M’s at the Trade Deadline

By Blaidd Drwg

Congratulations to the Mariners for pulling of the single most underwhelming trade of today so far in getting a 34 year old replacement level outfielder to add to their collection of replacement level OFers in exchange for a 24 year old replacement level OF and a spare part MILB Pitcher. At least Denorfia hits right handed. This trade does nothing to improve the team other than adding a RH bat to the bench. Of course, I can almost guarantee that McClendon is going to give Denorfia regular playing time instead of platooning him.

Hall of Fame Eligibility

By Blaidd Drwg

The BBWAA is changing the procedure for voting for the Hall of Fame. Once you are on the ballot, you are now only eligible for 10 years rather than 15. This is going to create a bigger mess because of the mess that the BBWAA has already created.

Because there are a large number of idiots in the BBWAA who feel like they need to make a point about the sanctity of the game with their votes, there is a massive log jam of guys who should be inducted but haven’t been. How bad is it? For the guys still on the ballot that you can make a legitimate case for election, we have: Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell, Raines, Clemens, Bonds, Lee Smith, Schilling, Edgar Martinez, Trammell, Mussina, McGwire, Larry Walker and Sosa. That doesn’t count Rafael Palmeiro who is no longer eligible or newbies for 2015 Sheffield, Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. Steroids aside, that is 18 potential candidates on a ballot that can have a maximum of 10 names on it. It is only going to get worse and it probably won’t be until the 2019-2020 ballots that we don’t have a significant number of good new candidates joining each year. That means that there are guys that are going to miss out on enshrinement that absolutely deserve to be.

I also had a friend make the argument that a guy is a first ballot HOFer or not. My counter to that was, steroid issues aside, what do you do when you have 11 qualified candidates and only 10 spots on your ballot? If you figure we add 2-3 players a year to the Hall and 3-4 more qualified candidates to the ballot, how long before the backlog actually clears? This assumes that every ballot has 10 names on it anyway.

Besides this, have you ever seen the list of guys that were not “first ballot HOFers”? Here are some highlights with the number of years it took them to get elected:

Cy Young (2)

Rogers Hornsby (5)

Mel Ott (3)

Jimmy Foxx (7) – interesting side note, when Foxx retired, he was second on the all-time home run list behind Babe Ruth. It would be nearly 25 years before Willie Mays passed him.

Joe Dimaggio (3) – yep. The Yankee Clipper only drew 44.3% of the vote in his first year.

Roy Campanella (5)

Yogi Berra (2)

Robin Roberts (7)

Edie Mathews (5)

Juan Marichal (3)

Carlton Fisk (2)

Robby Alomar (2)

 

Mariners and the Trade Deadline

By Bliadd Drwg

Somehow, the Mariners find themselves in the playoff hunt. Granted, this is more a result of luck than skill, but it is happening so the Mariners need to start thinking about making some sort of a move before the deadline. It won’t be easy because there are only about 8 teams in the majors who are truly out of contention. What the Mariners really need is 2 bats and an arm if they want to have any really serious shot at winning a playoff series. Why two bats and an arm? Well let me tell you.

Pitching – their bullpen has been lights out but bullpens are a fickle thing, especially one that gets used as much as the Mariners have relied on theirs. Hernandez and Iwakuma are a tough 1-2 combination but the rest of the rotation is a mess:

Chris Young is due to turn back into a pumpkin at some point; his numbers are just not sustainable as his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) ERA is 1.74 higher than his actual ERA. He is also sporting a mutantly low BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) of .219. Let’s put it this way, the MLB average BABIP is .298. For a pitcher who does not strike out that many hitters to have a .219 BABIP means that he is incredibly lucky. At some point those outs will become hits and that will be the end of Chris Young as a viable starter.

Roenis Elias has been figured out by the league. After a decent April, he basically is sporting an ERA pushing 5 since then, and with the diminished offense in the league, that is not acceptable anymore. They will keep trucking him out there, but that is eventually going to have to change.

The #5 starter is a real problem right now. Ramirez is terrible as a stopgap, Maurer showed he can’t handle it, Walker can’t seem to throw strikes, is back in Tacoma and is probably still hurt and Paxton can’t stay healthy enough to pitch more than once a month. Just a reminder why TNSTAAPP. Things are so bad that they ended up using Tom Wilhelmsen to start a game.

You don’t need David Price here, although he would not hurt. You really just need a middle of the rotation guy – just like what the Yankees did when they picked up Brandon McCarthy. You don’t want to go into a 7 game series with the prospect of getting only 2 or 3 starts out of Hernandez/Iwakuma. The M’s won’t win in that scenario.

More after the jump…

Continue reading “Mariners and the Trade Deadline”

I Didn’t Watch The MLB All Star Game But

by A.J. Coltrane

I’m watching the Triple A All Star game. It just seems like there’s more at stake.

