Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Some optimistic thoughts on Seattle sports in 2016

Discuss any and all other sports-related topics. From the College Sports, Fantasy Sports, Archery to Water Polo and everything in between. LANGUAGE: PG-13
  • My way too early guarantee for this year: I think the Mariners, Seahawks, and Huskies football teams will win more games than they did in 2015. I could also see the Huskies basketball team improving in 2016-2017 due to a huge number of freshman on the current team. And WSU football is going to stay relevant, though topping 9 wins will be tough.

    ...

    First the Mariners. The Mariners last year were one of baseball's biggest underachievers. Since then, there has been a huge overhaul. New GM, new manager, and many, many new faces in the dugout. But in terms of pure talent, the Mariners are still roughly one of the 10 most talented teams in baseball and one of the top 10 payrolls.

    While I didn't love every move Dipoto made (Roenis Elias and Carson Smith for Jarrod Washburn 2.0 was almost as bad as the Fister trade), I generally liked that Dipoto was willing to make the team older to pursue value signings. In just one offseason, Seattle has gone for a young team to a veteran team. It was a very Pat Gillick-esque offseason. Veteran teams can implode suddenly without warning due to age, but they generally don't underachieve when they stay healthy. And the Mariners are probably a couple years away from needing to worry about the age of their players.

    The Mariners lineup has five players with a projected WAR above 2.0. And that list doesn't count Adam Lind (a perennial .800+ OPS bat), Franklin Gutierrez (amazing bat when healthy), or Seth Smith (he's been worth 2+ WAR every year but doesn't quite make it in the projections due to age bias and playing time concerns). Seattle's breakout shortstop, Ketel Marte, was on pace for a 4 WAR season in 2015.

    Overall I think this lineup, in terms of offense plus defense, will be the best lineup the Mariners have had since Edgar was playing. The batting is going to be really solid 1-9 and the defense has a better than not chance to be top half of baseball.

    Pitching is where I think the Mariners will run into issues. Felix has to rebound from a tough 2015 season, Iwakuma has to prove that he can buck the trend of Japanese pitchers declining early in their careers, and also erase doubts about his failed physical. And those are the studs. The rest of the rotation is full of "luck based" pitchers who will live and die based on BABIP, defense, and homer luck. I guess you could argue that Walker has 'potential' to be an ace but I don't see it personally. I think the Mariners are going to end up with an average-ish rotation when it's all said and done.

    The bullpen should be the weakest link for the Mariners. They basically have three trustworthy relievers: Joaquin Benoit (age 38), Steve Cishek, and Charlie Furbush. I think James Paxton could be a good reliever too but he's not been delegated to the bullpen as of yet. Behind those 3-4 solid relievers is a whole lot of bad/hopeful options. It's widely projected to be a bottom third bullpen.

    The good news is that bullpen performance by its nature has huge year-to-year variance and is highly luck based. Look no further than the Mariners' bullpens from 2014 to 2015. And the other bit of good news is that it would be hard for the bullpen to be worse than last year's, which wasn't just among the worst in runs allowed, but also blew 24 saves, compared to just 12 the year before. Even if the bullpen is a disaster again, it wouldn't be worse than last year's. So even though the bullpen looks weak on paper, the irony is that it is one of the Mariners' greatest potential areas of improvement - if they get a bit of luck on their side.

    The Mariners current 2016 projection at Fangraphs is 83 wins, which is 7 wins better than the Mariners 2015 record. Its worth noting that Fangraphs projected last year's most dominant team, the KC Royals, as a 79 win team, showing that variance and luck are huge factors in baseball, even in a 162 game schedule.

    I don't think Seattle is going to win 116 games this year, but I do think they will very likely win more than they did in 2015 (76). I really like the "honda civics" approach to filling out the roster that Dipoto has taken, it might not give Seattle a bright future but it should lead to a pleasant 2016 season.

    ...

    WIth the Seahawks, it's definitely too early to predict much. But I do think that a 10 win season should be a career low point for Russell. The Seahawks are still the league's most talented team, and played well enough to earn 12.5 "estimated wins" last year, but unfortunately had some terrible misfortune at the end of games early in the season. It's hard to say how much weighted DVOA translates from season to season, but Seattle just put up the 3rd best weighted DVOA number ever recorded in Football Outsiders' database, and the last time Seattle rocked such an insane weighted DVOA they went on to win the SB the following season.

