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Series Preview: Seattle Mariners @ Toronto Blue Jays

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Seattle: 38-63
Blue Jays: 51-51

GAMES

Game 1: Miguel Batista vs John Parrish*
Game 2: Carlos Silva vs David Purcey*
Game 3: Jarrod Washburn* vs Shaun Marcum

Last time we played the Jays we faced Halladay, Litsch and McGowan. We get a whole new slate of pitchers this time around and the first is a name we all remember. John Parrish was never as bad as most people thought he was and letting him go for nothing was a bit of a mistake if he could have been stored in Tacoma.

Parrish's tRA in Seattle was just 3.38 (SSS) but because he suffered to the tune of a .478 BABIP (yeah, you read that right) he was well vilified here. Was he good? No, but he wasn't terrible. This year though, wow he's been bad (SSS). Just three starts into his major league season, he's throwing just 57% of pitches for strikes and has allowed a fair share of line drives. It really is too soon to tell anything about his major league stats and since I don't (yet) have tRA info on the minors (ETA: winter '08) there's nothing further to say.

I say even less about David Purcey since he has 33% fewer starts than Parrish this year and just 7.1 innings pitched, partly due to just two starts and partly due to him sucking balls in those two starts. He's faced 39 batters and walked 11 of them against just three strikeouts. He's also given up two home runs and missed exactly four bats in 151 pitches. This may be the saddest shut down the Mariners offense has even experienced.

Here's what I wrote last time we faced Shaun Marcum.

Marcum has taken a small step forward so far in 2008 with a slight decrease in balls and upticks in both called and swinging strikes helping to back his improved strikeout to walk ratio. What stands out for him though is the benefit that comes from a nifty .213 BABIP which is due for regression no matter how good the Blue Jays defense is.

All of that is still true except his strike% has improved a touch further, now up two points over 2007 and his BABIP has regressed, all the way up to .230. Nonetheless, Marcum has shaved an entire point off his tRA from 2007 and stands at 3.86 on the year, better than every SP the Mariners have used.

Likely Starters:
C Rod Barajas/Gregg Zaun^
1 Lyle Overbay*
2 Marco Scutaro
S David Eckstein/John McDonald
3 Scott Rolen
L Adam Lind*
C Alex Rios
R Brad Wilkerson*/Joe Inglett*
D Matt Stairs*

John McDonald has hung around the majors for a decade now with a 57 OPS+ thanks to a glove that's 95% of Adam Everett and now the rumor is the Dodgers might be looking at him as a trade target. McDonald currently has a .495 OPS. Come on Lee, sell them/somebody/anybody on taking Yuni.

The Blue Jays don't hit for power, but they're one of the best teams in the AL at taking walks. They get to face Miguel Batista in the first game of the series. Hahahaha. Come back soon Ryan, there's going to be a rotation spot waiting for you.

Now we just have to hope that there's room for both Erik Bedard and Ryan Rowland-Smith in the rotation come August since that would mean no more Jarrod Washburn. Come on Lee, get us out from under that contract. Sure, press the Yanks a bit and try to get something interesting back but come Thursday settle for the salary relief if need be.

CONTEXT

Speaking of trades, the rumors continue to surround Raul Ibanez and while the Mariners should aim high but ultimately settle for salary relief on Washburn (and I have no idea why they would want to package Vidro in that move since that does nothing for 2009), the Mariners should be aiming high and sticking to it with Raul. He's going to be Type A and there's very little chance he'd accept arbitration. That is incredibly valuable. I would want a premium prospect in order to give him up at this stage.

THIS SERIES BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Black Toque
Phillips Brewing. Victoria, BC

Marketed as a India Dark Ale this is like a combination porter and IPA. It looks like a porter, it smells like an IPA, it tastes like a porter, it finishes like an IPA. I was impressed with the back and forth the managed to create while balancing the two flavors of malts and hops. Well done.