Game 12, Rangers at Mariners
James Paxton vs. Andrew Cashner, 6:10pm (Note the early start time)
Paxton’s been the brightest star in the Mariner sky this season in part because he’s shown that last year’s big velocity spike wasn’t just a temporary thing. It’s a part of his skillset, and it has all sorts of downstream effects, from a lower HR/FB rate to larger swinging strike rates, etc. Velocity is not the only thing, but it is a pretty big thing. It was Andrew Cashner’s calling card for years, and has left him tagged as an “intriguing” or “promising” SP despite years of lackluster results and despite turning 30 not long ago.
OK, by the time the Rangers acquired him, I think “formerly promising” was more often used rather than good ol’ unmodified “promising” but that, too, had to do with his raw velocity. Cashner had bicep issues which sapped some of his strength in 2016, and clearly weakened his contract leverage in the offseason. The Rangers bought low on both Cashner and Tyson Ross, and while Ross’s issues were more severe, Cashner’s flared up again in the spring. In a March 31st outing, Cashner averaged 90+ on his sinker, down a full 4 MPH from 2016, and 5-6 MPH from his heyday in San Diego. He was pushed back to the DL, and is only rejoining the team after a 5 IP start in extended spring training. I’m surprised the Rangers didn’t send him out to a minor league affiliate, as I can’t imagine whatever he faced in extended is going to be a good analog for a major league line-up, even a struggling Mariners one. Frankly though, that’s the Rangers problem, not mine.
1: Dyson, LF
2: Haniger, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Motter, SS
7: Valencia, 1B
8: Martin, CF
9: Zunino, C
Quick game post today as I’m up in Seattle getting ready to attend this one.
Tacoma beat El Paso 2-1 on a walk-off dropped pop fly. All wins count the same. Dylan Unsworth was solid in a short start, and Mark Lowe picked up the win in relief. Ryan Weber starts for the R’a tonight as they open a series against Albuquerque.
Tyler Herb K’d 10 Corpus Christi batters in 6 IP, but the bullpen coughed up a lead and Arkansas lost 5-4. Brett Ash starts tonight.
Modesto beat up on Lancaster 9-2. Reggie McClain wasn’t sharp, but held the Jethawks to 2 runs in 6 IP. Nathan Bannister gets the start tonight against Thomas Schlitter of Lancaster.
Clinton erased an early 3-0 deficit in Burlington, tying the game in the 8th, but a Roberto Baldoquin walk-off HR gave the Bees a 4-3 win. You may remember Baldoquin as a rare international free agent outlay for Jerry Dipoto as GM of the Angels. He’s been a tremendous disappointment, and may be part of the reason why the M’s still aren’t huge players in the July 2 market (though to be fair, they weren’t in the last years of Zduriencik’s regime).