    And like 2012, Seattle's hot finish in 2015 was not random luck or a simple hot streak. Seattle's hot play stemmed from a huge philosophy shift on offense that had the team using the spread as its staple, with an emphasis on getting the ball out of Russell's hands quickly. In 2012, Seattle's hot play stemmed from Seattle implementing the read option.

    While I kinda doubt that Doug Baldwin ever sees a 14 TD season ever again, I do think that Russell Wilson could easily threaten 40+ passing TDs next year with a full year under the spread. Wilson's numbers with Thomas Rawls in the backfield were especially impressive (129 passer rating). If Rawls can stay healthy for 16 games, I would expect Russell Wilson to win the 2016 MVP.

    Rawls 5.7 YPC average felt too good to be true, but he did pass the eyeball test with flying colors... I don't see why he couldn't be a upper 4's producer on a regular basis.

    Even without improving the OL, I expect Seattle to be neck and neck with Pittsburgh for the best offense in the NFL next season.

    My concerns come on defense, particularly in pass coverage. Seattle allowed too many easy completions last year, despite getting a good season from the pass rush and an elite season from the run defense. Some of that is on the talent, and some of that is on our coaches. My concern is that not enough will be done to address this issue in the offseason and Seattle will lose a couple games they shouldn't because of it in 2016.

    But still, I look at this team, pre-draft and pre-FA, and see a team that should win 13+ games next year with average luck. Or at the very least, win more than 10.

    ...

    The Huskies I won't talk about too much, but I think they are the team that will make the biggest leap of the three. Towards the end of the season they were either blowing teams out or losing only because they shot themselves in the foot a thousand times. Over their final eight games, the Huskies averaged 39 points scored per game, which would have ranked near the top of the conference. Their defense ranked #1 in the Pac-12 and added a very strong defensive recruiting class while losing very little to graduation. They also return John Ross, a big time playmaker. And personally, I'm very excited for true freshman Sean McGrew, who reminds me of De'Anthony Thomas.

    But I hate making this kind of argument for UW, because it is an "on paper" argument. Rather, I like UW so much because of the intangibles, how they "clicked" at the end of the season. There is a ton of chemistry on the defense and the offense started to show some real chemistry towards the end as well. This is a different team than anything Sark ever had. I'll be honest and say that I wasn't as hyped for Chris Petersen as some others were, I just thought he was a solid coach, not a great one. But now I'm starting to think I massively under-estimated the guy's ability to develop a team on the fly.

    I think it is safe to say UW will do better than 7-6.

    As for WSU, I think they will be really good as well. The WSU defense plays the run tougher than their stats suggest. They play with attitude. And the passing game is special when Falk is in there. It wouldn't shock me in the slightest if the Apple cup decided the Pac-12 North next season, with Stanford and Oregon still being good, but dealing with new QBs.
    Last edited by kearly on Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    kearly
    * Mr Random Thought *
     
    Posts: 15975
    Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:44 am


  • Great insight as always Kip. Thanks!
    Trenchbroom
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 2834
    Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:47 am
    Location: Spokangeles


  • Thanks for the thoughts kearly.
    I'll just comment with what's directly in front of us, the Ms. Sincerely hope you're right and I'd be happy as hell with a +.500 record.
    hawksfansinceday1
    Silver Supporter
    Silver Supporter
     
    Posts: 24101
    Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:38 am
    Location: Vancouver, WA


  • Sounders look like they'll have a good offense this year and some decent depth. As per every year though they'll crash and burn in the play offs. The Cincinnati Bengals of MLS under Sigi. Will maintain this argument until they either prove me wrong or Sigi leaves.

    Definitely feel optimistic about the Huskies and Cougs, especially with another year of experience. Really hoping this is they year the Huskies beat the Ducks.

