Series Preview: Minnesota Twins @ Seattle Mariners

MARINERS (16-23) Δ Ms TWINS (12-26) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -33.2 (29th) -9.2 -39.9 (30th) Seattle
FIELDING (UZR) Bad - Mediocre Minnesota
ROTATION (tRA)
12.8 (5th) 4.5 -16.2 (28th) Seattle
BULLPEN (tRA)
4.6 (10th) 2.2 -6.8 (25th) Seattle
OVERALL(RAA)
-15.7 (24th) -2.5 -62.9 (30th) SEATTLE

Still some database and computer issues for me so numbers and ranks will get filled sometime (now updated) during tonight's game. Rest assured that the Mariners own the advantage in each category aside from team UZR which I still think is a fortnight or so away from being worth mentioning. 

I knew the Twins were struggling, but wow, 12-26? Not a lot has gone right for the Twins this season. Justin Morneau has as many home runs as Chone Figgins and the only productive member of the offense has been Jason Kubel whose BABIP is at .389 despite a career rate around .300. Minnesota catchers have a combined .366 OPS just in case you wanted to feel better about Miguel Olivo.

Mon 16 May 19:10

MICHAEL PINEDA SCOTT BAKER

Scott Baker is one of those pitchers that always surprises me. Perhaps because it's such a bland name and that he plays for the Twins but he has been and probably will continue to be linked in my mind with a skill set that is more Doug Fister's than Scott Baker's. He does toss a heap of junk up to the plate, but somehow he misses a lot of bats with it while still being around the strike zone. It's unusual to see a 91mph fastball get an 80 rating on both swinging strikes and overall strikes.

As an interesting note, coming into today Scott Baker has faced exactly 1,819 batters each from the left and the right side in his Major League career. While he does have a platoon split, it's minor and no more than you would expect anyone to have. Certainly nowhere near the level that Michael Pineda inhabits.

Speaking of Pineda, we know he throws a fastball, a slider and a change up. I'd like to know, however, if he varies his grips at all because his movement numbers are not super consistent. That's probably just the inexperience, but then again look at this:

What is that? It moved like his slider. Is that his slider? Who grips a slider like that? Maybe it was a really terrible change up.

Tue 17 May 19:10

FELIX HERNANDEZ FRANCISCO LIRIANO*

Francisco Liriano's strikeout rate has been halved and his walk rate has doubled this season over last. Why is difficult to say. I've heard some suggest that Liriano was embracing the pitch-to-contact mentality that the Twins have as their sanctioned religion, but if so, then why all the walks?

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