Ten games in the books? It's time to get mathematical!
- So far, Mariner hitters have averaged 4.01 pitches per plate appearance, second-highest in the AL. That's the good news. The bad news is that the offense has been so lousy that they've nevertheless seen a below-average number of pitches per inning. Heroes: Milton Bradley (4.44), Chone Figgins (4.33), Franklin Gutierrez (4.29), and Casey Kotchman (4.18). Zeroes: Jack Wilson (3.25). Boy is this a lonely group.
- Figgins has faced 186 pitches this year and swung at 55 of them. The 29.6% swing rate ranks fourth-lowest in baseball, which is no accident, as Figgins ranked sixth-lowest last year and third-lowest the year before. Figgins and Jose Lopez could not be less alike if they tried.
- Wilson, who's terrible, leads the league in strikes seen, while Bradley comes in near the bottom. You know, it's amazing to me that Figgins is able to do so much more than Wilson at the plate despite offering even less power. Learn, Jack. It's never too late. The aggressive approach you have now clearly doesn't cut it.
- Brandon Morrow still blows
- Enjoy it while you can: Jason Vargas is tied for the second-best K/BB in baseball despite throwing the sixth-slowest average heater. The biggest reason why? His excellent changeup, which he's thrown more often than all but two other pitchers in the league. That changeup is a wonderful, wonderful pitch, and based on nothing, I think I'd much rather have a great change than a great breaking ball. Even if you don't throw a great breaking ball, you'll still have an advantage over same-handed hitters, so having a weapon you can throw to opposite-handed hitters whenever you want is huge. Protects you from having your weaknesses exploited. I don't love Vargas or think he'll deliver us a championship or anything, but he's a damn useful starter.
- After two starts, Felix Hernandez's groundball rate is as high as it was when he was a rookie. Yeah, it's only two starts, but I still can't believe what he did to the A's. The A's are not a groundball-hitting team, but Felix didn't give them a chance to do anything else.
- Casey Kotchman's early groundball rate is right on top of his career mark. I hate the hit-and-run - I hate it so much - but if Wak's insistent on giving Kotchman a lot of time in the #3 slot, then if he's ever going to hit-and-run, he'll probably want to do it with Ichiro and/or Figgins on base, fewer than two outs, and Kotchman at the plate. It could save a lot of heartache.