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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lookout Landing: Ackley Traded to Yankees for Flores and Ramirez

There’s no way to dress this up: That Dustin Ackley’s career as a Mariner ended with him being traded for one fringe 4th OF and a relief pitcher with a horrendous walk rate and iffy health history is a real shame.

Oop Ackley, as Bill the Cat might say.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Robinson Cano more production fewer grounders | MLB.com

Baseball is a game of adjustments.

That’s the kind of solid contact that ought to lead to production, but confoundingly for Cano, it didn’t. But over the past 30 days, Cano has looked like the star we saw in New York. You might expect that he has been hitting the ball harder, and indeed he has. But perhaps just as important, Cano has changed his average launch angle. That is, he’s stopped pounding the ball into the ground, or pumping out low and easily-caught liners, and managed some elevation behind those hard-hit balls.

April 6 through June 19
.245/.284/.337   2 home runs
Average exit velocity: 88.74 mph
Average launch angle: 6.79 degrees

June 20 through July 20
.280/.318/.540   7 home runs
Average exit velocity: 91.54 mph
Average launch angle: 9.14 degrees

What’s “launch angle,” you ask? It sounds complicated, but it’s not. It’s simply measuring the angle that the ball comes off the bat. A negative exit angle means a grounder or a very low liner; a positive one is higher in the air. A launch angle of zero degrees would be directly back at the spot where the pitcher released the ball.
That’s important because for the first few months, Cano was hitting grounders like he’d never done before, which is part of why that solid contact wasn’t leading to extra-base hits. Excessive grounders may work well for low-power speed demons like Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon, but for Cano, it just meant that he was depriving himself of his highest-value hits. Let’s go back to that same date range, this time showing his splits between liners, grounders, and fly balls.

April 6 through June 19
Line drive %: 23.6
Grounder %: 52.8
Fly ball %: 23.6

June 20 through July 20
Line drive %: 23.5
Grounder %: 43.2
Fly ball %: 33.3

As you can see, the line-drive rate didn’t change, but Cano has dropped 10 percentage points from his ground-ball rate and put that toward his fly-ball rate, confirming what launch angle is showing. Since Cano is hitting just .182 on grounders, this look suits him much better.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2015 at 02:57 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano, sabermetrics, statcast

Monday, July 20, 2015

Full Count: Trade deadline looming | FOX Sports

Robothal’s latest.

My guess: The stalemate is going to continue, maybe right until the final days leading to the deadline. The buyers need a fuller picture of who exactly is available and how those pitchers are performing. The sellers, meanwhile, need the urgency of the deadline to spur action — and in some cases, more time to polish their goods.

I’m not talking about Hamels, who will return to his old self the moment he escapes the losing, angst-ridden environment in Philadelphia. But Cueto’s six-walk performance on Sunday likely renewed concerns for teams already worried about his elbow; his average fastball velocity of 92.68 mph was his second-lowest of the season, according to Brooksbaseball.net (the only game in which Cueto’s velocity was lower was on May 19, after which he missed a start due to stiffness in his elbow).


Sunday, July 19, 2015


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Seattle Mariners prospect D.J. Peterson smacks fifth career grand slam for Jackson Generals | MiLB.com

Who is the Mariners’ minor league hitting instructor?

Just two levels shy of the Major Leagues, D.J. Peterson made some tweaks to his swing this offseason to try take those final steps. After a disappointing first half, he was left trying to clean up his own mess.

...

“I think maybe in the offseason, I was trying to do a little too much,” he said. “I tweaked something and built a bad habit and took a long time to get out of it.”

Peterson has attempted to bust out of the slump in the video room. He’s studied video of his college days at New Mexico and from earlier in his professional career, noting that his hand positioning and other mechanics were different this season.

The 12th overall pick in the 2013 Draft set a season high with three homers in June and has a .259 average in July. The improvements have been small but steadily for the 6-foot-1 infielder.

“I had to figure out where I’d been with my load, where my hands were, to get back to where I was then,” he said. “I’ve just been trying to find my swing, where it was. I think the last couple months ... I’m starting to feel it a little better, find my swing.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 16, 2015 at 11:48 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: d.j. peterson, mariners, prospect

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Robinson Cano’s trying year: Lingering illness, grandfather’s death test him

I see an endorsement for Prilosec in his future.

In a Spanish-language conversation with USA Today Sports, Cano provided some previously undisclosed details about a stomach ailment that has sapped his energy. He also spoke of the impact of losing his paternal grandfather, Ovidio, who died of lung cancer in March, calling him, “like a second father to me.’‘

Cano, 32, said he was especially reluctant to talk about the stomach problem because it might be perceived as making excuses for his poor performance. Nobody likes to hear excuses from a player earning $24 million a year.

