Game 160, Mariners at Angels

marc w · September 29, 2017 at 5:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Marco Gonzales vs. Tyler Skaggs, 7:05pm

The M’s kick off the last series of the year with a match-up of Jerry Dipoto’s newly-acquired lefty Marco Gonzales and an old favorite – a lefty so enticing, Dipoto traded for him twice, as GM of two different teams.

When ex-Arizona GM Josh Byrnes was fired in July of 2010, Dipoto couldn’t afford to sit tight and wait for his tenure as interim GM to end. The D-Backs were out of it, and would finish with more than 90 losses. But they’d acquired some veterans in a push to jump-start their rebuild, a move headlined by the now-painful swap of Max Scherzer for Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. In late July, with Dipoto now in control, they still had one big trade chip as the deadline approached: Dan Haren. Failing to capitalize could set the team back years, so Dipoto made his move. He acquired lefty command/control guy (hmm) Joe Saunders for immediate help but also got prized Angels prospect Tyler Skaggs as the PTBNL. Haren was great down the stretch in Anaheim, but couldn’t get the Halos above .500, but with a full year of Haren in 2011, the Angels won 86 in 2011. Meanwhile, Skaggs’s stuff seemed to regress upon his arrival in the D-backs org, but by that point, Dipoto wasn’t long for Arizona. He became the Angels GM in 2011, a bit more than a year after his first big trade.

After two disappointing season split between AAA and Arizona, Skaggs had worn out his welcome in Arizona. So when Dipoto was working on the three-team trade involving Hector Santiago and Mark Trumbo, he got the D-Backs to throw in Skaggs as well. Almost immediately, his velo improved, and Skaggs made 18 pretty good starts for the Angels in 2014. Seen as a potential #3, Skaggs then missed all of 2015 with TJ surgery, and injuries have hampered him ever since. He won’t make 100 IP this year, so 2014 remains the only year in which he had at least 100 big league innings. He still has a rising four-seamer at 92 and a big breaking curve ball he throws about 30% of the time. Unfortunately, his change never really developed, and thus he lacks a good pitch against righties – RHBs are hitting .272/.344/.452 against Skaggs this year.

Gonzales is also a lefty, and also has a fastball at around 92. Like Skaggs, Gonzales’ development is being hampered by the failure of his third pitch to develop. Like Skaggs, he throws a fastball/curve/change, but with Gonzales, the change-up’s also been light years ahead of the curve. He’s throwing more curves this year, but it’s still not fooling anyone; he has no strikeouts on the pitch, and batters are 9 for 15 when putting it in play. Like Skaggs, Dipoto’s obviously seen something in Gonzales beyond his stats or his pitch movement numbers. After taking some criticism about the O’Neill-for-Gonzales swap, Dipoto had this to say to the TNT’s Bob Dutton, “”Clearly, we like Marco Gonzales better than the mainstream media…but the mainstream media hasn’t been familiar with Marco Gonzales for a year-and-a-half. You know what happens? Sometimes pitchers have Tommy John (surgery), and sometimes they come back and they’re good.”
The M’s need him to be right.

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

Comments

5 Responses to “Game 160, Mariners at Angels”

  1. Sowulo on September 29th, 2017 6:54 pm

    Surely the Iwakuma shoulder injury isn’t something new. Why didn’t he have the surgery months ago so he could have a chance at pitching again next year? Unless he really wanted to retire and needed a good excuse to convince himself once and for all.

  2. mrakbaseball on September 29th, 2017 7:39 pm

    Well, at least Marco Gonzalez will be in the history books, giving up Trout’s 200th career homer.

    Listening to the game on the radio right now, Rick Rizzs claims to have come up with the “Hold” stat.

  3. Coug1990 on October 1st, 2017 6:24 pm

    I read what DiPoto said. I thought about it a lot. I still think it was an illogical trade.

  4. LongDistance on October 8th, 2017 7:03 am

    I guess everything from here until hotstove begins is going to be necroposting.

  5. groundzero55 on October 13th, 2017 4:46 pm

    I don’t think Dipoto makes that trade if he’s not all-in on Haniger and to a lesser extent Gamel and Heredia. O’Neill became expendable in his mind and so he made a trade that could either a) work out next year after Gonzales takes his lumps in the bigs this season gaining valuable experience or b) catches lightning in a bottle, Marco pitches his brains out and we look like geniuses.

    Obviously we are down to a). And that’s ok, honestly, because we certainly should not have been betting the future of the franchise on O’Neill. He was a commodity and one that was drafted by a previous administration – we’ve seen what happens with those guys.

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