Series Preview: Chicago Cubs @ Seattle Mariners

Seattle: 28-41
Chicago: 31-38

-70.3 (28th) -4.7 -1.8 (14th) Chicago
FIELDING (UZR) 4.2 (13th) -3.2 17.2 (6th) Chicago
4.1 (15th) 5.7 33.1 (1st) Chicago
-12.8 (24th) 1.3 -2.8 (18th) Chicago
-74.8 (26th) -0.9 45.7 (10th) CHICAGO


Hey, did you know the Cubs are coming to town? And that means Lou Piniella and Carlos Silva are returning? Those might come up once or twice or seven thousand times this week, so prepare yourself. Also prepare yourself for an influx of visiting fans both to the ballpark and to this blog. I urge restraint from all of you in dealing with any drive-bys. If someone is legitimately trolling, you know what the best solution is? Do nothing.

Trolls feed on reactions and there is only two ways they will go away: they either get banned or leave because they do not garner the reactions they desire. We will do our best on our end to ban those that demonstrate a clear intent to troll, but we cannot be everywhere at all times. Luckily, you can proceed to do nothing all day long without our help. You can only control your own actions, but that is all you need to control.

While there was a time when it was in vogue to interact with trolls and tweak them, that time has passed. It is time to mature and just ignore those that act out as small children do when throwing a tantrum. Trolls want attention; it doesn't matter what kind. I have enough respect for each and every one of you to assume that you all can tell a troll when one appears. They will be held responsible and banned when we find them, but in the meantime, I hold each of you accountable as well. You cannot argue with a troll because the troll's goal is the argument itself. Do not troll and do not feed the trolls. Do not feed the trolls!

Tue Jun 22, 17:10: Jason Vargas* vs. Ryan Dempster

Wed Jun 13, 17:10: Cliff Lee* vs. Randy Wells

Thu Jun 24, 12:40: Felix Hernandez vs. Carlos Silva

Jason Vargas is currently on pace to throw 200 innings this season for the Mariners. Over the past five years or so, starting from 2005, he has thrown 182, 112, 135, 0 and 142 innings. Jason Vargas has taken a step forward in proving that he has the stuff and command needed to provide value in an American League rotation. What he has left to prove is that he can sustain that over multiple outings against the same opponents and that his body can hold up to make those starts. 

Is this Cliff Lee's final Mariner start? Some people are saying yes. Other people are saying no. Not enough people are saying nothing because wow, like five people are going to know and they are not going to have an interest in telling others. Cliff Lee is almost certainly going to be traded at some point in the near future. I believe that if the Mariners had any chance to sign Cliff Lee to an extension, that time has passed. That may not preclude them from inking him this coming winter, but that is a long shot. 

What is the Mariner Front Office looking to get back in a trade of Cliff Lee? We don't know. We really cannot know. I am sure they have several hopes and their demands will be fluid to an extent. No, I don't know if this or that package is enough or not enough to land Cliff Lee. Nobody here knows. I could speculate on what sorts of players or positions Jack Zduriencik will look for, but you all know the general picture already.

Felix Hernandez's last start qualified as his best of the season by tRA and all of a sudden, three of Felix's last four starts have featured a nine strikeout, one walk performance with lots of ground balls. After a middling May, it is comforting to see Felix return to a dominant level.

Jason Vargas Cliff Lee Felix Hernandez
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 48% 87 50 35 30
Change 22% 80 80 70 35
Sinker 21% 86 30 50 30
Slider 7% 82 20 40 45
Overall -- -- 55 45 30
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 56% 91 70 80 45
Sinker 15% 90 45 80 40
Change 14% 83 55 80 55
Curve 9% 76 55 50 80
Slider 6% 85 30 80 50
Overall -- -- 55 80 55
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 70% 94 75 55 75
Curve 12% 83 60 45 75
Slider 9% 87 75 70 75
Change 9% 88 70 75 80
Overall -- -- 75 60 75

Ryan Dempster Randy Wells Carlos Silva
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 49% 91 55 25 55
Slider 30% 85 75 75 80
Change 16% 82 80 55 60
Sinker 5% 91 25 35 60
Overall -- -- 80 50 70
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 47% 90 60 50 55
Slider 28% 84 45 75 75
Change 18% 84 70 45 45
Sinker 7% 89 25 25 60
Overall -- -- 65 55 65
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 66% 90 35 60 60
Change 24% 81 35 80 75
Slider 10% 81 35 20 30
Overall -- -- 25 65 60
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