If nothing else, though, his revelation sheds light on the challenges that come with playing at the elite level Cano established for the majority of his previous 10 seasons.

“When things go well, people like everything you do,’’ Cano said. “When things don’t go well, people look for 1,001 explanations, and they don’t understand you’re a human being.’‘

Cano was in the midst of his sixth All-Star season last year when he started experiencing stomach discomfort in August. With the Mariners in the playoff chase, he didn’t get it checked until their season was over, in October. Cano said he was told he had a common parasite, which was treated with antibiotics, but he was left with acid reflux to this day.

“It still affects me,’’ Cano said. “Sometimes you drink water and it makes you feel like vomiting. I can’t eat the same way I did. It’s hard to deal with, especially being the first time this has happened to me. Sometimes I eat only once a day before playing, because I feel full. And you just don’t have the same energy.’‘

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2015 at 12:16 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lookout Landing: Mariners reassign Howard Johnson, name Edgar Martinez hitting coach

The greatest hitter in franchise history is now charged with turning around the team’s struggling offense.


Thursday, June 04, 2015

Arizona Diamondbacks ship Mark Trumbo, Vidal Nuño to Seattle in six-player deal

Mark Trumbo and Vidal Nuno to the Mariners. Wellington Castillo, and Double-A prospects Jack Reinheimer and Gabby Guerrero to the D’Backs.

The 28-year-old Castillo represents a veteran option with a steady offensive reputation. He has a career .708 OPS, although has struggled to find his swing in limited time this season between Seattle and the Chicago Cubs.
...

That likely made him attractive to Seattle, which has limped along in the American League West thanks to an offense ranked second-to-last in the AL. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Seattle reporters Trumbo will split time between designated hitter and a corner outfield spot.

The idea that he would be moved wasn’t a total shock to Trumbo.

“You start to hear things and whatnot,” he said. “You do your best to block it out. If there’s rumors of things happening, then there’s probably some ounce of truth to some of it at least.”

Nuño also filled an obvious need for the Mariners, who lost starter James Paxton to a finger injury that will sideline him for at least two weeks. The team also has been without right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma since late April. Nuño said he was told he’d be in the Seattle rotation, a welcome development for him after he was unable to crack the starting five in Arizona this year.

....

Arizona also acquired Double-A prospects Jack Reinheimer and Gabby Guerrero. Reinheimer is an infielder without much of an offensive track record, although Stewart said top scout Mike Russell believes the 22-year-old could be “a front-line shortstop.”

The real get could be Guerrero, a 21-year-old outfielder and the nephew of former big-league great Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero was rated the No. 7 prospect in the Mariners’ system before the trade, and although he’s started slowly in his first taste of Double-A

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2015 at 06:50 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, mariners, trades

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

McClendon confident, but can Mariners really turn it around? | FOX Sports

McClendon’s managing isn’t making Cano hit .249/.291/.337.

“Because of the expectations on this club, you’d think the world was coming to an end,” McClendon said. “We’ll be fine. I’ve got a good club. You can tell everyone the world is not coming to an end.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 03, 2015 at 10:46 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: lloyd mcclendon, mariners

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mariners notebook: Cano looks back to 2008 struggles in effort to keep even keel as current slump deepens | Mariners Insider - The News Tribune

It’s bad enough to pay a huge contract to a free agent. It really sucks when that guy doesn’t produce like you hope, which, of course, happens most of the time.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano

Seattle Mariners Catcher Mike Zunino Interview

From what I have seen, the hardest thing for Mike Zunino is making consistent contact.

Professional baseball’s starting catchers kneel for nine innings, day after day, for upwards of 120 games a season. They are struck by foul balls, hit with bats during backswings and — even with rule changes to lessen the chances of home plate collisions — occasionally run over by large men sprinting at full speed. In conclusion, it’s really hard work. We wanted to know what it was like to experience all of this, to be the guy who takes a beating for a living, so we caught up with seven of the best catchers in the game. Today’s subject: Mike Zunino of the Seattle Mariners.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2015 at 09:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, mike zunino

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cubs Trade Wellington Castillo to Mariners

Castillo will join the Mariners, where No. 1 catcher Mike Zunino has hit .179/.241/.358 with five home runs and 11 RBI in 106 at-bats. Backup Jesus Sucre is just 1 for 15 in six games.

No word yet what the Cubs will be getting in return.

Voodoo... Posted: May 19, 2015 at 10:05 AM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Set for return to Baltimore, Nelson Cruz fondly recalls his one big season with O’s - Baltimore Sun

Exceeding all expectations while passing all PED tests. Who’da thunk it?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 19, 2015 at 08:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, mariners, nelson cruz

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Boston skipper regrets pitching to Cruz | redsox.com

If Farrell could do it over again, he would have had Layne intentionally walk Cruz. And then the southpaw could have faced left-handed batter Kyle Seager.

