Game 89: Mariners at Nationals – Let’s Make it Ten

marc w · July 13, 2022 at 2:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Erik Swanson vs. Erick Fedde, 3:05pm

The second game of the hastily-arranged twin bill sees the M’s going with a bullpen game against the Nats and their 2014 1st rounder, Erick Fedde. Fedde was having a great junior season at UNLV in 2014, and was a top-10 pick based on his FB/SL combo, but he fell to the Nats at 18 because he needed TJ surgery. Would he bounce back? Would the stuff that made him a first-round lock still be there? Any command issues? The answer, as is so often the case in baseball, is a sort of murky “kind of?”

I don’t want to bury the lede here: Fedde is not good. His ERA’s over 5 this year, and for his career, and it’s right in line with his FIP. He’s struggled to miss bats, gives up too many HRs, and often walks too many. That’s not a great combo. He throws a sinker at 91-93 – one that he’s been tweaking over time, and that is sinking and moving less than ever in 2022. That’s not necessarily bad; his results on the pitch are actually better than last year. But it’s also not great, as it’s resulting in a much lower ground ball rate. To lefties, he relies primarily on an upper-80s cutter, and *that* has been his real problem this year. It was great when he debuted it several years ago, but it’s gotten a bit worse each successive season, and at this point, I think I’d go back to a four-seamer or something. His breaking ball is a slurve (MLB calls it a curve, Pitch Info a slider) in the high-70s, and MLB hitters have found it to their liking in 2022. This is not a great profile, I know.

The Nats have had a hell of a time developing pitchers, so they have to shoulder some of the blame here. And to be fair, Fedde will uncork a gem every once in a while – he’s had two game scores over 70 thus far, on two scoreless 6IP performances…one against the Dodgers. But they’re mixed in with some truly dismal outings, capped by his last game: 3 IP, 8 R, 3 HRs, 3 BB, 1 K against an Atlanta team that was just shut down by the Mets. His K-BB% has dropped each month. I’m not saying this is a must-win game, but you have to like the M’s chances, *even though* it’s a bullpen game.

The downside here is that the M’s used Murfee/Sewald/Munoz in the opening game. Munoz threw only 13 pitches, but it’s gotta be hard to warm up, pitch an inning-plus, then come back hours later, warm up, and pitch more. Sewald threw just 4 pitches, so hopefully he’s good to go if need be.

The plus side is that Julio Rodriguez is back after serving his one-game suspension in the morning. The M’s were looking good before the big fight that saw Julio, Winker, and JP Crawford suspended, but they’ve been nearly untouchable after it: they’re 12-2 since then. Julio’s in the news nationally as well, as he was just announced as a Home Run Derby participant at this year’s All-Star Game.

Baseball Prospectus just released their updated top 50 prospects today. Cracking the list is low-A SS Edwin Arroyo, the biggest riser in Seattle’s system. Noelvi Marte dropped a bit, but still shows up in the 20s. Marte got off to a slow start, but has been red hot over the past month. Arroyo is slashing .319/.392/.521 as an 18-year old shortstop for Modesto. He was signed as more of a glove-first guy, but his bat has blown away evaluators as well as most Cal League pitchers.

1: Juliooooo, CF
2: Winker, LF
3: Crawford, SS
4: Santana, 1B
5: Suarez, 3B
6: Frazier, 2B
7: Upton, DH
8: Torrens, C
9: Haggerty, RF
SP: Swanson and co.

Cal Raleigh’s 12th HR leaves him with a bizarre line. He’s got just 13 singles on the year, but 12 HRs and 10 2Bs (11, if you count his triple). There have been a handful of guys to post more HRs than singles, from the classic steroid era seasons of Bonds (’21) and McGwire (’98 and ’99). And we’ve seen it more recently from all-or-nothing sluggers like Joey Gallo and the inimitable Ryan Schimpf (’17). But by and large, they did it by having their hard-hit balls go over the fence. They didn’t have equal parts singles, doubles and HRs. Raleigh’s OBP stands at .269, but he’s been so fascinating to watch. I almost hope he *doesn’t* hit more singles. He’s already got one of the weirder statistical lines going; let’s get it really weird.


3 Responses to “Game 89: Mariners at Nationals – Let’s Make it Ten”

  1. Stevemotivateir on July 13th, 2022 5:05 pm

    Good to see Frazier getting some results today.

  2. Stevemotivateir on July 13th, 2022 6:18 pm

    And 10 it is.

  3. MKT on July 14th, 2022 12:48 am

    We can certainly see several scenarios where the Mariners make the playoffs this season. I’m still inclined to see them the way that most people foresaw them before the season: a .500-ish team, in a league where .500 won’t get you into the playoffs.

    The Ms were mysteriously underperforming early this season, and while they might be able to keep up their hot streak, my guess is that it will turn out to be equally mysterious and they’ll regress to their true .500 level again.

    Of course the Ms front office has the ability to change their true talent level. By my estimated schedule, they’re a year early to be contending for the playoffs — but we can look at the standings and here we are. So this could be a season to make some mid-season trades; last year was more flukey than real but this year has more reality and less fluke.

    (However winning that 4th game against the Blue Jays when the Jays conveniently committed costly errors at just the right time, was a win straight out of the Ms’ 2021 “how to be lucky” playbook. A double play gets disrupted because the ball tears through the first baseman’s glove?? If they ever make a movie called “Angels in the Infield”, it’ll have plays like that.)

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