Tagged with "Mariners"
Mid-Season Baseball and Weekend Series
Category: MLB
Tags: Angels Athletics Blue Jays Cardinals Diamondbacks Indians Mariners Orioles Pirates Rangers Red Sox Rockies Tigers Yankees

Some of the other bloggers I associate with were bragging about their baseball teams lately, so I thought I’d join in the fun.  I do mention most of the other teams, especially the more competitive ones.   I’m only posting a short stub here, but it’s not a very long blog if you want to read the whole thing.

We are just over halfway through the baseball season with the final few series before the All Star break coming up, so I thought this was a good time to talk about how teams have been playing lately, featuring the main team I focus on, the Angels. 

I’ve been trying to write this for a little while, but one reason I don’t blog more about baseball is it never takes a break.  You can want to write about a recent development, such as a no-hitter or winning streak, but if you wait a few days, the same pitcher could have had a disastrous start since then or the team you were going to write about could have lost a few games in a row.  So often when I’m thinking of a baseball topic, I just give up before I get around to writing it.

The main focus of this will be performance since June 11, so if I don’t mention something different, assume that to be the time frame.

Anyway, thankfully the Angels won last night (with three runs in the bottom of the ninth to spoil what could have been a complete game win for Adam Wainwright), so they are now one of the best two teams in baseball since June 11.  The other team is the Pirates, both 14-6 over that span.  Not too long ago, the Pirates swept the Angels, so in reality, the Halos have been playing even better than the record indicates.  The other losses during that span were one apiece to the Cardinals, Yankees, and Mariners (whom the Angels were only able to beat 3 out 4).  This included a 6-0 road trip against Detroit and Houston.

Full blog

Five Minute Frags - Fantasy Bait And Switch
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB Fantasy Baseball Seattle Mariners Baltimore Orioles Michael Morse Chris Davis




The first few days of the baseball season can be an extremely funny time. Some guys struggle initially and we sort of shrug it off, reminding ourselves that the season is a 162-game marathon. However, when a guy explodes out of the gate, he's all of a sudden the second coming of Babe Ruth.


Those are the times when we need to slap ourselves with a dead fish.


For those of us that have forgotten the past, let me remind you of a guy named Chris Shelton. Shelton, a first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, hit 8 home runs in the team's first 13 games of the 2006 season. That rush resulted in Shelton being a quick addition to fantasy teams everywhere. However, Shelton quickly trailed off from there, hitting just 7 more during the remainder of the season, and was sent down to the Minor Leagues for the month of August.


Shelton would play just 50 more games in the Major Leagues and hit just 2 more home runs after the 2006 season. At 32-years-old, he is no longer in professional baseball.


What was significant about the 2006 season for Shelton is that it over-shadowed another player who was having an equally impressive April. While Shelton finished April with 10 home runs, 20 RBI, and a growing notoriety, this other player hit 14 home runs and drove in 38 runs during the month.


That player was Albert Pujols.


The point being, is that we put an awful lot of stock into what those players have accomplished in such a short sample size. And right now, as I am typing this, there are people clambering to find ways of adding Chris Davis and Michael Morse to their respective fantasy line-ups.


Chris Davis, a 27-year-old first baseman, spent three seasons in Texas, unable to crack Texas's everyday line-up and eventually being cast off in a trade with Baltimore. Davis became an intergral part of Baltimore's run to the playoffs in 2012, hitting .270 with a career-high 33 home runs and 85 RBI for the Orioles.


Davis has come out of the gate strongly, swatting 3 home runs and driving in 11 in Baltimore's first three games of the season. That mark includes a ridiculous 2.420 OPS in that one series on the season.


Another player jumping the shark early on is Michael Morse of the Seattle Mariners.


Morse was a big pick-up for the Mariners this winter, coming over in a trade with the Washington Nationals, who no longer had room for him after picking up Denard Span and resigning Adam LaRoche. The 31-year-old Morse is no stranger to Seattle, having started his career there, but it took leaving town in order for him to find his potential and blossoming into a 30+ home run hitter in Washington during the 2011 season.


Morse has streaked to begin the season as well, taking comfort while swinging toward the recently brought-in walls of Safeco Field. His four home runs lead Major League Baseball at this early point of the season, putting him on pace for 162 on the season.


Certainly, Morse is taking advantage of the move to a more hitter friendly park and his hot start is a good sign for Mariners fans looking for offense from a team that has been dreadful at it over the years. Orioles fans are equally happy with Davis continuing where he left off a season ago, lending credence to the hope that 2012 was not a fluke.


Still, expectations need to be tempered. Quick starts are just as bad at projecting value as a slow start, especially given the small sample size. Buying into or selling based on false value is a good way to kill one's hopes of having any sort of successful fantasy baseball season whatsoever.


A marathoner wins through patience and prudent action when the need arises. Championships are won by finding adequate bargains and taking low-cost risks. Monitor, but don't plunge into unrealistic paces by players who could not possibly keep them up.


Still, if you buy into paces, I'd be more than happy to flip either of these blossoming (insert snicker here) sluggers for your slow-starting Robinson CanoMike Trout, or any other somewhat useful piece of your line-up.


It will be well worth my time when Morse and Davis are hanging drywall with Chris Shelton a few years from now.

Elbow Issues Threaten to Dethrone King Felix Extension
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Seattle Mariners Felix Hernandez Hot Stove


Just three days ago, we sat here and commended the Seattle Mariners for their decision to extend Felix Hernandez with a record-setting contract. The news that the two sides had come to an agreement that would keep the ace right-hander in Seattle for the next 7 seasons was music to the ears for those of use that appreciate when the small market teams hold onto their weapons.


