We’re about two full months into something new and it’s starting to get a little dicey. What better time than now to check in on the Mariners’ exes?
For the sake of brevity, this list is limited to people who played for the big-league club in 2018 and left during the most recent offseason. As such, people like Michael Plassmeyer and Marc Rzepczynski are not included. My condolences.
Robinson Canó – New York Mets
Whatever you do, absolutely do not type his name into Twitter. The smoldering inferno of Mets’ fans takes combined with the ferocity of their respect for the game will surely melt your eyeballs.
Yes, the eight-time All-Star is struggling. That much is objectively true. It’s also true that April/March and May have historically been the worst offensive months of his career.
Maybe just relax?
Alex Colomé – Chicago White Sox
Here’s a thing about horses. You put some blinders on them, orient the horse in the right direction, and they’ll go real fast. Or so I’ve been told. Horses kind of scare me.
This is essentially what the White Sox have done with Alex Colomé. Rather than deploying The Horse as an eighth-inning set up guy, or playing the matchups in high-leverage situations, Chicago went to his stable and told Colomé, “You are the closer.”
From that moment on, it’s been a dizzying rotation of hooves and sliders. The White Sox have hardly deviated at all from their usage plan, as each of Colomé’s appearances have lasted two, three, or four outs. The 30-year-old even recorded the 100th save of his career earlier this season. He’s striking out roughly one batter an inning and running an 87.0 LOB%. The two home runs he’s allowed this year came from Daniel Vogelbach, who is unfuckwittable, and Niko Goodrum, whose name sounds like a whimsical pirate.
This breakup is shaping up to be a classic win-win for both sides, as the Mariners get Omar Narváez for years to come and The Horse gets a chance to be the most glamorous version of himself. Colomé is also a decent fantasy option if your league values saves, as he’s converted all nine of his 2019 save opportunities.
Edwin Díaz – New York Mets
Electric Eddie has been the same old stunner he was in Seattle, but now with more media coverage. Fun!
Unfortunately, a large part of the conversation surrounding Díaz has centered on things he can’t control. Mets manager Mickey Callaway began the season with a rigid, outdated strategy regarding Díaz’s usage.
Edwin Diaz usage edicts from Mickey Callaway:— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) April 16, 2019
—Diaz won’t pitch more than an inning (until the playoffs, Callaway said)
—Diaz won’t enter a tie game on the road
Callaway was adamant about both of these philosophies, but didn’t really elaborate on the first one.
It wasn’t until May 18 – the 18th time he pitched this season – that Díaz came in before the ninth inning. Prior to that, he had been reserved exclusively for the ninth or extra innings. (It’s worth noting that Scott Servais also frustratingly abided to similar rules when managing Díaz). Still, regardless of the situation, when Edwin pitches he’s unfathomably dominant. By traditional, Mets-ian metrics, he’s been perfect, as Díaz has racked up 11 saves in as many chances. Somewhere along the way, the Mets even decided to embrace modern thinking.
Mets are changing their tune on basically everything.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 22, 2019
-Dom Smith will receive OF reps
-J.D. Davis is also an outfielder
-Edwin Diaz will be used for multi-inning saves
-Tomas Nido is essentially deGrom's personal catcher
The team was on the record against all this in April.
Not only has he failed to blow a save, Díaz is also sporting a flawless 100 LOB% and a ridiculous 36.8 K%, all the while allowing just four runs in 18.2 innings.
While the Mets currently sit below .500, they are just 4.5 games back of the Phillies in the National League’s circus division. New York also has 13 games against Philadelphia on their remaining schedule. Remember just how good the vibrant closer was during games when the Mariners were in a playoff race? And how comforting that was?
Well, if you need a refresher, from June 25-September 9, 2018, the Mariners pitched Díaz in 29 games. He went 29.1 innings with 27 saves and notched 54 K to just three walks, all while compiling a 71% strike percentage and rendering opposing hitters to an abysmal .129/.162/.198 slash line. Should the Mets inch back toward contention, it will be worth monitoring both their handling of Díaz and the kid’s numbers.
Zach Duke – Cincinnati Reds
On the one hand, he has a 6.32 ERA. On the other hand, he has more walks than strikeouts. Gotta hear both sides, as they say.
Ben Gamel – Milwaukee Brewers
Benjamin Ballgame has made the most of his limited playing time for one of the National League’s best teams. The long-haired lefty has started 27 of the Brewers’ 51 games, getting five looks in the leadoff spot. He’s responded favorably, with a .270/.369/.378 line and 102 wRC+, making him a more than serviceable fourth outfielder. Most fourth outfielders aren’t hitting clutch 10th-inning dingers on the road, either.