1.  It’s the Pacific Coast League against the International League — it really is two different leagues opposing each other. Actual bragging rights!

2.  The players are invested in doing well. A really outstanding performance could get every teams’ attention, not just the franchise that they’re currently playing for. Nobody’s going groove a pitch to Derek Jeter. (During the MLB All Star game Adam Wainwright’s pitch to Jeter had 0.3″ of horizontal break.)

[For those of you who didn’t watch the game either, Wainwright had this to say before later changing his story:]

“I was going to give him a couple of pipe shots,” Wainwright said. “He deserved it. I didn’t know he was going to hit a double or I would have changed my mind. I thought he was going to hit something hard to the right side for a single or an out. I probably should have pitched him a little bit better.”

I think the “pipe shot” reference was excellent from a visual standpoint — Wainwright pretty literally threw the ball straight down a pipe.

3.  The players are younger, and in many cases it’s my first look at a player who will be in the Major Leagues for years to come. As I write this M’s prospect Chris Taylor just hustled out a double to go 3 for 3 with two doubles and a single. For what it’s worth, both of the starting middle infielders for the PCL are Mariners.

4.  The game is being played at the Durham Bulls home field. Anything that evokes the movie Bull Durham is a win in my book. They’ve even got this awesome billboard “Bull” that blows smoke and has glowing red eyes whenever someone hits a home run.

Which of course leads me to “Candlesticks always make a nice gift”:

A Tough Week on the Waiver Wire

By Blaidd Drwg

It has been a bad couple of weeks for former Mariners. The transaction wire is just full of bad news:

June 25th – Washington National – Designated 1B/3B Greg Dobbs for assignment.

June 21st – LA Angels – Requested waivers on OF Raul Ibanez for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release

June 20th – Arizona Diamondbacks – Designated RHP J.J. Putz for assignment.

Raise your hand if you had any idea that Greg Dobbs was still in the majors. JJ Putz, at age 37, suddenly could not get a MLB hitter out, posting a 6.59 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in just 13 innings. I am pretty sure that someone will sign him once he clears waivers since the D’backs are on the hook for the roughly 7 million they owe him for this season. It wouldn’t be a bad risk to take, especially if he suddenly becomes effective again.

I thought Ibanez, despite the good month and a half he had last year, was done and I was confused why the Angles signed him and expected him to be more than a bench guy. I always had a healthy respect for Raul and Dave Schoenfield wrote a nice tribute to him here. If Raul is really done (and I hope he realizes he is done), he should sign a 1 day contract with the M’s, retire and get to throw out the first pitch sometime before the season ends.

The 2014 MLB Schedule

By Blaidd Drwg

In the ass-backwards world of the void that is the MLB schedule, you the Red Sox vs Braves games played on Monday and Tuesday at Turner Field in Atlanta. Then, for no explainable reason, the Braves and Red Sox play again Wednesday and Thursday at Fenway Park in Boston.

The schedule maker should be taken out back and shot along with Bud Seilg for that scheduling stupidity.

The Better Player Is…

By Blaidd Drwg

Looking at these 162 game averages, who would you rather have on your team?

Player AVG HR RBI BB SO OBP SLG IBB SB
A .299 30 99 53 147 .357 .531 8 25
B .314 29 96 103 127 .419 .541 14 8

 

Based on the more traditional stats, it is close, but player B seems to be the better choice.

What if I include this?

Player OPS+ ASG MVP GG oWAR dWAR Pos Age GP
A 125 2 0 2 17.5 0.0 LF 28 704
B 155 4 1 1 31.4 -3.2 1B 30 903

 

Player B is obviously a better hitter, but B is, in theory, a “better” defender and he is in his peak season right now.

One more:

Home Road
Player BA SLG tOPS+ BA SLG tOPS+
A .330 .608 124 .267 .450 75
B .302 .536 97 .325 .546 103

 

Both of these guys play in home parks that favor hitters pretty extremely. Player A has huge home/road splits while player B is essentially the same hitter no matter where he plays.  Given all of the above info, I think player B is clearly the better player and the guy I would want to take for my team. Just for the record, player A is Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies and player B is Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

This came from a discussion on a baseball board about who was the better player, Gonzalez or Votto. Superficially at least, they look pretty close until you take into account that Gonzalez gets a huge boost from his home park and is somewhat more pedestrian on the road. For what it was worth, before I looked deeply into the numbers, I sided with Votto. How could you not take the guy who has led the NL in OBP 4 consecutive seasons?

Take a Pitch

By Blaidd Drwg

The April 22nd game between the Marlins and Braves yielded something interesting. Here is the box score:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=340422115

Did you notice it? The game featured 28 strikeouts with 0 walks, which got me thinking – what is the MLB record for strikeouts in a game with no walks? Well, that would be this game. I can’t seem to track down what the previous record was, but, according to ESPN, this is the first time two teams have recorded at least 28 strikeouts without a walk.