    Wait and see on the Mariners. To many what if's with regards to pitching and bull pen. Also wonder if Cruz can keep up last years form and if Cano is done or can get better than last years form.
    Glasgow Seahawk
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 1379
    Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:57 pm


  • Gotta be honest, I was really hoping the centerpiece of this thread was going to be the Sonics. Ain't no sunshine when she's gone. Nice points about the Huskies. Super pumped about both men's teams. I'm excited to watch the Mariners at the beginning of the season, but something is telling me that by June they're not going to be worth watching on a nightly basis. On one hand, how can a team with Seager, Cano, Cruz and Felix not be competitive? On the other hand, how can you be competitive when you are the worst drafting team in the history of pro sports? I think they are stuck in mediocrity until they blow it up. They're going to have to get so lucky if they want to be good. Worst minor league system, one real pro hitting prospect in the entire system. They may be a couple games better, but I don't think it ends up mattering in the long run. We need Marte, Boog and Jackson to all be hits. Aye. Excited to tune in every 5th and 6th day to watch Felix and Tijuan though.
    Tical21
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 4656
    Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:37 pm


  • Glasgow Seahawk wrote:Wait and see on the Mariners. To many what if's with regards to pitching and bull pen. Also wonder if Cruz can keep up last years form and if Cano is done or can get better than last years form.


    The pitching staff will determine how far the M's get. I think the M's could compete for the playoffs into September if the pitching can manage to be league average.

    Cruz reminds me some of Raul Ibanez for how insanely streaky he could be. Here's Cruz's OPS by month last season:

    April: 1.096 OPS
    May: 1.014
    June: .630
    July: 1.011
    August: 1.107
    September: .688
    October: .666 (only 9 at bats)

    My hunch is that Cruz sees his batting average drop off, but I think otherwise his isolated power will stay the same. If Seattle can find a way to get him to DH as often as possible it would also help his value.

    Cano had an uncharacteristic extended slump early last season, but he recovered in the second half of the year. His OPS pre-all-star break was .660 but post-all-star break it was .927. Cano was a ~.900 OPS hitter for four seasons before joining the Mariners. If anything I see Cano bouncing back in 2016.
    kearly
    * Mr Random Thought *
     
    Posts: 15975
    Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:44 am


  • Nice to see some M's fans who I wasn't aware of in Kearly and Tical.Nice write up Kearly,I can only imagine if people think the M's are bad now how they would write up on the teams I saw in 76,77,78 79 and 80 until I moved away to the stinking midwest.We need new owners who will let baseball guys make the moves needed as I'm seeing with my NL team (Cubs)The M's will always be my number one but they sure make it hard on the fans.Rick Jones-where are you?lol
    IndyHawk
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 5143
    Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:42 pm


  • Tical21 wrote:Gotta be honest, I was really hoping the centerpiece of this thread was going to be the Sonics. Ain't no sunshine when she's gone. Nice points about the Huskies. Super pumped about both men's teams. I'm excited to watch the Mariners at the beginning of the season, but something is telling me that by June they're not going to be worth watching on a nightly basis. On one hand, how can a team with Seager, Cano, Cruz and Felix not be competitive? On the other hand, how can you be competitive when you are the worst drafting team in the history of pro sports? I think they are stuck in mediocrity until they blow it up. They're going to have to get so lucky if they want to be good. Worst minor league system, one real pro hitting prospect in the entire system. They may be a couple games better, but I don't think it ends up mattering in the long run. We need Marte, Boog and Jackson to all be hits. Aye. Excited to tune in every 5th and 6th day to watch Felix and Tijuan though.


    I think Marte is legit. Just a well rounded player with plus contact skills, good plate discipline, and enough range to handle SS. The kind of players the A's and Angels develop all the time and we'd been left wondering why the M's could never do it. He passes the eyeball test for me far more than Chris Taylor did the year before.

    The Mariners farm system is weak on paper but it seems like Seattle has actually done well with guys that weren't hyped as prospects. Seager, not hyped. Fister, not hyped. Elias, not hyped. Marte, not hyped. etc. And even if the farm system does fail the team, that is more of a 2017 or 2018 issue. In 2016, the team doesn't need to poach the farm system, because the roster has already been set with competent 1-2 WAR veterans at almost every position.

    So long term, yeah, not too excited. But short term, I think the 2016 club could be a pleasant surprise.
    kearly
    * Mr Random Thought *
     
    Posts: 15975
    Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:44 am


  • kearly wrote:
    Tical21 wrote:Gotta be honest, I was really hoping the centerpiece of this thread was going to be the Sonics. Ain't no sunshine when she's gone. Nice points about the Huskies. Super pumped about both men's teams. I'm excited to watch the Mariners at the beginning of the season, but something is telling me that by June they're not going to be worth watching on a nightly basis. On one hand, how can a team with Seager, Cano, Cruz and Felix not be competitive? On the other hand, how can you be competitive when you are the worst drafting team in the history of pro sports? I think they are stuck in mediocrity until they blow it up. They're going to have to get so lucky if they want to be good. Worst minor league system, one real pro hitting prospect in the entire system. They may be a couple games better, but I don't think it ends up mattering in the long run. We need Marte, Boog and Jackson to all be hits. Aye. Excited to tune in every 5th and 6th day to watch Felix and Tijuan though.


