Game 66, Angels at Mariners

marc w · June 12, 2018 at 5:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Mike Leake vs. Jaime Barria, 7:10pm

Corey Brock’s got an interesting article at The Athletic today, with some great quotes from Jerry Dipoto and Scott Servais on the M’s run differential. Sure, many analysts look at their solid but unspectacular run differential and see a team that’s lucky rather than elite, but the M’s have a different set of numbers they look at: a plus/minus-based Control the Zone metric. Essentially, you take the pitching staff’s K’s plus the batters’ walks and subtract the inverse – pitcher walks and batter K’s. Good zone-related outcomes minus bad zone-related outcomes. When you do that, you find the M’s come out at +80, a far sight better than last year.

But, I mean, we’re having this discussion because the team’s doing so much better than last year. We don’t really need a new zone metric to tell us that this year the M’s have played better. Does this new plus/minus number show that the M’s are one of the league’s best teams, unlike run differential? Well, not really. The M’s +80 is still a far cry from the Astros’ + 192. And it’s slightly below the Angels’ +84. The M’s run differential doesn’t show an *awful* team, it shows a good, wild-card contending club that’s just not quite as good as their record. That’s what this CtZ number shows as well. The two are correlated quite well, which makes sense if you think about it. Thus, the best clubs by CtZ are the same as the best clubs by pythagenpat or base runs. The Dodgers show up as the anti-M’s, a team with an unbelievably good CtZ, but a barely .500 record. But hey, run differential shows that too! All in all, the M’s rank 8th in baseball by this measure, 6th in the AL behind the Astros, Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, and Angels. It tells a story, it’s easy to wrap your head around, and it’s reflective of an organizational philosophy, so it’s not meaningless. It’s just not an effective retort to people who point out that the M’s run differential doesn’t look all that impressive.

You know what IS an effective retort to those people? The M’s record. Continuing to win baseball games. Letting the irrationality become part of the charm.

Jaime Barria is a soon-to-be-22-year old who’s served as the Angels’ 6th rotation member for much of the year, bouncing between AAA and the Majors and filling in when off-days don’t allow sufficient rest. With the injury to Shohei Ohtani, it seems like we’ll be seeing more of Barria going forward. He was signed out of the DR by the Angels (under Dipoto’s watch), but the bonus must not have been large enough to merit a blurb in BA. He moved steadily up the ranks in what was generally seen as one of the worst farm systems, but never attracted much attention. He cracked the Angels top 10 this preseason, though, albeit with a note that could’ve been cribbed from Andrew Moore’s – high floor/back-of-the-rotation-type is the sens you get. As mentioned there, he throws from a high 3/4 arm slot, and his resulting straight fastball has solid rise, but at average to a tick worse velocity. Like so many pitchers these days, he goes to his secondaries *a lot*. Righties see more sliders than fastballs, and lefties see about 50% fastballs and then a mix of sliders and change-ups. Barria’s great ERA is in part the result of amazing strand rate and BABIP numbers. He’s avoided really good contact by and large, according to Statcast’s numbers, but that may be due to his unfamiliarity.

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

If you were wondering who the M’s would send to Boston to complete the Roenis Elias trade, we now know: it’s Eric Filia, the older prospect who missed time this year due to suspension. As an older corner defender without a ton of power (and a 20th-round pick), he was always something of a longshot, and would need to hit a ton at every level. Undeterred, Filia…hit a ton at every level. He’s played just 13 games this year for Arkansas, but has 23 hits already, and a nice little .426/.508/.537 line. For his career, he’s at .343/.428/.460.


8 Responses to “Game 66, Angels at Mariners”

  1. Stevemotivateir on June 12th, 2018 8:24 pm

    I wonder if Filia would have been made available had he not had the little dope issue. Seems like a high price for Elias, who will be out of options next year.

    Haniger isn’t likely going to be an All Star, nor is Segura, Cruz, or any other fielder we have, but he really seems to be the face of what the Mariners are today.

  2. WTF_Ms on June 12th, 2018 8:42 pm

    I swear, Iā€™d make Trout limp to 1st base at least once a night if I were a manager. At the very least intentional walk a lot.

  3. WTF_Ms on June 12th, 2018 9:23 pm

    See above. Walk him. Save the pitches.

  4. Longgeorge1 on June 12th, 2018 9:25 pm

    My Oh MY!!

  5. mrakbaseball on June 12th, 2018 9:57 pm

    Haniger and Segura, I would think, have great shots at repping the M’s in the All-Star game, especially since the roster has been expanded to 84 players per league.

  6. mksh21 on June 12th, 2018 10:20 pm

    It’s getting as bad as the pro bowl. I used to love the All-Star game back in the day but it sucks now. Im shocked they make the pitchers hit and don’t use the DH in NL parks. You got 55 bench hitters, just use the damn DH.

    Nice problem to have when you are in first place you end up getting 3 or 4 guys on the team šŸ™‚

  7. mrakbaseball on June 13th, 2018 12:09 pm

    In 2010, Major League Baseball announced the designated hitter rule would apply for every All-Star Game; while the 2010 game was already to have the DH, the 2011 game was the first played in a National League park with a DH.

  8. mksh21 on June 13th, 2018 8:24 pm

    IDK how I missed that, thank you!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.