I have surprising news for you. There is a stat that you can pull up in baseball, and the Mariners, as a team, are below average in that stat. Shocking, I know.
But I also have a good surprise as well. There is another stat that you can pull up in baseball, and the Mariners, as a team, are slightly above average in that stat. Let’s pop the champagne bottles.
Across the league, on an 0-2 count, the league average for hitters is a paltry .150/.158/.222, with a tOPS+ of two. You read that right: two, because it is single digits and therefore spelled out. That is how low the average is.
This stat, go figure, is what the Mariners are somehow worse than the league average in. The Mariners, as a team, hit .136/.154/.214 with a tOPS+ of negative three in 410 plate appearances this season. A 0-2 count occurs in approximately 8.8 percent of the Mariners plate appearances. The good news is that the Mariners are controlling that zone better than most of the league, who enter a 0-2 count in approximately 9.1 percent of their plate appearances.
Some Mariners players really like that a 0-2 count because it makes them feel alive, or something. And when they get there, some Mariners players are really, really bad.
|PA||% of total PA||splits||tOPS+|
Of course, this is all a very small sample size, and to get any sort of borderline-plus results (like Kyle Seager), you need to do damage (like three home runs by Seager). However, it is interesting to note how some of the Mariners' hitters have been particularly bad at it, and a couple of the most repeat offenders are particularly terrible at it.
Adam Lind is a funny case study. I couldn't pull any information that definitively puts his 11.8 percent of his at bats as the league tops. To do that would require me to pretty much manually do some long division for 100 players or so, and seeing as how I still haven't seen those doLLars yet (ed's note: and you never will), the following Adam Lind Conjecture is most likely true: Adam Lind has the highest rate of 0-2 counts out of total plate appearances in all of MLB. He is not able to make diamonds out of the crap he finds himself in, only crappy cubic zirconias made literally out of crap.
Another interestingly point of contention: despite all this talk of controlling the zone, the Mariners also appear to be much more freely swinging this year than previous season. Last season, the Mariners' hitters faced an 0-2 count in only 7.74 percent of their plate appearances. This year's incarnation of the Mariners is also seeing that count slightly more than they have on average over the past 10 years, which stands at 8.42 percent of all plate appearances.
But in good news (if such a thing exists with 0-2 counts), is that Seth Smith is a reliable dad, and ranks No. 18 in MLB in tOPS+ after having been in at least 30 such counts. He is a distant No. 18 however, trailing Starling Marte who leads the league with a tOPS+ of 150 because he inexplicably is hitting a .421/.450/.579 in 40 such plate appearances. Moral of this article, don't go to 0-2 on Marte.
What does all this mean? Nothing but a bunch of numbers really. That, or the fact it always feels like Adam Lind is facing a 0-2 count is because often times, he is.