    I think Marte is legit. Just a well rounded player with plus contact skills, good plate discipline, and enough range to handle SS. The kind of players the A's and Angels develop all the time and we'd been left wondering why the M's could never do it. He passes the eyeball test for me far more than Chris Taylor did the year before.

    The Mariners farm system is weak on paper but it seems like Seattle has actually done well with guys that weren't hyped as prospects. Seager, not hyped. Fister, not hyped. Elias, not hyped. Marte, not hyped. etc. And even if the farm system does fail the team, that is more of a 2017 or 2018 issue. In 2016, the team doesn't need to poach the farm system, because the roster has already been set with competent 1-2 WAR veterans at almost every position.

    So long term, yeah, not too excited. But short term, I think the 2016 club could be a pleasant surprise.

    Agreed on Marte. A lot of young players come up and hit well, then slump and can't seem to recover. Marte hit his slumps and battled his way out of them. Very optimistic about him, as long as our culture of not winning and not hitting doesn't start to effect him. We need a young, flashy type player to spark everything, which is the one thing I've been saying for years. Somebody that is immune to the depression around him. Marte could be that guy. Boog could be part of that too. If we can figure out how to make Martin hit, he could be part of that too.

    I'm actually pretty optimistic about our pitching staff. I think our playoff chances ultimately come down to whether or not we get anything from Lind, the catcher position, and the outfield.
    Tical21
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 4656
    Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:37 pm


  • IndyHawk wrote:Nice to see some M's fans who I wasn't aware of in Kearly and Tical.Nice write up Kearly,I can only imagine if people think the M's are bad now how they would write up on the teams I saw in 76,77,78 79 and 80 until I moved away to the stinking midwest.We need new owners who will let baseball guys make the moves needed as I'm seeing with my NL team (Cubs)The M's will always be my number one but they sure make it hard on the fans.Rick Jones-where are you?lol

    Dunno if I really qualify as an actual fan anymore. Seems I've rooted for them to do poorly at least as much as I've rooted for them to do well over the past decade. I typically boo at games. For some reason I stop short of blaming ownership though. I think they've generally given the baseball people enough money and tried to hire good people. I just think they're really bad at finding good baseball people.
    Tical21
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 4656
    Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:37 pm


  • Tical21 wrote:If we can figure out how to make Martin hit, he could be part of that too.

    I'm actually pretty optimistic about our pitching staff. I think our playoff chances ultimately come down to whether or not we get anything from Lind, the catcher position, and the outfield.


    The nice thing about Martin is that he can still be a 1.5 WAR player even with a lousy bat, because his defense is very good. He has a history of hitting well in the past too. So I agree, he's a player to focus on because he could be anything from a 1.5 WAR player to a 4.5 WAR player. At 1.5 WAR, he's giving the M's what they paid for. At 4.5 WAR, he's the biggest bargain on the team. He gives Seattle some much needed upward variance.

    As much as I like our pitching staff by the eyeball test, ERA+ says that Felix is the only starter Seattle has going into this season who is clearly above average. ERA+ says Iwakuma is dead average and thinks the other 4 guys competing for the last 3 spots are all pretty bad. Of course, ERA+ would have crapped all over Chris Young so it's a 'your mileage may vary' kind of indicator. That, plus pretty much all of the guys in Seattle's rotation are high K guys. I think they are more likely to be Gil Meche types than breakout types, but whenever a pitcher posts high K's there is potential.

    The catcher spot probably isn't going to be great, but almost any catcher would be a marked improvement from what Seattle ran out there last year- one of the worst hitting catcher groups in baseball history.

    Lind and the outfield actually seem like the safest part of the lineup to me. Lind has been a highly consistent .800+ OPS hitter for years, and while he comes from a hitter's park, Safeco is a good hitters park for lefties. As much as I liked Morrison, I think Lind will feel like a substantial upgrade at the position.

    I really like the Outfield. Marte will handle center and provide value with his defense. Aoki will bring OBP to the lineup in LF. A Guti/Smith platoon in RF had great results last year. Guti OPS'd .974. Smith OPS'd .801 against righties as half of a platoon. If Guti gets hurt, then Cruz would probably see the field a bit.

