Game 135, Mariners at Rangers

marc w · August 29, 2019 at 5:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Lance Lynn, 5:10pm

Happy Felix Day!

This is the first one that’s felt sort of happy as opposed to elegiac or funereal, so that’s pretty cool. Imagine last year at this time if someone said that in late August of 2019, Felix will face off against Lance Lynn and both teams would be well out of the race. I can imagine the game seeming like the biggest waste of time, or a potential slugfest. It still may BE a slugfest, but after Felix’s solid performance against Toronto and Lance Lynn’s out of nowhere career year, this game turned out to be pretty interesting.

Lance Lynn signed a fairly cheap 3-year deal with arriving-earlier-than-expected Minnesota Twins before the 2018 season. Jake Odorizzi did the same, and it seemed like the Twins wanted some veteran leaders around their very young position player core. It didn’t go well. Odorizzi scuffled, and Lynn had his worst year ever. He’d never posted an ERA over 4 in his tenure with St. Louis, but in 100+ IP for Minnesota, his ERA was over 5, and his FIP was in the high 4s. A late season trade to Texas saw him improve, especially with bases on balls. He’d never been a control pitcher, but he couldn’t find the plate in the twin cities, but immediately could upon leaving. That’s carried over to 2019, where he’s setting a career high in strikeout rate and a career low in walk rate. With the exception of 2017, Lynn had always been rather stingy with home runs, and even THAT’s continued here in the year of the home run. It’s all made for a very unlikely 6-7 WAR season at age 32.

Felix is just a tad older at 33, and while I don’t think a 6-7 WAR season is in his future, it just goes to show that trends aren’t destiny. A year ago, it looked like Lynn was going to pitch himself out of the game in 2019. Now, he’s leading MLB in fWAR. So much of pitching is coaching and altering a game plan. Felix may have been resistant to that in the past, but a part of it may just be due to the deterioration of his relationship with the M’s. He’ll sign some small FA deal or maybe even a minor league deal, which would be quite a blow to his ego. But I would not be too surprised to see Felix have a perfectly decent season again somewhere. A lot’s made out of his declining velocity, but Lynn’s declined for a long time before making a U turn recently. What he needs is a bit more deception.

The one big thing the Rangers did immediately upon acquiring Lynn was to change his position on the rubber. He’d been releasing the ball around 2.5′ towards the 3B bag, and the Rangers immediately had him shift that to 3.5′. I’m not sure why that would have such a big impact, but it seems to be associated with a huge change in his results and peripherals.

Lance Lynn's Horizontal Release pt.

Spot the point at which Lynn was traded!

1: Smith, RF
2: Crawford, SS
3: Nola, 1B
4: Seager, 3B
5: Narvaez, C
6: Vogelbach, DH
7: Fraley, CF
8: Moore, LF
9: Gordon, 2B
SP: El Cartelua

Julio Rodriguez cannot be stopped. He went 5-5 last night for Modesto, bringing his high-A line to a robust .587/.620/.891 in 50 PAs. He remains 18.


2 Responses to “Game 135, Mariners at Rangers”

  1. Celadus on August 30th, 2019 11:14 am

    From the Minor League Baseball account of each of the 5 for 5 night, here are the last names listed of the Nuts directly involved (scored or drove Julio in): Caballero, Rizzo, Rosa, Larsen, Bray (in order of appearance).

    Here’s the point–including Julio, the first names:

    Julio, Jose, Joe, Joseph, Jack

    Killer J’s?

    Probably has happened and/or been described more than once, since all the first names are common, but since I noticed, I thought I’d mention it.

  2. Stevemotivateir on August 31st, 2019 9:10 am

    And Jarred is in AA, where he’ll probably start 2020 along with several of the A+ J’s.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.