Game 117, Mariners at Angels

marc w · August 15, 2016 at 6:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Felix Hernandez vs. Ricky Nolasco, 7:05pm

A splendid Felix Day to you all!

Tonight, the M’s face off with ex-Twins hurler Ricky Nolasco, traded to Anaheim in something of an odd deadline deal that sent Hector Santiago to Minnesota. We’ve talked a lot on this blog about pitchers that for whatever reason consistently “beat” their fielding-independent stats. Chris Young had a consistently low HR/FB ratio (until this year), and knuckleballers often post very low BABIPs, and some high-K pitchers have the ability to strand more runners. In Nolasco, we’ve got a textbook example of the *opposite* phenomenon – a guy whose FIP makes him look decent, worth extending a 4-year, $49 million deal to, as the Twins did, but has posted just one above-average (2 WAR) season in a fairly lengthy career.

By Fangraphs’ FIP-based WAR, Nolasco’s been worth nearly 23 WAR over his career, which is more than respectable. His career average FIP is 3.86, and paired with decent durability (he’s been hurt a bit more recently), that drives some real value. But his ERA is 4.59, and it’s been well over 5 for his last 300IP over three seasons. That pushes his fielding DEpendent WAR under 10, a bit more in line with what you’d expect from a pitcher who’s allowed so many actual runs. Part of his problem is a stubbornly high BABIP, but Nolasco compounds it by failing to strand runners. Yes, I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth reiterating after the Angels not only took on the end of Nolasco’s deal, but also sent a so-so prospect to the Twins. Sure, sure, they got back injured-but-formerly-highly-regarded Alex Meyer, but fundamentally, the Angels took on salary presumably because they saw this as a decent buy-low guy. By FIP, it’s a decent bargain – it’s a roll of the dice, but you could get a bit of value and not have to burn service time on your actual prospects while your window of contention is closed. But how many innings is enough to confirm to us that Nolasco simply isn’t as good as that perfectly solid FIP?

1: Aoki, LF
2: Smith, DH
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, RF
5: Seager, 3B
6: Lind, 1B
7: Zunino, C
8: Martin, CF
9: Marte, SS
SP: King Felix.

The M’s made a minor trade today, sending UTIL/SS Luis Sardinas to San Diego for a PTBNL or cash considerations. Sardinas was coming off a terrible year at the plate in 2015, and despite a very good spring training, had another awful year at the plate this year. Sardinas just can’t hit – after a .457 OPS last year, he “regressed” to .467 this year.

Most teams run instructional league teams where guys who’ve been hurt or need extra work can play games but without worrying about their stats. The M’s made the somewhat surprising move of not fielding a team this fall – they’re opting to send more guys to the Caribbean winter leagues, but also they want their players to work on things *outside* of game action. It’s easy to see this as a cynical move to save money, but as Andy McKay’s said in that BA article, they want to replicate what they see as the success of that “hitting summit” they held last winter – a workshop on reworking hitting mechanics outside of games. Given their success this season, it’s hard to quibble with that.


21 Responses to “Game 117, Mariners at Angels”

  1. JMB on August 15th, 2016 7:33 pm

    Blowers just asked when the last time the M’s had three guys with 100 RBIs… gotta be 2001, right?

    Checking. Yup.

  2. Grayfox3d on August 15th, 2016 7:37 pm

    Wish we had something better than Marte….

  3. Grayfox3d on August 15th, 2016 7:50 pm

    Please dont steal 2nd base Aoki…. I dont care if you were safe, your just terrible.

  4. Grayfox3d on August 15th, 2016 8:04 pm

    I have a really bad feeling about the pitching staff, It feels like survival mode for starting pitching with Paxton getting hurt, and Felix is all over the place right now.

  5. Westside guy on August 15th, 2016 8:16 pm

    I am definitely warming up to Zunino 2.0.

  6. Grayfox3d on August 15th, 2016 8:17 pm

    Horrible at bat by Martin! cmon man! at least try to foul it off.

  7. Grayfox3d on August 15th, 2016 9:01 pm

    Trout absolutly owns the Mariners… Wonder if he’s part of the new ownership group cuz it is rediculous. And I lack the ability to spell tonight.

  8. JMB on August 15th, 2016 9:02 pm

    Zunino 2.0 is pretty unbelievable. I’m still pleasantly surprised when he lays off a breaking pitch in the dirt on a two-strike count.

  9. JMB on August 15th, 2016 9:04 pm

    I feel you on the starting rotation. Seems like they’re hanging on by a thread these days.

  10. Grayfox3d on August 15th, 2016 9:27 pm

    This game is way to close for comfort… we have 9 hits for 3 runs and they have 3 hits for 2 runs yet this game is stressin me out! we need this win!

  11. JMB on August 15th, 2016 9:34 pm

    I hate Mike Trout.

  12. JMB on August 15th, 2016 9:39 pm


  13. Grayfox3d on August 15th, 2016 9:40 pm

    Thank god… I was gonna be so damn pissed off if that passed ball was gonna be part of the reason to lose this game….

  14. JMB on August 15th, 2016 9:42 pm

    That ball was smoked.

  15. JMB on August 15th, 2016 10:03 pm

    At the start of the year I really though Aoki would hit .280 and get on base at a .350 clip, because those were roughly his career numbers. Instead… not so much.

  16. Westside guy on August 15th, 2016 10:08 pm

    Looks like Diaz brought his A game.

  17. Grayfox3d on August 15th, 2016 10:09 pm

    Diaz is unreal….. man I love this kid.

  18. Westside guy on August 15th, 2016 10:10 pm

    I love watching him pitch.

    Oh, and WOO HOO! Mariners win!

  19. eddieranch on August 15th, 2016 10:10 pm

    Does Diaz ever not bring the A game? I live in SF so have not gotten to see him, but it sounds like he’s the closest thing to a door-slammer we’ve had in years. And 9/10 feels good!!

  20. Sowulo on August 15th, 2016 10:21 pm

    Seattle has moved ahead of Detroit in the wild card race. Now they are only trailing Boston and Baltimore/Toronto.

  21. mksh21 on August 15th, 2016 10:35 pm

    Congrats to Felix for #150

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