Now, with those three days having passed, comes news that the Mariners and Hernandez have yet to finalize the agreement. Apparently, if different sources are to be believed, an elbow issue has popped up during Hernandez's physical, throwing the deal into limbo while the two sides work out what to do next.


I guess we shouldn't be surprised at this stage. The 26-year-old Hernandez has carried quite a workload over the last 7 seasons, averaging 219 innings during that span. Narrowing that down to the last four seasons, Hernandez has thrown an average of 238 innings a season. That's a lot of innings for a pitcher that broke into the big leagues at the age of 19 and was immediately thrust into the role of team ace.


To put that into perspective, C.C. Sabathia has averaged 226 innings pitched during that span, and Justin Verlander has averaged 238. That said, Verlander is 29 and Sabathia 32, meaning that those two took on that burden at an age where their arms were more seasoned.


News of Hernandez's possible elbow issue will only serve to fuel the debate over whether an extension is wise at this stage. On one hand, when you have a talent like Hernandez, you lock him up, especially if your other talent is right there ready to join him and make the team competitive for a number of seasons. On the other hand, trading Hernandez prior to learning of his issue, would have netted the team an untold ransom of prospects that could have helped with the development process as well.


In the end, neither side of the argument wins when an a red flag goes up. Hopefully the two sides continue on the path they started down, and protect themselves with the proper language in which to ensure that neither gets handicapped by a poor decision.


Its a worthwhile gamble for both the Mariners and King Felix to take.

Trade Analysis: Mariners Send Ichiro To Yankees
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Seattle Mariners New York Yankees Ichiro Suzuki Trade Deadline



Not two days ago, I posed the question on whether the Mariners should trade Ichiro Suzuki. I asked because I thought such a move made sense to Seattle and quite frankly, I figured it would strike a cord or two with Mariners fans. After all, we're talking not just a fixture on the team for the last decade, but also a cultural icon.


In that post, I thought that Ichiro could be moved, and that a large market team would make the most sense, having not just the resources to make such a trade, but also the marketing exposure to reinvigorate the Ichiro craze.


Well, you don't get much larger than the New York Yankees, who acquired the 10-time All-Star from the Mariners in exchange for minor-league pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Faquhar. Suzuki is scheduled to make his Yankee debut in left field when New York starts a series in Seattle on Monday night.


Right off the bat, this looks like another case of the rich getting richer, as the Yankees acquire a solid piece to replace the loss of Brett Gardner. And with Ichiro's contract expiring at the end of the season, they get to wrestle with the decision to sign him for two to three more seasons in hopes of banking on his chase for 3000 hits, which is all that more important as Alex Rodriguez's quest for the home run record does not appear to be as much of a sure thing as it once was.


However, as we're a small market driven site, let's examine what the Mariners got in return.


In D.J. Mitchell, Seattle gets a 25-year-old right-hander who has spent most of his time in 2012 in Triple-A, minus a four-game cup of coffee in New York. Mitchell ranks far outside the Top 20 prospects in the Yankee organization. He throws a four-seam fastball roughly 92-94, but tends to rely on a heavy sinker in the low-90's, which he uses as an out-pitch. He's spent most of his time starting, including a solid 13-9 mark with a 3.18 ERA at Triple-A in 2011, but long-term projects as a reliever without a ton of upside.


In Danny Farquhar, the Mariners get even less. Also 25-years-old, Farquhar is in his third organization of the season, having pitched in both the Oakland and Toronto system this year. He has never started a game, having been utilized primarily as a closer at all levels. His stuff isn't bad, as he averages close to a strike-out per inning. However, his fastball sits in the high-80's to low-90's, relying more on deception that speed. Farquhar uses an almost submarine angle on right-handers, that allows the pitches to ride in on the hands, but moves to an almost 3/4 slot for lefties. Still, there is a reason the Mariners will represent his fourth organization of the season, let alone a short minor-league career.


Overall, it is hard to not make the Yankees the winner here. Still, the Mariners had to get the pressure of resigning Suzuki off their shoulders and a trade was the easiest way to put that to bed. They got a modest package in return, but it is hard to imagine that they couldn't have gotten a little bit more.

A Few Notes From Mariners Combined No-Hitter
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB Seattle Mariners No-Hitter Combined No-Hitter




The Seattle Mariners threw the 4th no-hitter of the season yesterday when they blanked the Dodgers 1-0 on Friday night in Seattle. The Mariners used 6 different pitchers to accomplish the feat, with Kevin Millwood getting the start. Millwood left with an injury after throwing a single warm-up pitch in the seventh inning, and the Mariners held the Dodgers hitless with a succession of Charlie FurbushStephen PryorLucas LuetgeBrandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen.



Here are some other quick notes from the game:


- The no-hitter was the third in Seattle Mariners history, following Randy Johnson and Chris Bosio.


- The was the 10th combined no-hitter in Major League Baseball history.


- The first combined no-hitter was thrown on June 23, 1917 by the Boston Red Sox. Babe Ruth started that game and was ejected by the home plate umpire for arguing after walking the lead-off hitter. Ernie Shore would come on in relief and retire the remaining hitters, but also caught the runner at first stealing.


- This is the 1st combined no-hitter since the Houston Astros performed the deed against the New York Yankees on June 11, 2003.


- In keeping the Astros theme, the Mariners tied the Houston record for using a combination of 6 pitchers to perform the task. Prior to that, the previous record had been four pitchers.


- This is the second no-hitter Kevin Millwood has been a part of, making him just the third pitcher to throw an individual no-hitter and combining on one. He joins Vida Blue and Kent Mercker in that regard.


- There has only been one instance of a combined no-hitter going into extra innings. That occurred on July 12, 1997, when Francisco Cordova of the Pittsburgh Pirates no-hit the Houston Astros for nine-innings and was relieved in the 10th by Ricardo Rincon, who completed the deed.

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