    What I like about this Mariners team is that relatively little is left to chance. Jack Z relied on young players to live up to their potential and deliver breakout seasons. And if they didn't, the team was sunk. By contrast, Dipoto has jettisoned the young players and brought in some of the most consistent year to year veterans in the league.

    The last four seasons, Aoki's lowest OBP was .349, and his highest OBP was .356. Adam Lind's OPS has been no lower than .820 and no higher than .860 the past three seasons. The only high variance guys on the team are the catcher, CF, and maybe Cruz, and a handful of pitchers. But most of the players on this team feel like a lock to provide a certain, safe level of solid performance. In other words, it feels like the downside of the team this year is a lot higher than the downside of Jack Z's young teams.
    kearly
    * Mr Random Thought *
     
    Posts: 15975
    Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:44 am


  • Look for Walker to take a big leap forward this year. By the end of the season, he'll be the clear No. 2 behind Felix. When he's on, he's nails. He just needs to learn the intricacies of pitching and being consistent.

    Marte actually reminds me a bit of Jose Reyes early on, without the eye popping base stealing numbers. I think his power can develop a little bit. He's so damn young. They say the power to the gaps is already there, so it just needs to continue to develop. He can play some SS, so the loss of Brad Miller should barely be felt, if at all.

    As usual with the M's, I am excited. Not because I think they'll be any good, but I love baseball. I'd love to see Cano have his best season as a Mariner. Hopefully he's put some injury issues behind him.

    I am predicting around 83 wins, which will not be enough. But I think they'll keep us interested a bit longer this season.
    Rob12
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 2688
    Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:50 am
    Location: Dayton, WA


  • Last year the Mariners ended up with 76 wins. And yet, at one point in early September they were only 6 games back of the 2nd wildcard spot with a month to go.

    I wouldn't expect Seattle to make the playoffs at 83 wins, but the addition of the 2nd wildcard will mean that even an 83 win team will feel like they are in the hunt until the final few days of the season. With the AL weakening and also being high in parity, 88 wins and 86 wins have been good enough to make the playoffs in the AL the past two seasons.

    Fangraphs is projecting Seattle to win 83 games this year. It's not hard at all for projected 83 win team to win 87 or 88 games. Last year the Royals won 95 games (and the World Series) with a 79 win projection.

    Rob12 wrote:Look for Walker to take a big leap forward this year. By the end of the season, he'll be the clear No. 2 behind Felix. When he's on, he's nails. He just needs to learn the intricacies of pitching and being consistent.


    Walker has a very good K/BB ratio, ranking 19th in baseball last year, and best on the team. His K/BB ratio was especially good during his last 20 starts at 6.94 (118/17). Had he posted that number all year he would have finished behind only Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw in K/BB last season.

    I know that on paper Walker should be elite, but the eyeball test has always made me feel like he's a hype job based on his K/BB and Colin Kaepernick type physique. Walker may "control the zone" as well as almost anyone, but when betters hit his stuff it tends to be hit well. Only 17% of his pitches are hit 'softly' into play. 23% of his at opponent at bats result in line drives (these numbers put in context aren't as bad as they look, but both are below average). Walker's career groundball/flyball ratio is about half that of Felix. Last year, Walker allowed 25 HR in 29 starts, only a few pitchers in baseball were worse (although in fairness, some of the pitchers from that list are really good).

    Basically, when Walker isn't walking or striking a guy out, his stuff is getting hammered. It's why I'm slow to buy the hype. Even last year during his K/BB hot streak, he still allowed a ton of runs. Post all-star break- during his hot streak- his ERA was 4.11, and his FIP was only slightly more flattering. Basically, his ERA was right around league average for an AL starting pitcher during his hot streak. If you just looked at K/BB, you'd expect Walker to give up roughly half the number of runs he did. But I think Walker is the kind of pitcher, like some other guys on the staff (Miley and Karns) to have Gil Meche syndrome and never prevent runs at a rate suggested by their K/BB.

    I guess the optimistic way to look at this is to say that the odds are pretty good that one of Miley/Karns/Walker will start preventing runs like this K/BB rate suggests in 2016. Even if just one of the three does, it will add a couple wins to the team.
    Last edited by kearly on Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
    kearly
    * Mr Random Thought *
     
    Posts: 15975
    Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:44 am


  • Honestly I don't see a better team on paper than last year.

