Game 108, Mariners at Rangers

marc w · August 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Erasmo Ramirez vs. Nick Martinez, 5:05pm

Thanks to the trade deadline, we’ve got a very different match-up today than when the pitching probables initially came out. This was supposed to be Yu Darvish for Texas, but he’s off to Los Angeles in a fascinating trade. And instead of Andrew Moore, the M’s turn, again, to Erasmo Ramirez. Ramirez has been working out of the pen most of the year, and has been limited to about 60 pitches by the Rays. Even in his starts for them, he’s gone 3-4 IP at the most. The M’s may give him a bit more rope – 75-80 seems to be the outer limit according to this story from Bob Dutton – but not a ton more. If he’s going to start long term, he’ll gradually build his arm strength to get up to 90-100 pitches.

Nick Martinez has been in AAA for most of the month, and was recalled for this start once the rotation spot opened up. A righty, he’s got a four-seam fastball at about 93, a cutter that’s a decent ground ball pitch, a change-up and a curve. The repertoire is varied, diverse, perfectly reasonable from a movement/velocity standpoint…and wholly inadequate. In his first few years, a low K rate and high-ish walk rate was partially overcome by a low BABIP and not-bad-not-great HR-avoidance. But as HRs picked up around the league, Martinez was pretty vulnerable: not enough bat-missing ability to avoid balls in play, and not enough raw stuff to induce poor contact or tons of ground balls. As a result, he’s been a classic AAAA guy, riding the shuttle between Arlington and Round Rock – he’s perfectly decent rotation depth at AAA, but the HRs and low Ks are tough to play in the big leagues.

A move to the pen might not be in the offing, as the lack of stuff means he doesn’t hold promise as a righty specialist. He’s got a career FIP of 5.49 vs. lefties, but it’s 5.17 against righties. In short, this is a mismatch on paper, even given Erasmo’s own struggles this year as a starter (he’s already lost to the Rangers in that capacity). These are the kinds of games the M’s absolutely need to win as the prepare to face better teams and better starters as the road trip winds on. Anything can happen, and any minor league call-up can have a career day, the spirit of Doug Waechter laughs at the overconfident, etc. but the M’s need to win this game. The M’s playoff odds stand at 21.9% on Fangraphs and 27.6% on BP. This game matters.

1: Gamel, LF
2: Dyson, CF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Valencia, 1B
7: Martin, RF
8: Zunino, C
9: Espinosa, SS

The Rainiers lost to Dodger prospect Walker Beuhler last night 3-1, despite Dan Vogelbach’s 14th HR. Mike Curto reports Beuhler sat 96-99 through 5 innings, which…wow. Obviously, the Dodgers didn’t need to move him to get Darvish – who’s only a rental for 2017. Instead, they gave up bowling-ball shaped 2B Willie Calhoun, who sounds like an absolutely fascinating prospect.

Batting line of the night goes to rehabbing utility man Shawn O’Malley, who went 4-4 with a HR. Kyle Lewis went 2-4 with a HR for Modesto as well. Chase de Jong was solid through 7 for Tacoma, but we’ll give the pitching line of the night to 17-year old Juan Mercedes down in the Dominican Summer League who one-hit the Orioles through 6, walking none and striking out 6.

Nick Neidert tries to get on track in AA as he starts against hated rival NW Arkansas, and suddenly on-the-radar guy Robert Dugger starts for Modesto. Ljay Newsome and Andrew Moore round out the probables.


4 Responses to “Game 108, Mariners at Rangers”

  1. mksh21 on August 1st, 2017 7:20 pm

    Scoreboard watching. Yankees go down…. Royals go down. And Boston… damn that thing went to extras… Go Tribe and hang on M’s! Or start blowing it wtf.

  2. Grayfox3d on August 1st, 2017 7:28 pm

    Ok bullpen knock it off, July ends and the bullpen forgets how to get guys out.

  3. Grayfox3d on August 1st, 2017 9:15 pm

    Woo that was a real clincher

  4. eponymous coward on August 1st, 2017 11:09 pm

    Back to 2 games over .500, with a decent shot for the sweep, and if Baltimore beats the Royals tomorrow as well, the M’s could win the Royals series 3-1 and take the lead in the second wild card.

    The M’s are reasonably in control of their own destiny in the WC race. I guess that’s all we can ask for at this point.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.