Game 65, Mariners at Rays

marc w · June 10, 2018 at 10:24 am · Filed Under Mariners 

James Paxton vs. Nate Eovaldi, 10:10am

Happy Maple Day.

The M’s actually lost a game yesterday, which felt novel and strange more than out and out bad. The M’s record currently stands at 40-24, which is nearly the inverse of the White Sox’ current 21-41 mark. Think about just how bad the Sox have been, how despite a massive prospect haul, they still struggle to find anyone to give them replacement-level innings (outside of Reynaldo Lopez). How they’ve given over 100 PAs to an OF with an OBP of .180, which is the only way to make CF Adam Engel’s .228/.289/.329 mark look acceptable. How every single mark is negative, from baserunning to defense to strand rate to FIP, etc. Take that pile of woe, invert everything about it, and you’ve got the M’s 2018 season. I’ll admit, I still don’t quite get what’s happening here, or what’s propelling the M’s so far above the .500 mark I thought was in store for them. But thinking about the M’s this way reminds me that this is so comprehensive, so thorough, that they are clearly better than I gave them credit for.

Today, James Paxton faces off with former Marlins and Yankees fireballer, Nathan Eovaldi. For years, Eovaldi ranked as one of the hardest throwing starting pitchers in the league, but that was essentially the only stat that stood out. He put it all together for one solid year in the Bronx back in 2015, but overall, he’s struggled to turn his 98mph fastball into whiffs and strikeouts. It’s not that he lacks secondary pitches – he throws a slider, curve, and a splitter along with a sinker and four-seam fastball. Part of it is that his fastball movement is pretty underwhelming. It’s got a bit of armside run, but not too much, and little horizontal rise. The splitter is probably his best overall offering, but it’s not exactly an all-star pitch.

Eovaldi’s coming back from TJ surgery this year, having missed all of 2017 and most of this year, too. His velo’s right back where it was, but we’ll see how he looks to the M’s offense. He’s tossed 11 IP at the major league level this year, and done quite well, thanks to his more than serviceable control. His first outing was a brilliant 6 shutout inning performance against the A’s, though the Nats roughed him up in his last outing. Eovaldi’s always had pretty significant platoon splits, so we’ll see how Servais adjusts the line-up:

1: Gordon, 2B
2: Segura, SS
3: Haniger, CF
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Span, LF
7: Healy, 1B
8: Gamel, RF
9: Zunino, C

Just some tweaks, but nothing as significant as swapping Healy and Vogelbach. Span moves up the line-up, I suppose, and Heredia sits in favor of Gamel/Span/Haniger OF.


6 Responses to “Game 65, Mariners at Rays”

  1. Stevemotivateir on June 10th, 2018 12:37 pm

    I don’t get it. Why not start Vogelbach? Does Scott just need to see Healy extend his no-BB streak a little further for peace of mind?

  2. mrakbaseball on June 10th, 2018 1:06 pm

    Well, the Mariners did what they had to do, take 3 out 4 from a perennially rebuilding team. Now back to Seattle to create some more separation between them and the California Angels.

  3. mrakbaseball on June 10th, 2018 1:08 pm

    When the Mariners acquired Healy, they knew they were getting a guy who seldom walked. He is what he is.

  4. Stevemotivateir on June 10th, 2018 1:33 pm

    When the M’s acquired Healy, they weren’t hoping for a repeat of 2016, they were hoping for improvement. We haven’t seen that, and with Vogelbach up, it makes little sense to start Healy against a RHP who struggles against LHH’s.

  5. eddieranch on June 10th, 2018 5:36 pm

    It’s nice to see folks, even what’s left at USS Mariner, enjoying the season spoils without mentioning phrases like “regress to the norm” and “statistical anomaly.” Maybe regressing will be balancing the one run squeakers with a few blowouts:)

  6. Sowulo on June 11th, 2018 6:10 am

    The M’s have moved White up to Tacoma already. If he performs, we could see him by late August or Sept. A great defensive player with a steady bat and speed on the bases could be a big upgrade over eractic Healy and the weak defense of Vogelbach. Dipoto keeps looking for ways to improve the weakest areas in the roster. If White can show consistency at Tacoma, I expect to see him sooner than later.

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