Mariners Try to Atone for Home Failures

MARINERS (30-41) Δ Ms PADRES (24-46) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -47.6 (29th) 5.1 -37.6 (27th) Padres
FIELDING (BABIP) 17.0 (8th) -4.7 -6.9 (20th) Mariners
ROTATION (tRA) -8.2 (20th) -8.3 -12.5 (22nd) Mariners
BULLPEN (tRA) -10.4 (28th) -1.7 -2.9 (18th) Padres
OVERALL (RAA) -49.2 (26th) -9.6 -59.9 (28th) MARINERS
Explainer

The offense reappeared, but they didn't do enough to overcome the crummy run prevention. Jason Vargas in particular is on a lot of people's minds since he was the latest starter and got slapped around by the long ball. Vargas's home run rate is now twice as high as it was in previous years. Of course Vargas is a better pitcher inside Safeco Field (who isn't?) than outside, but I think there's far too much hand-wringing going on right now about him.

Vargas's strikeout and walk rates are still stable. His xIP for instance is right in line with where it's been the last three seasons. There's a troubling dip in how often he's throwing strikes and his contact rate is well up, so it's certainly possible that Vargas is declining. But it's not certain. For one, his BABIP remains quite low, as is his line drive rate, numbers inconsistent with any "Vargas is getting lit up all the time" narrative.

What Jason Vargas has been is an average AL starting pitcher who can get to the 200 inning mark. That's quite valuable. It's $10-15 million per year valuable on the open market actually and Vargas is currently making $5 million. He'll be due a raise next year because that's how the arbitration system tends to work, but he shouldn't be likely to surpass $8 million in salary.

That number doesn't leave a lot of projected surplus value, which is why I'm not opposed to trading him this summer if a good return can be found. But that number also doesn't carry a lot of risk since it's only one year and since that $8 million would be unlikely to fetch more value elsewhere on the market or on the roster. Right now there's little reason to fear going to arbitration with Vargas again next year if he can't be traded.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
B Ryan 29 4.3 .333/.448/.500 5 6 (5) 6 / 1 / 0 / 1 37 67 116.9
K Seager* 52 4.1 .244/.346/.467 7 11 (10) 7 / 1 / 0 / 3 44 74 158.8
J Montero 46 3.5 .273/.304/.386 2 12 (11) 9 / 2 / 0 / 1 56 72 128.5
D Ackley* 45 4.6 .275/.333/.275 4 13 (8) 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 36 78 79.5
I Suzuki* 50 3.1 .286/.280/.347 0 4 (2) 11 / 3 / 0 / 0 51 93 94.3
M Saunders* 46 4.4 .205/.239/.318 2 12 (9) 6 / 2 / 0 / 1 56 79 101.0
J Smoak^ 45 4.0 .171/.244/.244 4 9 (8) 6 / 0 / 0 / 1 42 76 71.3

P/PA = pitches per PA [avg~3.8], nBB = uBB + HBP, Sw = swinging [avg~45%], Ct = contact [avg~81%], Qual+ = a measure of quality of batted balls [avg=100, higher is better]

Huh. Brendan Ryan at the top. I have no further remarks about that.

Ichiro Walk Watch is now at 38 games. Even Miguel Olivo didn't crack 30 straight games last year.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
C Denorfia 30 3.8 .414/.467/.621 1 2 (2) 8 / 2 / 2 / 0 39 80 95.5
C Quentin 42 3.7 .273/.442/.424 9 10 (9) 6 / 2 / 0 / 1 45 76 115.4
E Cabrera^ 48 4.6 .268/.396/.439 7 13 (8) 7 / 2 / 1 / 1 40 77 87.0
C Headley^ 54 4.2 .298/.389/.340 7 12 (12) 12 / 2 / 0 / 0 50 76 88.5
W Venable* 43 3.6 .195/.233/.341 2 9 (7) 4 / 3 / 0 / 1 51 77 104.5
C Maybin 44 3.7 .171/.250/.244 3 9 (4) 6 / 0 / 0 / 1 42 81 70.1
Y Alonso* 45 3.8 .200/.217/.289 0 8 (6) 7 / 1 / 0 / 1 52 80 91.2
N Hundley 26 3.9 .167/.231/.208 2 6 (4) 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 46 85 58.2
MARINERS Δ Ms PADRES EDGE
INFIELD 10.1 (7th) -4.6 0.3 (16th) Mariners
OUTFIELD 6.9 (10th) -0.1 -7.2 (19th) Mariners
RBBIP 0.296 (7th) -.005 0.313 (19th) Mariners
OVERALL 17.0 (8th) -4.7 -6.9 (20th) MARINERS
Explainer

Hard to believe but the blame for giving up 30 runs in three games falls partly on the defenders. Apparently mostly on the infielders. I did notice that quite a few hits came via ground balls. Especially in the very first inning of the very first game. With Noesi starting the first three hitters all singled and many people cursed Hector and bemoaned the terrible start. Naturally, all three singles were on ground balls, so isn't that good? Wouldn't you be happy to have a Mariner pitcher get three straight ground balls?