    Someone once said if you want to see how a player will play, look at the back of their trading card. Well...........other than Cruz, Cano and Felix we gotta bunch of guys who struggle to even put up their trading card numbers, that aren't very good in the first place.

    Add in no bigtime free agents (yet), and I see another mediocre year. It's possible a couple guys could jump up and have good years, but most of them? Doesn't usually happen.

    Other than a decent starting rotation IF guys can stay healthy, bullpen's still a big question mark, as well as many holes in the infield and outfield. Who's playing 1st? Who's playing SS? Is Zunino gonna hit below his weight again? Who's our CF?
    Sgt. Largent
    NET Pro Bowler
     
    Posts: 16426
    Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:10 am


  • Sgt. Largent wrote:Honestly I don't see a better team on paper than last year.


    Last year's opening day team had Zunino at C, Morrison at 1B, Taylor at SS, Dustin Ackley in LF, and Austin Jackson at CF. Four of those players were worth negative WAR. The only positive WAR player was Austin Jackson, who lost runs with his bat but provided a net WAR of 1.4 before being traded to the Cubs for a bag of Doritos. The full sum value of these five players is BELOW replacement level production.

    This five player group is being replaced by Chris Ianetta, Adam Lind, Ketel Marte, Nori Aoki and Leonys Martin. That is a rock solid list of veterans with proven production. Their WAR projections (fangraphs) are as follows: +1.9, +1.9, +3.1, +2.0, +2.8. The worst of these five players is projected to be more valuable than the best of the previous five. Add it up, and it's an +11.7 WAR grade to replace a group that was below zero last season.

    But maybe the biggest upgrade will be in the 9th inning. Last year Fernando Rodney posted the worst pitcher WAR in all of baseball, which is hard to do as a reliever. And he wasn't just any reliever, he was deciding games in the 9th inning. Cishek and Benoit are very good, very consistent pitchers. No way they blow 24 saves like Rodney did.

    The Mariners lineup is, in terms of WAR, easily top 10 in baseball. It's the pitching that has me concerned a bit. It helps that the defense has clearly been upgraded, and as mentioned, not having the worst pitcher in baseball closing out games by itself will be worth several wins.

    A lot can happen in 162 games but I do think that clearly the 2016 team is better on paper. I'd even take it a step further and say that I see a pretty clear path to 90+ wins, if the pitching steps up. It feels like last year's team was hype and hope for young players, this year's team is a veteran club that just needs to match their established performances to compete for the playoffs.
    kearly
    * Mr Random Thought *
     
    Posts: 15975
    Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:44 am


  • (I had a response to Tical but I guess the post he made disappeared).

    With regards to park factors, both Lind and Martin have hit very well in Safeco for their careers. Their OPS numbers at Safeco are better than their career averages. Not really surprising, both of them bat left and Safeco is a hitter's park for lefties.

    Aoki and Ianetta have struggled here, though I think Aoki's poor numbers at Safeco are probably a fluke.

    Aoki could OPS .700 and still be worth two or three more wins than Ackley. Iannetta could OPS .628 again and still be worth a win more than Zunino. It isn't just that these guys are solid players, it's that the guys they are replacing were among the worst at their position in all of baseball.
    kearly
    * Mr Random Thought *
     
    Posts: 15975
    Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:44 am


  • I am very bullish on the Mariners this year. If they can hit just a little bit better than in recent years they should be pretty solid.
    Seahawks1983
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 915
    Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:10 pm
    Location: 509


  • kearly wrote:(I had a response to Tical but I guess the post he made disappeared).

    With regards to park factors, both Lind and Martin have hit very well in Safeco for their careers. Their OPS numbers at Safeco are better than their career averages. Not really surprising, both of them bat left and Safeco is a hitter's park for lefties.

    Aoki and Ianetta have struggled here, though I think Aoki's poor numbers at Safeco are probably a fluke.

    Aoki could OPS .700 and still be worth two or three more wins than Ackley. Iannetta could OPS .628 again and still be worth a win more than Zunino. It isn't just that these guys are solid players, it's that the guys they are replacing were among the worst at their position in all of baseball.

    Wow, you're quick! That post wasn't up long. Debating this stuff isn't going to sway the opinion of either one of us, and I didn't really leave you any room to say anything besides "agree to disagree", so I didn't see anything constructive about leaving the post up.