BEN GAMEL IS SICK OF EXTRA INNINGS! Our hero goes deep to put the Crew up in the 10th! pic.twitter.com/pnc8ylAjXs— GamelGuys (@GamelGuys) May 19, 2019
Because he’s understandably behind Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Ryan Braun on the depth chart, we’re not seeing thaaaat much of Gamel this year. But when we do, it’s memorable. I’m not convinced this isn’t an AM/PM Toomgis + Red Bull cross promotion.
Guillermo Heredia – Tampa Bay Rays
G Baby isn’t playing that much (just 14 starts on the year), but he’s hitting .280/.379/.420, and at 0.4 fWAR, he’s been more valuable than Mallex Smith (-0.9).
Cameron Maybin – New York Yankees (???)
New York City is rife with comedic history. Everything from Saturday Night Live to David Letterman to Broad City all flourished in New York. And now, with the illustrious, sanctimonious Yankees forced into giving Cameron Maybin regular playing time, NYC has a new addition to its hall of hilarity.
Juan Nicasio – Philadelphia Phillies
Before taking the L on Tuesday at Wrigley Field, Nicasio made 10 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run, including two six-outers. While walks have plagued him a bit, the well-traveled pitcher has found success by limiting home runs (a walk-off to Charlie Blackmon is the only tater he’s served this year), and keeping the ball on the ground. At 53.0%, Nicasio is putting up the best groundball rate of his career, though that may regress closer to his career average of 44.2%.
James Paxton – New York Yankees
The lefty from Ladner has the highest K/9 of his MLB life at 12.42, albeit that number comes from just seven starts. Pax is at war with knee inflammation which has kept him out since May 3. The greatest installment in his Yankeeography thus far is unquestionably an eight-inning, 12 K, 1 BB, no run domination of the Red Sox. Preposterously, New York’s resilience has kept the team in the win column despite all of their players’ bones turning to sand and ligaments being canceled.
If that good luck runs out, and the Bleacher Creatures need a scapegoat, please do not pick on our Canadian son. The good news is if the fans do turn on him, James has the comfort of knowing that his wife thinks he’s hot.
James Pazos – Albuquerque Isotopes
The forgotten man in the J.P. Crawford trade, Pazos never actually pitched for the Phillies before being traded to Colorado on April 26. He’s split his season between the two franchise’s AAA teams and currently is the proud owner of an 8.31 ERA in 8.2 innings for the ‘Topes, though his FIP is a much better 2.62.
Andrew Romine – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
The human mosquito bite, the man who could field anywhere but hit nowhere, The Little Utility Man Who Could, is batting .301 for the Phillies’ AAA team. 31 of his 37 hits are singles. He’s made more starts in center field (five) than second base (four).
Jean Segura – Philadelphia Phillies
The departed shortstop is putting up the best offensive numbers of his career since his breakout 2016 campaign in Arizona. He’s a top-of-the-order, premium position player for a team that looks primed for a return to the playoffs after a lengthy absence.
* weeps eternally *
Denard Span – Unemployed
Denard Span played 11 seasons in the league and made an estimated $51.8 million. He seems fine.
Adam Warren – San Diego Padres
Warren’s 6.77 FIP, 4.87 BB/9, and -0.6 fWAR completely validates the Mariners’ decision to dump him. The ineffective righty already barfed up one of the year’s most iconic long balls:
But remained chill about it:
Good for the Padres' Adam Warren, who said last night of Pete Alonso's bat flip: "That’s the right time to celebrate…When you go ahead in the ninth."— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 8, 2019
Alonso did apologize profusely for nearly clocking umpire Bill Miller with the bat, which stuck to his hand due to the pine tar.
This is a lot more fun when he’s not on your team.
Nick Vincent – San Francisco Giants
Here are some neat things Nick Vincent has gotten to do this year:
1. Move to California.
2. Make the second MLB start of his career, reprising the opener role he assumed for one game as a 2018 Mariner.
3. Give up the first of 837 career home runs for Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
• Vlad Guerrero Jr. first career home run— Cam Black-Araujo (@CamAraujoBB) May 15, 2019
• 111.3 MPH
• 438 feet
Mike Zunino – Tampa Bay Rays
Stop me if you’ve heard this before:
Mike Z has a batting average in the low 200’s and a walk rate under 5 percent, but strong defensive numbers that make him solidly above replacement-level. He’s also injured right now.
Same as it ever was.