Canada? More Like Cantada

MARINERS (47-57) Δ Ms BLUE JAYS (51-50) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -87.4 (30th) 8.1 20.1 (10th) Blue Jays
FIELDING (BABIP) 35.2 (3rd) 0.9 13.4 (12th) Mariners
ROTATION (tRA) 4.6 (15th) 4.3 -52.7 (28th) Mariners
BULLPEN (tRA) -0.6 (17th) 2.0 -21.0 (29th) Mariners
OVERALL (RAA) -48.2 (23rd) 15.3 -40.3 (21st) BLUE JAYS
Explainer

Winning is fun. Winning is entertaining. Winning solely for the sake of winning isn't all the important for the Mariners at the moment as their record is largely irrelevant. It's not completely meaningless since the overall record still drives a large portion of people's narrative about the state of the team, but for those of us here, who'd be paying attention no matter, it's of lesser importance. I'd rather the Mariners lose 4-3 with good games from Kyle Seager and John Jaso than win 6-2 on the back of good performances from Miguel Olivo and Hisashi Iwakuma.

Lately, the winning has coincided with good results from the right players though which is a double bonus. Casper Wells has cemented himself a starting job both with the availability of a spot and his quality play. John Jaso has done almost everything possible to earn a regular job and Jesus Montero's bat has been productive. Mike Carp isn't Justin Smoak. I am back to being interested in the games. Now I wait to see what further changes, if any, await over the next 24 hours.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
J Montero 56 3.8 .373/.458/.569 4 7 (4) 13 / 4 / 0 / 2 46 80 122.4
M Carp* 23 3.6 .381/.391/.619 1 5 (4) 5 / 2 / 0 / 1 46 82 184.8
J Jaso* 35 3.2 .320/.457/.440 8 4 (3) 7 / 0 / 0 / 1 33 86 111.5
M Saunders* 56 4.0 .278/.339/.426 2 16 (14) 11 / 2 / 0 / 2 47 70 124.0
B Ryan 45 4.0 .275/.311/.400 3 8 (7) 7 / 3 / 1 / 0 48 77 72.1
I Suzuki* 38 3.8 .270/.308/.405 1 5 (5) 7 / 1 / 2 / 0 53 92 54.9
K Seager* 64 3.6 .224/.313/.328 6 12 (9) 9 / 3 / 0 / 1 49 81 96.6
C Wells 69 3.8 .219/.275/.391 5 20 (16) 8 / 3 / 1 / 2 54 68 93.4
D Ackley* 60 3.9 .189/.311/.321 7 10 (6) 6 / 2 / 1 / 1 42 87 74.9
M Olivo 31 3.4 .226/.226/.258 0 12 (11) 6 / 1 / 0 / 0 58 62 76.5
C Peguero* 26 4.0 .154/.154/.308 0 12 (11) 2 / 1 / 0 / 1 57 56 115.4
J Smoak^ 39 3.6 .083/.154/.250 3 14 (9) 1 / 0 / 0 / 2 46 68 137.9

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]

Carlos Peguero is Miguel Olivo, but more so. Amazing.

The team's batting average is still depressingly low, but the walks and extra base hits are starting to pop up some more. That makes watching those half-innings far more tolerable.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
J Arencibia 27 4.6 .360/.407/.800 2 6 (5) 4 / 2 / 0 / 3 53 78 245.1
E Encarnacion 52 4.1 .325/.462/.700 11 6 (2) 4 / 6 / 0 / 3 36 84 161.5
R Davis 35 3.6 .344/.400/.594 3 7 (5) 5 / 5 / 0 / 1 55 81 135.5
Y Escobar 36 3.3 .273/.389/.424 3 6 (5) 6 / 2 / 0 / 1 42 72 82.2
B Lawrie 49 3.4 .273/.347/.432 4 3 (3) 8 / 2 / 1 / 1 53 91 91.7
T Snider* 37 4.1 .235/.270/.559 2 13 (9) 3 / 2 / 0 / 3 52 77 182.3
J Mathis 23 3.6 .273/.304/.409 1 5 (5) 3 / 3 / 0 / 0 55 67 74.9
O Vizquel^ 20 3.2 .250/.250/.400 0 1 (1) 3 / 1 / 1 / 0 63 95 30.5
K Johnson* 45 3.6 .175/.267/.300 5 9 (6) 4 / 2 / 0 / 1 48 79 89.9
A Lind* 32 3.6 .200/.250/.300 2 8 (6) 5 / 0 / 0 / 1 40 76 81.3
C Rasmus* 54 3.9 .200/.236/.320 2 13 (11) 7 / 1 / 1 / 1 48 75 94.4
A Gose* 28 4.1 .192/.250/.231 2 11 (8) 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 55 67 66.6

Over seven Major League seasons, Edwin Encarnacion's OPS+ ranged between 91 and 110. He was more above average than below with the bat, but his defense at third base was also a major liability. The Blue Jays have had him split time between first base and DH most of this year, shielding them (successfully it seems, see below) from the worst of Edwin's drawbacks.

