grube, who’d been in the bullpen as emergency depth. Wieland’s a righty who’d been a Ranger prospect, but made his MLB debut several years ago with San Diego. Though he made a handful of (forgettable) appearances with the Dodgers last year, he was signed on a minor league deal in the offseason. As Tacoma’s opening day starter, I think the M’s thought he might be some helpful rotation depth, but he got off to a brutal start in the PCL: after his first 5 starts, his ERA stood at 17.31. He’s been much better since, but his season numbers are still a bit ugly thanks to an April in which he gave up 36 hits and 31 runs in all of 13 innings pitched. As for his repertoire, the best way to describe it is that he’s a starting version of Blake Parker – he’s got a straight, kind-of-rising four-seamer, a big curve ball, and then a change-up. He used to throw a slider, but hasn’t for some time now. Wieland throws around 91-92.
Manaea’s whippy, lower 3/4 delivery produces a lot of armside run. His four-seamer has more than 2 standard deviations more run than average; it’s a bit like Carson Smith’s sinker, only from the left side and obviously nowhere near as effective. Manaea’s secondaries are a slider (this one more clearly behind Smith’s big breaking slider) and the makings of a pretty good looking change-up. Despite a lot less movement, Manaea’s slider has been pretty effective, and even the change’s results look solid, especially given that he’s generally throwing it to right-handed bats. But his fastball is just getting squared up far too much, and that’s something the A’s are going to need to work on this offseason. Righties are destroying him, while his arm angle and slider allow him to dominate lefties. Righties are slugging nearly .600 on his fastball, and while that should regress, he’s clearly got to figure out how to keep his fastball from breaking right into righties’ barrels. Improved command may help, but I wonder if he may need a mechanical tweak of some sort.
1: O’Malley, LF
2: Gutierrez, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Lee, 1B
6: Seager, 3B
7: Zunino, C
8: Martin, CF
9: Marte, SS
The Tigers are facing Yu Darvish and the Rangers in Arlington, for those wanting to do a bit of scoreboard watching.