Game 147, Mariners at Angels

marc w · September 14, 2018 at 8:01 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Roenis Elias vs. Matt Shoemaker, 7:00pm

Yesterday in a radio hit at AM 710, Jerry Dipoto talked about his frustration with the M’s second half and took some of the blame for their slide. Here’s an interesting quote from that interview, as posted in this story at MyNorthwest:

“We were in a position to do special things and we had a group that was playing together in a way that was so energizing for everybody around the team, and we watched it methodically and painfully be pulled apart over the course of these last two months – and it’s gotten worse as we’ve gone,” Dipoto said. “That has to be part of our decision-making heading into ’19, and frankly those are some tough decisions. We’re at a bit of a crossroads in looking at where we are as a club and trying to determine how we get to a championship level, because we’ve taken two steps forward and then three steps back – and that’s on us.”

I’ve spent much of the season taking issue with this roster construction and how they’ve seemingly thrown Felix under the bus at times. I’m not always trying to give Jerry the benefit of the doubt, but I think this was a great start. I’m not saying the blame here falls squarely on Jerry Dipoto’s well-tailored shoulders. I DO like the fact that he’s taking some responsibility, and I’m really interested to see if that manifests itself in different roster construction strategies this offseason. “We have a group of players, frankly it’s close to half our lineup since the midpoint of the season who just stopped getting on base with any regularity. … We have had roughly half our lineup just effectively disappear for half a season, and it’s really hard to score runs when only half of your lineup is working,” Jerry said on the Danny, Dave, and Moore show. That’s…that’s pretty specific, and it’s pretty obviously true. The issue, of course, is that they seemed to go out of their way to get hitters who don’t walk, which means if these guys (Healy, Gordon, Seager this year) don’t have hits falling in pretty regularly, then they’re just making tons of outs. That’s exactly what we’re seeing.

Dee Gordon’s been abysmal in the second half, with a wRC+ of 57 and a batting average (his big skill, remember) of .239. Ryon Healy’s average and K:BB ratio are better in the 2nd half (how could they NOT be?), but his overall production has dipped because more of his hits have been singles. This sucks, and it’s unfortunate that it’s happening in the 2nd half when Oakland’s surged, but at the same time, these guys are *going* to be streaky.

Another thing that’s come out of that has been an acknowledgement that team chemistry has nose dived along with their playoff odds. Score another one for the “chemistry follows winning, it doesn’t CREATE winning” crowd, perhaps. But in light of everything that’s happened, I do wonder how Dee Gordon’s viewed in the clubhouse, especially after the dust-up with Jean Segura. Similarly, I wonder what folks think of Segura after the fight, being obliquely but clearly shamed by his manager for taking himself out of a game due to foot pain, and then missing games with illness. To be clear: I’m not trying to shame him for those things, but I just wonder how he’s viewed in there. Neither Gordon nor Segura are likely to move in the offseason, unless Dipoto is very, very serious about trying to bolster OBP.

I wonder if those comments aren’t directed so much at Healy/Gordon/Seager, but at long-time hitting coach Edgar Martinez. I wonder if part of this is laying the groundwork for a separation from the guy who’s name is on the damn street, and whose name graces a restaurant inside the stadium. Edgar was essentially the only staff member retained by Dipoto, and their line-up has lagged behind their pitching staff in production this year. It used to be that GMs would fire a hitting coach to slake public thirst for change, any change, after a painful slide like this. That was never going to be the case here, but I do wonder if Dipoto thinks Edgar hasn’t done enough to develop some patience or…something in his charges this year.

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


2 Responses to “Game 147, Mariners at Angels”

  1. LongDistance on September 15th, 2018 10:03 am

    Something about Edgar: across his career, his slumps would be anyone else’s good or great season. So … does that mean … what? That he wouldn’t have the insight to lift guys out of slumps? That his advice, mid-season, would be to just hit their way out of it even if they were in a deep streak of in the glove vs in the grass bad luck? I don’t know. Did anyone see any obvious adjustments being made by anyone?

    As for Felix and the bus: right brain sympathizes totally with that feeling. But left brain is saying: oh… hmm. I hated watching it. But his job is to be a starter, and that’s where his head is. What else could they do but hope he could pitch his way out of it? And the pain of making the hard decision was just … painful. And the dithering began. I have a bad feeling that he wasn’t thrown under the bus, but that his bus just pulled up at the stop and the door creaked open.

  2. deflated on September 15th, 2018 11:30 pm

    Sorry, but if anyone is blaming Edgar for Healy/Gordon/Seager that’s their problem. Healy was flawed to start with, Dipoto wanted to see a diamond in the rough. I see no sign that Seager has been tinkering with his swing. Dee Gordon’s hitting has been extremely volatile over his career – his current 2018 ave. is still higher than his 2016 average.

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