Series Preview: Detroit Tigers @ Seattle Mariners

MARINERS (5-11) Δ Ms TIGERS (7-9) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA)
-18.5 (27th) -8.4 -5.9 (18th) Detroit
FIELDING (UZR) 0 - 0
ROTATION (tRA)
6.2 (4th) 1.2 -1.7 (20th) Seattle
BULLPEN (tRA)
0.7 (16th) -0.3 -0.6 (19th) Seattle
OVERALL(RAA)
-11.7 (21st) -7.6 -8.2 (20th) DETROIT

UZR has been released to the public, but it is too early for me to feel comfortable including it here yet. You don't need UZR data to know that the Mariners have looked poor in the field however. That shouldn't last as they have the talent to field average to well above fielders at every position aside from first base where Justin Smoak is too much of an unknown to say anything. 

What a disastrous series for the bats. Only four players posted positive gains over the four-game series. Milton Bradley's triple and two walks helped save him from an otherwise 0-fer. Luis Rodriguez walked three times and hit a pair of doubles in an excellent series for him. His left-side companion Brendan Ryan had that important go-ahead base hit yesterday but also doubled twice and walked without a strikeout. Finally, the encouraging Justin Smoak had another stellar series with four singles and three walks. The power totals aren't quite there yet, but he's displayed the ability to hit the ball hard from both sides of the plate so I have been assuaged for the time being that he will get there.

Mon 18 April 19:10

JASON VARGAS* MAX SCHERZER

All the dangerous hitters for the Tigers bat from the right side so this is an opportunity for Vargas to use his change up for devastating (for Detroit) results. I would like to say something encouraging about our hitters and Max Scherzer, but cannot summon the sort of optimism needed to ignore the last four games. Hit some home runs please. Somehow. Anyhow. 

Tue 19 April 19:10

DOUG FISTER PHIL COKE*

Doug Fister's curveball jumped from a 35 rating in missing bats up to 50 after his last start which generated six swinging strikes out of 21 thrown. Curiously, the Tigers are both a high-walk and a high-strikeout offense so far, this despite posting quality swing and contact rates. They don't often offer at pitches outside the zone, are one of the more aggressive teams at swinging at pitches in the zone and make contact a better than average amount of the time when they do swing. Perhaps it's been a timing issue or a sample size artifact. I'm expecting a lot of early swings against Fister.

Phil Coke has almost no samples as a starting pitcher and so his relief grades are presented here. His numbers as a starter have been worse so far. 

Wed 20 April 12:40

ERIK BEDARD* RICK PORCELLO

I'm still waiting for the Tigers to go ahead and allow Rick Porcello to start missing bats. They do know that he's no longer in the minors right? Right now Porcello is a 22-year-old Doug Fister. 

Bedard has allowed a pair of home runs in each of his three starts this season. That's killing his FIP and tRA, but other than that he's been decent. The strikeout rate is in line with his 2008 and 2009 numbers and his walk rate is actually lower. He's getting teed off on when hitters do make contact, but given that his stuff looks the same I think it's more a function of still rusty command and some bad luck. He's healthy, and that's what counts. Because even as frustrating as he can be, at least he's not Luke French or David Pauley who would bland me to death after giving me PTSD flashbacks to 2010. 

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