Game 86, Angels at Mariners – Last, Best Hope for Anaheim

marc w · July 3, 2018 at 5:02 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Wade LeBlanc vs. Andrew Heaney, 7:10pm

The Angels get Shohei Ohtani back tonight, but they’re in free-fall since he went down with an arm injury, and find themselves 11 games behind the M’s in the wildcard race. He’s not ready to pitch yet, but the Angels will take his bat; their offense has dropped off markedly since he went down. At the end of this series, the Angels could be just about out of it, which is striking to say in the earliest days of July, but, seriously, look at the wildcard playoff odds chart:
WC Odds chart

The Angels hit just shy of 50% in late May, but they’ve fallen to under *3%* today. By the weekend, they could be near zero. At this point, the A’s are clearly the M’s biggest rival for a playoff spot, which is quite amazing given the Angels’ start. Now, the M’s need to try and keep the Angels from crawling off the deck and jumping back into the race. Tonight, they hand the ball to Wade LeBlanc, a name not exactly associated with the killer instinct required for this particular job. No matter.

Angels starter Andrew Heaney looked like Anaheim’s version of Marco Gonzales when we last saw him. He’d been injured – including a TJ surgery – and had finally come back with his command at full-strength. After a rough start or two in April, he settled in and seemed to be turning a corner, even tossing a complete game 1-hitter against Kansas City (though *everyone* seems to be doing that these days). But he got knocked out before making it out of the 4th IP, and now he’s coming off another clunker against Boston. This is a pitcher the M’s have hit well, and a team they’ve dominated. The only thing standing in their way is an Angels line-up that’s slumping. LeBlanc’s coming off two less-than-stellar outings of his own, so it’ll be interesting to see if he’s worked on anything with Mel Stottlemeyer Jr. recently. [Edit] I guess he HAS worked on something. The M’s just announced that they’ve extended LeBlanc through 2019, with options for 2020-2022.

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

As mentioned in yesterday’s post about the J2 period and the M’s inking SS Noelvi Marte to a $1.55 M deal, the M’s would be signing other prospects a bit less heralded as well. Today, Ryan Divish passes on the names of eight of them. I’m not going to pretend to know anything about them, but I will note that one of them is named Asdrubal Bueno, and I’m thrilled to have another Asdrubal in the org. Years ago, I was fond of the incongruity of seeing a few prospects – including a precocious SS for the M’s – named after a Carthaginian general NOT named Hannibal. I have no idea how this interest in North African history alighted on parents in Venezuela, but I approve. Hopefully, Asdrubal Bueno will get to play with M’s DSL-affiliate 2B Osiris Castillo and then they’ll have ancient North Africa locked down.*

Speaking of prospects, M’s 2nd-rounder in 2017 Sam Carlson had Tommy John surgery a few days ago. Seems like it went well, and honestly, it’s seemed like this announcement was coming for a while. He pitched 2 innings in the AZL last year, and was then shut down. When he didn’t appear on Everett’s roster, this seemed like a foregone conclusion. Ah well. Get well soon, Sam!


3 Responses to “Game 86, Angels at Mariners – Last, Best Hope for Anaheim”

  1. Notfromboise on July 3rd, 2018 5:21 pm

    Zunino and Heredia are due. You heard it here first. Go Ms!

  2. mrakbaseball on July 3rd, 2018 6:12 pm

    LeBlanc who was released during the spring, signs a contract extension with the M’s. Hmm. With his pitching season over, it will be interesting how much playing time California will give Ohtani the rest of the way.

  3. Stevemotivateir on July 3rd, 2018 7:35 pm

    Seager continues to decommission Angels.

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