Game 55, Rockies at Mariners

marc w · June 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Yovani Gallardo vs. Kyle Freeland, 12:40pm

Early game today, as the M’s try to run their current winning streak to 5, and continue their mastery of a Rockies pitching staff that came in with some decent numbers.

As I mentioned before, the Rockies as a team showed strong GB tendencies even as they used four-seam fastballs more than other teams. They’re not great at strikeouts or walks, which seems like it’d spell doom given their offense-inflating home park. Instead, they’ve been contact managers, as the list of low exit velocity starters is peppered with Colorado hurlers.

That’s true again with today’s starter, Kyle Freeland. He’s perhaps the best true GB guy, even more so than Tyler Chatwood, whom he resembles in certain ways. Filtering pitchers who’ve given up 150 balls in play (to remove relievers and spot starters), Freeland ranks 12th in lowest average exit velo, a few spots better than Chatwood, and 9 spots behind exit velo ace Tyler Anderson. His launch angle speaks to his ground balling ways, as his average of 0.9 degrees ranks 5th in MLB, one spot ahead of Chatwood. Freeland’s a lefty, unlike Chatwood, but his arm slot’s similar, and Freeland releases the ball way out towards first base, giving batters a different angle. He throws a four-seam as well as a sinker, throwing the former much more often to lefties and the latter to righties. The sinker is a true, true ground ball weapon, whereas the four-seamer is kind of a boring, plain vanilla sort of pitch. This is why he has some of the widest batted ball platoon splits I’ve seen. His GB% against righties is about 18 percentage points higher than it is against lefties.

A sinker-slider guy (he throws a harder cutter and a true slider, but his breaking balls are all in the slider family, and frankly, not terribly well differentiated) should have big platoon splits, and he kind of does. His K-BB% against righties is 1% – he walks essentially as many righties as he K’s. Against lefties, he’s actually a strikeout guy, with a 25% K rate and a 16%+ K-BB% rate. But his FIP this year 1.3 runs HIGHER against *lefties* and those batted ball splits show why. Lefties actually hit HRs against him, because they’re the ones that elevate the ball. Righties don’t, because they can’t. I’m not saying that his true-talent splits mean that Servais should load up with lefties. Rather, this isn’t a guy you need to worry too much about the handedness of the batter. In general, the M’s don’t, because it’s not like they’re going to sit Cano or Seager just because they’re facing a lefty. Sometimes, when going against a Chris Sale, you go into the game knowing that some of their best hitters are at a disadvantage. I’m not feeling that this time. It helps that Freeland’s fairly similar to some of the guys that came in with solid results and whom the M’s were able to touch up (looking at you, Antonio Senzatela).

1: Segura, SS
2: Valencia, 1B
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Heredia, CF
7: Motter, LF
8: Gamel, RF
9: Ruiz, C
SP: Gallardo

For the M’s, this is their righty-heavy line-up, but enh, they’ve got 3 lefties, and at this point, Heredia’s probably earned a start over Dyson when a lefty’s on the hill.

Rob Whalen and Ljay Newsome highlight the pitching probables in the system tonight. Whalen faces off with Astros’ prospect Francis Martes down in Fresno.

Big performances from the abbreviated schedule yesterday include Chuck Taylor’s three hits- he’s now got a slash line of .386/.481/.538 – and Tyler Marlette, who hit his 5th HR. Reggie McClain’s 6 innings of 1-run ball (4Ks, 0 BBs) was the best pitching performance, and pushed his line to 7-2 with a 2.60 ERA and 55:18 K:BB ratio in 65 2/3 IP in a very offense-heavy league.


5 Responses to “Game 55, Rockies at Mariners”

  1. WTF_Ms on June 1st, 2017 2:23 pm

    Wow….bad early start, and now Segura is down, and 3 HBP’s. If there’s an injury to happen, it’s happening to the hottest hitters. If this team wins 70 games this year, it’ll be a miracle.

  2. mrakbaseball on June 1st, 2017 2:37 pm

    Cruz also exits the game after the HBP as he was pinch hit for by Powell. Unbelievable.

  3. Grayfox3d on June 1st, 2017 3:49 pm

    Starting to feel good, on a 4 game winning streak… then the baseball gods say “no! you can’t have nice things!” and proceed to take Segura and Cruz… awesome.

  4. djw on June 1st, 2017 4:20 pm

    So, Lawrence in the rotation?

  5. Mid80sRighty on June 1st, 2017 4:55 pm

    So, what did DiPoto do to piss off the baseball Gods?? Did he use KFC instead of a live chicken?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.