Cactus League Game 5, Rangers at Mariners

marc w · February 26, 2019 at 12:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Marco Gonzales vs. Adrian Sampson, 12:10pm

Well, Kikuchi didn’t really disappoint, and the M’s got a HR from Kyle Lewis, so I really don’t see how the past few days could’ve gone any better. This is the point where I start to get nervous after years of conditioning as an M’s fan.

Marco looked good in his, uh, 1 inning of work in the rained out first game of the spring, so it’ll be fun to see him pitch an entire two innings today. Unfortunately, it’s in Peoria, so we don’t have the kind of information we got on Sunday. In the olden days, Peoria was one of a few pitch fx ballparks in the Cactus League, and that made these games a bit more interesting – we could SEE when people were working on a new pitch, or had velo increases (or decreases), and if the movement numbers were surreal, eh, that was just the price of admission for actual data.

Now, they’ve switched off the public pitch fx feed, and we have to wait until the M’s play in a statcast park, and since their home park ain’t one of them, we’re almost as data starved as we were waaaaaay back in 2007-08.

Adrian Sampson’s the local kid who pitched for the M’s briefly before sustaining a major arm injury. He went to Bellevue College and was with the Pirates org before coming to the M’s as the return for JA Happ a few years back. He signed on with the Rangers and is apparently healthy now. His is a good story, and I’m glad he’s worked his way back.

Today’s line-up:
1: Gordon, 2B
2: Haniger, RF
3: Encarnacion, DH
4: Bruce, LF
5: Seager, 3B
6: Vogelbach, 1B
7: Crawford, SS
8: Nola, C
9: Bishop, CF
SP: Gonzales

Over at LL, Jake Mailhot has come up with a non-results-based pitch quality metric using velo, movement, spin rate, and a command component based on the edge/heart numbers that Bill Petti and Jeff Zimmermann developed. I have some issues with it, but it’s worth a look/your time. As you might expect, no Mariner starter grades out as above average in it. Marco comes closest thanks to his change and curve.


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