A while back when Felix was starting he had an inning with two ground balls, a fly ball, a bunt, a walk and a pair of strikeouts leading to a single run. The next inning Felix retired the side in order on three straight fly outs and it was remarked with relief that was a much better inning from Felix. Was it? Sure, if you count the batted balls as always going to be hits or outs it was. But that's silly.

Results-based, results-based, results-based.

Free, your, mind.

22 JUN 19:05

CLAYTON RICHARD* KEVIN MILLWOOD
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Last time through against the Padres, the Mariners were swept at home and saw Clayton Richard, Jason Marquis and Edinson Volquez. This time they'll see... Clayton Richard, Jason Marquis and Edinson Volquez. If the Mariners saw fit to exact some just revenge for their own terrible play, that would be just peachy. Or peary. Pears get no love.

23 JUN 19:05

JASON MARQUIS FELIX HERNANDEZ
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Okay, listen up Mariners. If you cannot win a game where you start Felix Hernandez and the other team, a crummy team, starts Jason Marquis, then you deserve to be losers for the entire year. Yes, baseball is a fickle sport and one single game between two Major League teams cannot be favored by more than about 60% to one side or the other, but come on.

24 JUN 13:05

EDINSON VOLQUEZ HECTOR NOESI
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Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
H Iwakuma 63 63.5 8 79.4 7 (6) 63.8 2 105.8 0.8
S Kelley 58 66.2 3 79.6 13 (13) 26.8 1 101.4 1.1
B League 49 65.3 3 86.4 7 (6) 51.3 0 91.5 1.3
T Wilhelmsen 45 70.7 4 72.9 15 (12) 57.7 0 43.7 1.9
C Furbush* 37 66.5 1 67.1 17 (11) 55.6 0 45.6 0.7
L Luetge* 28 58.8 4 80.0 5 (2) 42.1 0 79.9 0.8
S Pryor 21 65.6 2 79.2 5 (5) 57.1 1 79.5 1.5

Str% = strike rate [avg~63%], Ct% = contact rate [avg~78%], GB% = groundball rate [avg~45%], Qual- = a measure of quality of batted balls [avg=100, lower is better], LI = leverage [avg~1.2]

So, yeah. Charlie Furbush everyone.

I wonder if Oliver Perez could establish himself enough in the bullpen to get back anything in a trade before the end of the deadlines. Perhaps as part of a larger package or, more likely, during August. We all know about his control meltdowns, but damn does his stuff look electric and unhittable against fellow lefties.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
L Gregerson 45 67.4 5 54.0 13 (13) 42.3 2 181.4 1.2
D Thayer 43 64.2 3 83.1 6 (3) 47.1 3 142.5 0.8
B Brach 42 62.8 3 74.1 9 (8) 43.3 3 137.1 0.4
A Hinshaw* 38 61.6 7 71.4 12 (7) 31.6 2 176.5 0.8
J Thatcher* 27 67.4 2 85.4 6 (4) 42.1 1 125.6 1.4
H Street 26 63.3 3 72.5 7 (6) 37.5 0 90.9 2.6
R Ohlendorf 24 64.0 2 70.5 5 (4) 13.3 0 98.5 1.0
A Cashner 23 67.3 2 68.5 7 (6) 35.7 0 88.8 1.7
B Boxberger 21 58.7 4 66.7 6 (4) 45.5 0 30.8 0.6

Oh, right, Padres relievers. Last time I joked that Luke Gregerson was getting close to parity on his strikeouts to walks. He's, uh, sufficiently moved away from that zone of danger.

Huston Street has seen crazy leverage situations the past month! I have yet to see a monthly leverage above 2.0 yet in these (admittedly short span) of new previews and now he's Street with 2.6.

Series Beer(s): Bruery Rugbrød
This rye ale is low on bitter and big on chewy, nutty, biscuity malts. From a CA brewery and available up and down both coasts, the rust belt and (of course) Colorado.

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