    I agree Aoki's skills should translate to Safeco. At minimum, I'm happy to have his defense out there.
    Tical21
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 4656
    Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:37 pm


  • Wonder what the M's record would have been last year had they actually been able to preserve the leads they had in, say, 80 percent of the games they eventually lost. Would've added at least a dozen wins to the W column, easily. So many blown leads...
    Ruminator
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 935
    Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 7:52 pm


  • kearly wrote:Walker has a very good K/BB ratio, ranking 19th in baseball last year, and best on the team. His K/BB ratio was especially good during his last 20 starts at 6.94 (118/17). Had he posted that number all year he would have finished behind only Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw in K/BB last season.

    I know that on paper Walker should be elite, but the eyeball test has always made me feel like he's a hype job based on his K/BB and Colin Kaepernick type physique. Walker may "control the zone" as well as almost anyone, but when betters hit his stuff it tends to be hit well. Only 17% of his pitches are hit 'softly' into play. 23% of his at opponent at bats result in line drives (these numbers put in context aren't as bad as they look, but both are below average). Walker's career groundball/flyball ratio is about half that of Felix. Last year, Walker allowed 25 HR in 29 starts, only a few pitchers in baseball were worse (although in fairness, some of the pitchers from that list are really good).

    Basically, when Walker isn't walking or striking a guy out, his stuff is getting hammered. It's why I'm slow to buy the hype. Even last year during his K/BB hot streak, he still allowed a ton of runs. Post all-star break- during his hot streak- his ERA was 4.11, and his FIP was only slightly more flattering. Basically, his ERA was right around league average for an AL starting pitcher during his hot streak. If you just looked at K/BB, you'd expect Walker to give up roughly half the number of runs he did. But I think Walker is the kind of pitcher, like some other guys on the staff (Miley and Karns) to have Gil Meche syndrome and never prevent runs at a rate suggested by their K/BB.

    I guess the optimistic way to look at this is to say that the odds are pretty good that one of Miley/Karns/Walker will start preventing runs like this K/BB rate suggests in 2016. Even if just one of the three does, it will add a couple wins to the team.


    Great post, Kip.

    The thing is, Walker will be 23 for most of the season. He'll turn 24 in mid August. He's young. Not many guys are as young as him with as many MLB innings under their belt than Taijuan.

    But the numbers you cite are excellent, and are a definite reason for pause. But the kid has simply been throwing up until this point. And as I said before, I think he takes a big step forward because he's actually learned to pitch in this league. Gut feeling.

    Look at Jake Arrieta. He was a highly rated guy at a young age, but didn't even sniff the ass of success until he was 26-27 years old.
    Rob12
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 2688
    Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:50 am
    Location: Dayton, WA


  • That was my thought on Walker as well.He could become a pitcher like Arrieta,they are not the same but pitchers come in all sizes and I think the guy will be good.
    IndyHawk
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 5143
    Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:42 pm


  • Tical21 wrote:
    IndyHawk wrote:Nice to see some M's fans who I wasn't aware of in Kearly and Tical.Nice write up Kearly,I can only imagine if people think the M's are bad now how they would write up on the teams I saw in 76,77,78 79 and 80 until I moved away to the stinking midwest.We need new owners who will let baseball guys make the moves needed as I'm seeing with my NL team (Cubs)The M's will always be my number one but they sure make it hard on the fans.Rick Jones-where are you?lol

    Dunno if I really qualify as an actual fan anymore. Seems I've rooted for them to do poorly at least as much as I've rooted for them to do well over the past decade. I typically boo at games. For some reason I stop short of blaming ownership though. I think they've generally given the baseball people enough money and tried to hire good people. I just think they're really bad at finding good baseball people.

    I can agree that they haven't had good baseball people in a while.As for you not being a fan you could fool a few
    You seem to know the team like a fan would and more.I don't blame you if you got fustrated over the years and lost something but with a good baseball team it can come back.
    IndyHawk
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 5143
    Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:42 pm


  • Tical21 wrote:Wow, you're quick! That post wasn't up long. Debating this stuff isn't going to sway the opinion of either one of us, and I didn't really leave you any room to say anything besides "agree to disagree", so I didn't see anything constructive about leaving the post up.

    I agree Aoki's skills should translate to Safeco. At minimum, I'm happy to have his defense out there.


