Game 88, Athletics at Mariners

marc w · July 7, 2017 at 5:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

James Paxton vs. Sean Manaea, 7:10pm

A little while ago, when the M’s made a run and were safely above .500 for a bit, I mentioned that it felt like the M’s were more relevant – more a part of the conversation in Seattle and about sports – than they’d been in some time. And while it shouldn’t be (of course sports radio talks about baseball during baseball season), it felt remarkable. The narrative about the team has always been fatalistic, and I realize I’m a serial offender on that charge. Put that together with the region’s collective passion for the Seahawks and you get a team that runs in the background a bit. For a while, they were out front. And then they fell on their faces.

It’s been rough, but the odd thing is that they’re still a part of the conversation. For whatever reason – the drama of an injury wracked, volatile season, maybe, or the King’s struggles, or Ben Gamel’s ascent – there’s still a lot to talk about. Much of it is bad! The M’s probably won’t/can’t sell off major pieces if they continue to stink, and don’t really have enough to grab help at the deadline, so there’s no savior on the horizon. But the team’s still seems intriguing, even when their pitching staff’s been a nightmare. That may be giving them too much credit; we’re all so beaten down by the 2010-2012 M’s that losing different feels exciting or novel. But the team’s getting more than they could’ve hoped for from Segura/Gamel/Haniger – players who’ll be a part of this org for many years. There’s something to build on, though we still don’t exactly know what or how they’ll do so.

The M’s face lefty Sean Manaea today, the former top prospect who’s become a reasonable, better-than-average SP for the go-nowhere Athletics. He’s seen his K rate increase considerably, approaching the levels he had in the minors. While he’s still not a great starter, he’s developing into a very interesting one. With a low-3/4, whip-like motion, he gets a ton of armside run and some sink on his fastball, which comes in at 92-93. His best pitch going back to his days at Indiana State and his jaw-dropping Cape Cod League performance is his slider, a gyro-spinning pitch at a slurve-like 80 MPH. The problem is that he faces line-ups stacked with righties, and he’s always shown huge platoon splits, in large part because of his stuff: tailing FB/SL combo is nearly always a recipe for high platoon splits. So, he’s got a change-up. He essentially has to, and with a solid amount of drop, it’s now a decent pitch. Clearly his third best, but it’s not an embarrassment.

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

Haniger ahead of Seager makes sense given who’s on the hill here. And while Danny Valencia hasn’t been all that much more productive vs. lefties this year, he’s got an even K:BB ratio against them; he works the count and draws walks against lefties, which makes his position in the order understandable.

Today’s minor roster move: Emilio Pagan’s been recalled, with Sam Gaviglio optioned to Tacoma, as the M’s don’t need a 5th starter with the All-Star break looming.

Speaking of the All-Star Game, congrats to Robbie Cano, who was named to the AL team for the 8th time as an injury replacement for Starlin Castro.

Today’s minor league pitching probables include Ljay Newsome, Anthony Misiewicz, Pablo Lopez, and Randy Bell. Tacoma’s going to have a bullpen day today, as Rob Whalen’s back on the disabled list.
Dan Altavilla yielded a crushing 2-out, 3R HR in Reno’s 9-7 win yesterday. In better news, Nick Neidert delivered the pitching performance of the day, tossing 7 shutout IP with 6 Ks in Modesto’s 3-0 win over Visalia. Dylan Unsworth went 7 1/3 with 2 runs allowed in an Arkansas win. Tough call on best hitting line; guess we’ll go with Tacoma’s Leonys Martin, who doubled and tripled in 5 PAs.


9 Responses to “Game 88, Athletics at Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on July 7th, 2017 9:25 pm

    I Iike “The Maple Grove” and their “eh” cards instead of K cards. .

  2. Westside guy on July 7th, 2017 9:29 pm


  3. mrakbaseball on July 7th, 2017 9:40 pm

    Congrats on #300 Cruz.

  4. Westside guy on July 8th, 2017 7:57 pm

    Game 89

    Jean Segura and Ben Gamel continue to show they were great pickups.

  5. Westside guy on July 8th, 2017 8:02 pm

    Also, whatever complaints I have regarding Mariners’ pitching (and I have many) do not involve Andrew Moore. He seems to be a keeper.

  6. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2017 9:44 pm

    c’mon Diaz…

  7. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2017 9:51 pm

    another appearance another game blown by Diaz… awesome.

  8. Westside guy on July 8th, 2017 11:50 pm

    With a decent bullpen, this team would be dangerous in the playoffs. As it is, though, this team is not a serious contender – no matter how muddled the wild card standings currently are.

  9. heyoka on July 9th, 2017 7:51 am

    Bobby Ayala?

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