Cactuses, as far as the eye can see: Mariners at Rangers

marc w · March 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Mike Leake vs. Matt Moore, 1:05pm

Take a look at the post below, and then check out today’s line-up. The M’s face the always-interesting Rangers today, who are looking to bounce back from a poor 2017 that saw them tied with the M’s. Looking through the lens of the net stats (or toys, more appropriately), the Rangers were one of the league’s worst clubs at net KW – thanks a lot, Joey Gallo – but fared better thanks to a positive net HR mark – thank you, Joey Gallo! Their line-up was beset by collapses from Rougned Odor and a stalled year of development from Nomar Mazara, but the big focus – as seen in a net KW mark of – 401 – is improving their pitching.

With Yu Darvish gone and the farm system going through a bit of a down phase, the Rangers got creative and brought in former Rays and Giants disappointment Matt Moore. It wasn’t that long ago that Moore was the #1 pitching prospect in the game, having led the minors in K’s in 2011 and waltzed into important innings for the contending Rays that year and then signed him to a 5-year extension. After a solid 2012, I think people expected a leap to becoming a top-of-the-rotation starter, but his 2013 was essentially a repeat of his 2012: solid strikeout numbers, but far too many walks. He missed nearly all of 2014 and much of 2015 after TJ surgery, and simply hasn’t been the same since. He’s not missing as many bats, and like everyone else in the game, he’s giving up more HRs than he used to. The Giants traded for him in 2016, and then he suffered his worst season as a pro in San Francisco last year, putting up an ERA of 5.52.

At this stage, he’s a fly ball pitcher, with a GB% in the high 30s. He came up with a fastball averaging 95-96, but he’s more like 92 in recent years. It’s got tremendous armside run, and it pairs well with a big breaking curveball – the outpitch that fueled his prospect hype in 2011. Even last year, his curveball still proved very difficult to square up, and it’s produced great results throughout Moore’s career. The problem’s been a decline in the effectiveness of his fastball; it gets fewer whiffs and yields more extra-base hits now than it did pre-injury.

All told, this was an interesting buy-low move by the Rangers, who are evidently hoping that their coaches can wring more out of the disappointing, but still freakishly talented Moore (and Tim Lincecum too, for that matter).


1: Gordon, CF
2: Segura, SS
3: Heredia, LF
4: Zunino, C
5: Vogelbach, 1B
6: Marjama, DH
7: Nieuwenhuis, RF
8: Beckham, 3B
9: Muno, 2B
SP: Leake

The story of last night’s win wasn’t Taylor Motter’s grand salami, but Edwin Diaz’s immaculate inning. Diaz struck out the side *on nine pitches* in his single inning of work. Masterful.

The M’s recently signed 20-year large Brazilian son Igor Januario, a pitcher. The Rays had an Igor Januario in their system years ago, and THAT Januario has played for Brazil in international tournaments – as a hulking 1B (FG listed him at 6’6″, 240lbs). THIS Januario is a bit younger, but still huge at 6’7″ 240lbs. He’ll hopefully follow in the footsteps of Luiz Gohara, the zip-code-sized hurler who made the majors last year with Atlanta.


6 Responses to “Cactuses, as far as the eye can see: Mariners at Rangers”

  1. drw on March 17th, 2018 2:18 pm

    Marc, can you please explain net KW?

  2. stevemotivateir on March 24th, 2018 10:50 am

    Would be good to see Marc get some help here. Bakersfield is still listed as the A+ affiliate (with a link to MiLB) and the posts are few and far between.

    I appreciate the effort made by Marc and Jay, but I’m greedy and would like more.

  3. Westside guy on March 24th, 2018 1:56 pm

    Steve, I believe Marc has previously said he doesn’t have access to update the sidebar. Since this is WordPress, and those are almost certainly just widgets of one sort or another, it means he has not been added as a site administrator.

    It’s also funny/sad to see “ProBall NW” linked there, since that site died years ago.

    I’ve volunteered on several occasions to help out with that… but I don’t have any relationship with Dave or Derek, who I imagine are still holding onto the admin rights here even though they probably haven’t logged in for 5-10 years.

  4. stevemotivateir on March 24th, 2018 2:45 pm

    I knew Marc wasn’t an administrator (or assumed that, rather), but it’s strange that he and Jay don’t have more control or help. They’ve kept this place alive, but it’s a hell of a job. I recall you volunteering to help out with the game posts a few times.

    Anyway, I’ll take what’s given. I would simply like to see a little more activity. If there’s anything we can do to be of help, I would hope that they’ll let us know.

  5. mrakbaseball on March 25th, 2018 4:15 pm

    Nice knowing you Mike Ford.

  6. LongDistance on March 27th, 2018 12:36 pm

    Subterranean vibrations of optimism. Uh … yeah, maybe? But … pitching, eh? As things stand, there’s little margin. A few not even key injuries and the wheels come off the wagon. Am I this pessimistic? Hope not.

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