Series Preview: Kansas City Royals @ Seattle Mariners

MARINERS (59-83) Δ Ms ROYALS (60-84) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -147.2 (30th) -4.4 6.0 (11th) Kansas City
FIELDING 25.4 (6th) 4.8 -14.9 (21st) Seattle
ROTATION (tRA) 19.1 (10th) 3.6 -42.2 (26th) Seattle
BULLPEN (tRA) -16.2 (28th) 1.1 -9.8 (23rd) Kansas City
OVERALL(RAA) -118.9 (26th) 5.1 -61.0 (22nd) KANSAS CITY

Mariners current draft spot: 4th

I was thinking about seeing how good the best Major League team would be if it were picked from a combination of Royals and Mariners and betting that it would still be worse than the Red Sox, and then I realized, what does that even mean or prove or show? Nothing because in what universe would the Mariners and Royals get to combine forces? Maybe that's what baseball should do instead of this expanded roster thing in September. The season begins with split squad stupid rosters. Let's end it that way too! That's kind of the opposite of combining forces, but whatever. Don't you miss Sean Kazmar?

Thu 08 Sep 19:10

JASON VARGAS* LUKE HOCHEVAR

When Luke Hochevar and the Dodgers failed to agree on a contract after the 2005 draft, the Dodgers lost that pick, as they had used a compensation slot to take Hochevar and received no pick in the 2006 draft for losing out on him. Players they could have chosen instead include Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Chase Headley, Yunel Escobar, Brett Gardner and Jeremy Hellickson. Tough break, Dodgers and tough break those of us who prefer less talent in the AL East.

Interestingly, that was also the draft that the Yankees selected Doug Fister in the sixth round. He wouldn't sign and the Mariners would nab him a year later with a seventh round pick. It's a little mind blowing to think of how different reality would be right now if Fister had signed with New York. Such a seeming inconsequential thing can alter so much. Physical chains are fascinating!

Fri 09 Sep 19:10

BLAKE BEAVAN JEFF FRANCIS*

Jeff Francis was one of the names many of us were interested in for the Mariners to sign in order to pad their risk in relying on Erik Bedard and Michael Pineda for the entire season. Those risks turned out to not come to fruition for injury or ineffectiveness reasons, but that doesn't mean the worry was unfounded. Despite his poor record and mediocre ERA, Francis has pitched reasonably well for the Royals and since they signed him only for 2011, will yet again be a potentially interesting cheap option for the rotation since his aforementioned record, ERA and low exposure in Kansas City should prevent him from getting much hype on the free agent market. 

The drop in strikeouts for Francis are a concern, but Kansas City is a park that represses them, and he's kept his walks low, offsetting the lack of punch outs. Furthermore, there's little in his actual contact and missed rates that support such a free fall in swinging strikeouts that my first impression is that it's a fluke. Jeff Francis could repeat his 2011 season and be a great value for some team next year, but initially my thoughts are that he actually has some hidden upside as well.

Sat 10 Sep 19:10

MICHAEL PINEDA FELIPE PAULINO

Second to last start of the season planned for Michael Pineda and his final at Safeco, so if you wanted to personally grant him some applause or whatever, this is the game to attend. Or if you really wanted to see Felipe Paulino in person, this is the game to attend. And then after you might consider attending some psychology sessions because there are things wrong with you. Major things.

Sun 11 Sep 13:10

ANTHONY VASQUEZ* BRUCE CHEN*

America weeps soft and gentle tears for this is what supposed to be meaningful September baseball has been reduced to. Bruce Chen is still around, why? Why? Why? Why? So much pain and instead of relief; instead of a respite for half the time, there is only Anthony Vasquez. He's just Bruce Chen! Bruce Chen is he, but older. There is no difference. We are all at risk and at fault. This is humanity's curse. We have brought this upon ourselves for bad things and thoughts. Oh, bow down and repent! There shall be no rejoicing. There will be Bruce Chen and Bruce Chen and the Royals and the other Royals and Wyoming won't care.

A man in Grass Creek turns to the southeast. And then he turns to the northwest. And he points to the horizon and asks a neighbor, "Hey, is that a pronghorn?"

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