    For me, it isn't praising the new guys. Most of the free agents Dipoto brought in are dead average players.

    The room for improvement comes from just how awful some members of last years team were. It would be like replacing our OL with a dead average OL. "Average" would suddenly feel like a monster upgrade.
    kearly
    * Mr Random Thought *
     
    Posts: 15975
    Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:44 am


  • Rob12 wrote:The thing is, Walker will be 23 for most of the season. He'll turn 24 in mid August. He's young. Not many guys are as young as him with as many MLB innings under their belt than Taijuan.

    But the numbers you cite are excellent, and are a definite reason for pause. But the kid has simply been throwing up until this point. And as I said before, I think he takes a big step forward because he's actually learned to pitch in this league. Gut feeling.


    Agree completely with the "thrower" comment.

    Felix was a "thrower" once too. Like you said, sometimes young pitchers with good tools have to learn to rely on their tools less and actually learn how to pitch before they can reach their potential. Hopefully that is the case with Walker.
    kearly
    * Mr Random Thought *
     
    Posts: 15975
    Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:44 am


  • So PECOTA's projections just came out. They have Seattle winning 84 games and missing the 2nd wildcard by 1 game.

    Based on that, Seattle should expect to be in the playoff hunt until the final day of the season with "average" luck. If they are even just a little lucky, they'll probably make the playoffs.
    kearly
    * Mr Random Thought *
     
    Posts: 15975
    Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:44 am


  • kearly wrote:So PECOTA's projections just came out. They have Seattle winning 84 games and missing the 2nd wildcard by 1 game.

    Based on that, Seattle should expect to be in the playoff hunt until the final day of the season with "average" luck. If they are even just a little lucky, they'll probably make the playoffs.


    Sadly, that sounds about right. Really fair projection for the M's.

    The AL West is a tough division. Texas will be tough, as will Houston. You never know with the Angels.

    I am not expecting this team to make the playoffs. Then again, I've loved this team since 1989 so I'm a bit sour.

    The talent is there... But with a new regime, I think there's going to be some bumps and bruises.
    Rob12
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 2688
    Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:50 am
    Location: Dayton, WA


  • M's are top heavy with talent, and then it fizzles out. Cruz will have another good year. Cano should bounce back a bit. Seager is a star in his own right, despite not getting the accolades. Felix is a beast. But the pitching will likely falter. And the lineup will be good, but is heavily counting on some reclamation projects to have some bounce back years in a park that doesn't promote offense. I love getting Kuma back, but he's aging and gets hurt. Paxton is made of glass. Walker has some definite flaws. Karns got hurt last season. My guess is Felix and Miley are the M's most consistent starters this season.

    80-83 wins. I think that's a fair expectation. I would love to see this team prove me wrong and win 90+ games. The sheer talent is there, but this is the M's, after all. New skipper, new philosophy - I just think this team is a year or two away.
    Rob12
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 2688
    Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:50 am
    Location: Dayton, WA


  • Hultzen was throwing off the mound today, I wonder what becomes of this guy?
    m0ng0
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 3357
    Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:55 pm
    Location: The Shoug


  • m0ng0 wrote:Hultzen was throwing off the mound today, I wonder what becomes of this guy?

    That guy is the wildcard in these win projections in my opinion.I was so high on him a couple years ago.When I see a rotation of Felix,Kumo,Pax,Walker and Hultz(healthy) throw that 80 win out the window.I see 90+ with a decent closer.
    IndyHawk
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 5143
    Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:42 pm


  • IndyHawk wrote:
    m0ng0 wrote:Hultzen was throwing off the mound today, I wonder what becomes of this guy?

    That guy is the wildcard in these win projections in my opinion.I was so high on him a couple years ago.When I see a rotation of Felix,Kumo,Pax,Walker and Hultz(healthy) throw that 80 win out the window.I see 90+ with a decent closer.


    it sounds like they are going to use him from the bullpen
    m0ng0
    NET Veteran
     
    Posts: 3357
    Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:55 pm
    Location: The Shoug


  • I hope the Mariners can pull it together. It's such a far memory when they tied the most wins in a season and lost the first round of the playoffs. Talk about choke job...
    LegionHawk12
    NET Practice Squad
     
    Posts: 69
    Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:51 pm




It is currently Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:53 pm

Please REGISTER to become a member

Return to [ THE SPORTS BAR ]




Information
  • Who is online
  • Users browsing this forum: SeaChickN and 26 guests