Game 127, Mariners at White Sox
James Paxton! vs. Anthony Ranaudo, 5:10pm
James Paxton returns to the rotation, with Tony Zych heading to Tacoma. Meanwhile, Mike Freeman’s been recalled, and Wade LeBlanc’s been DFA’d. That last one probably comes as a shock to many, but with Paxton back and the rotation pretty well sewn up, LeBlanc had been working as an extraneous lefty out of the pen. Without options, it’d be hard to keep him, and the AAA season’s just about done anyway. Ah, the life of an out-of-options journeyman.
Anthony Ranaudo was once a real prospect, taken in the 1st supplemental round out of a major program and seen as a very high floor prospect. To date, he’s produced at a subterranean level for three teams, struggling with his control, home runs, and missing bats. He began this season in the Texas system, and made two disastrous appearances early on to bail out a struggling Rangers bullpen. In the second, he walked *5* White Sox hitters in 1 1/3 IP, and the Rangers released him. He was picked up by those same White Sox, another project for long-time pitching coach Don Cooper to tinker with. Ranaudo was assigned to AAA, and *immediately* started running the best walk numbers of his career: in nearly 100IP this year in AAA, Ranaudo walked 11, for a BB/9 mark of 1.02. All hail Don Cooper and his minor league minions, right? It’s Matt Thornton all over again!
That control improvement may have come at a price. The *other* thing he started doing in AAA is giving up home runs by the bushel. He yielded 15 in 16 appearances, and when you remember that the IL hits a lot fewer dingers than the PCL, let alone the majors, that was something of a red flag. Called up to make a couple of starts, Ranaudo’s given up 4 in 10+ innings already. In 2011, the M’s Anthony Vazquez gave up 13 HRs and struck out 13 in just shy of 30 IP. I never thought another pitcher, especially in this high-K era, would come close to equalizing both dingers and Ks, but Ranaudo actually has a shot – he’s given up 5 dingers in the majors this year (Across two teams) while striking out 7.
1: Aoki, LF
2: Smith, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Lind, 1B
6: Zunino, C
7: Martin, CF
8: O’Malley, 3B
9: Marte, SS
Guaranteed Rate Field is the single dumbest name in stadium naming right history.
Freeman’s recall’s probably related to Seager’s foot injury – with O’Malley now manning 3rd, they don’t really have a back-up SS/3B.