More than just hiding his glove though, Edwin's bat has exploded in the sense of becoming amazing and not in the literal sense, which would make for a poor bat and probably not very good hitting. Remember when Jose Bautista was having those super amazing seasons? They were just last year, and the year before so I hope you remember. Well, Encarnacion's 2012 season ranks in line with Bautista's 2010 and 2011.

MARINERS Δ Ms BLUE JAYS EDGE
INFIELD 22.8 (3rd) 3.0 26.9 (1st) Blue Jays
OUTFIELD 12.5 (10th) -2.0 -13.6 (22nd) Mariners
RBBIP 0.293 (2nd) .001 0.296 (6th) Mariners
OVERALL 35.2 (3rd) 0.9 13.4 (12th) MARINERS
Explainer

It is difficult to find a team with a better infield defense than the Mariners. There are only two, and the Blue Jays happen to be one of them. Brett Lawrie is creating a reputation for good glove play in addition to a lively bat and Yunel Escobar has long been well regarded as well. And the Blue Jays have used Omar Vizquel as well. Omar Vizquel is still a player! Omar's bat fell off the cliff six years ago and he still has a job.

30 JUL 19:10

HISASHI IWAKUMA RICKY ROMERO*
chart chart

Ricky Romero broke into the Major Leagues in 2009 and with two full and one almost full season to his credit as a starter, he's been roughly league average. That was before 2012. This year, Romero's strikeout rate has dropped by 3 points and his walk rate has risen by 3 points. Most pitchers do not have a margin of error that can successfully handle that kind of swing. Romero is not an exception. He's pitched like a replacement-level player this year. In his last start, against the Athletics, Romero faced 14 batters and walked six of them.

31 JUL 19:10

JASON VARGAS* AARON LAFFEY*
chart chart

Aaron Laffey you guys! He's back.

For what it's worth, I think that tandem starting with Jason Vargas in Tacoma is D.J. Mitchell, who is also already on the 40-man roster. In the case of a Vargas trade, that is who I'd initially expect to make this start in his place.

01 AUG 19:10

BLAKE BEAVAN CARLOS VILLANUEVA
chart chart

When the Mariners last faced the Blue Jays, Carlos Villanueva was in their bullpen, but with injuries, including Brandon Morrow's, to the rotation, Villaneuva has shifted to starting.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
T Wilhelmsen 50 64.6 5 76.8 14 (8) 48.4 0 51.2 2.1
B League 39 62.4 2 75.0 6 (5) 58.1 0 79.7 1.5
S Delabar 38 64.4 4 66.7 12 (10) 50.0 2 136.7 0.7
O Perez* 33 69.6 2 76.1 9 (5) 36.4 0 71.7 1.5
J Kinney 30 60.5 6 67.3 9 (9) 40.0 1 102.1 1.9
L Luetge* 29 65.9 1 69.8 10 (9) 50.0 0 66.3 1.9
S Kelley 23 64.2 0 68.5 6 (6) 29.4 1 78.6 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]

Oh, you're still here? Huh.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
D Oliver* 38 65.5 2 79.7 9 (7) 48.1 0 64.9 0.9
C Janssen 33 69.6 1 75.7 10 (8) 31.8 0 53.9 1.1
A Loup* 31 65.5 0 85.7 4 (3) 74.1 0 53.3 0.6
A Carpenter 30 58.8 3 70.8 8 (8) 21.1 4 270.2 0.3
J Frasor 25 59.6 3 82.0 7 (4) 46.7 1 120.4 1.6
J Chavez 21 66.7 2 91.2 4 (2) 40.0 2 166.7 0.6

The Toronto bullpen has been a disaster as a whole, but they've improved of late. Darren Oliver and Casey Janssen are solid contributors and newly arrived Aaron Loup has yet to walk a batter.

Series Beer: Schneider Tap 6 Unser Aventinus
A wheat beer with a bit more heft behind it for when you get tired of drinking light beers in the summer. Personally, I like to start off with something more substantial and then taper off to lighter when I'm hanging out on the patio

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