Instead, Farrell called on Tazawa, daring Cruz to beat the Red Sox. And that he did.

“Yeah, we’ve got it set up, two outs, [can] easily take the bat out of his hand, walk him, then you get a left on left with Layne and Seager. As we sit here in this moment after the walk-off, that’s the move to make,” said Farrell. “Like I said, terrible decision on my part.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2015 at 08:18 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, nelson cruz, red sox

Friday, May 15, 2015

Report: Mariners turned down Red Sox’s trade offer for Jackie Bradley Jr.

Maybe because the return for Bradley was NSFW?

As a 25-year-old former top prospect who has struggled in the majors what is Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.’s value at this point?

Well, according to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston the Red Sox offered Bradley to the Mariners for left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush during spring training and Seattle turned it down.

Since then Bradley has been playing at Triple-A, hitting .343 in 24 games, and now he’s back in Boston for another call-up. Furbush has a 1.80 ERA for the Mariners, but he’s thrown just 10 innings in a left-handed specialist role and his 7/3 K/BB ratio is nothing special.

 


Friday, May 08, 2015

Roll The Die | U.S.S. Mariner

Here’s an entertaining post by Jeff Sullivan.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 08, 2015 at 06:57 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Monday, May 04, 2015


Sunday, May 03, 2015

Blitz to 13 homers puts Cruz in elite company | MLB.com

Where was the Statcast on Nelson Cruz’s second homer?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2015 at 01:04 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mariners, nelson cruz

Friday, May 01, 2015

Carlos Quentin is retiring at age 32

He can now retire to pursue he’s lifelong dream - hunting and killing Zack Greinke.

Carlos Quentin, who’s been playing at Triple-A for the Mariners after being released by the Braves last month, has decided to retire at age 32.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Quentin left the Tacoma team Thursday after going 3-for-17 in five games.

Atlanta acquired Quentin from San Diego as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade, but his inclusion was strictly to help balance out the money and the Braves ate his entire $8 million salary in releasing him.

Quentin retires as a career .252 hitter whose power, plate discipline, and ability to get plunked by tons of pitches helped him post a strong .831 OPS. When healthy he was a middle-of-the-order asset, posting an OPS above .800 in six of his nine seasons, but constant injuries limited him to fewer than 130 games in all but two of those years.

 


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mariners notebook: Strained back muscle forces Iwakuma to disabled list | Mariners Insider - The News Tribune

Iwakuma informed club officials after his start last Monday that his shoulder felt “fatigued.” He then began taking anti-inflammatories in hopes of alleviating the problem prior to his scheduled Friday bullpen workout.

When Iwakuma reported the same symptoms in that workout, the Mariners moved quickly by placing him in the disabled list for what they characterized as a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle in his back.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 26, 2015 at 08:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hisashi iwakuma, mariners

Friday, April 10, 2015

The tragic extent of Monique and Milton Bradley’s violent relationship

Victim said her husband grabbed her right hand and pushed her hand against her mouth, causing her to hit herself…. Victim said her husband grabbed her cellphone from a bedroom table and threw it towards the wall. Victim said her cellphone broke into several parts…. Victim said she followed him into the hallway. Victim said her husband turned around and used his right forearm and pushed her against the wall. Victim stated his forearm was against her throat and she was having a difficult time breathing…. Victim said her husband went around the house and picked up all the cellphones, house phones, her car keys and credit cards and left.

MIKE SNAKENBORG: She was upset and crying…. She indicated to me that she was pregnant…. She had a small cut on the inside of her lip that was bleeding.5

MILTON BRADLEY: She had a busted lip…. She was threatening, “Oh, I’m going to call the police” ... and I’m like, “I’m not staying here because I didn’t do nothing.”

HARLAND BRAUN: Did you ever throw the phone at a wall or anything like that?

MILTON BRADLEY: I never threw the phone.5

MICHELLE LIM: Has [Mr. Bradley prevented you from calling the police] in the past?

MONIQUE BRADLEY: He’ll take my cellphone and the house phones, and when he doesn’t do that he says, “Call the police. You’ll be dead by the time they get here anyway.“5

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office ... declined to press charges in the July 11 incident because of “insufficient evidence.” [Prosecutors’ documents] read: “Victim was interviewed a [second] time and changed her stories.” —L.A. Times

MICHELLE LIM: What kind of things would he yell at you?

MONIQUE BRADLEY: Tell me I was stupid, I was a #####, a whore, slut, idiot.5

Milton Bradley is the Dodgers’ nominee for this year’s Roberto Clemente Award ... which recognizes the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship and community involvement, and the individual’s contribution to his team. —Dodgers.com


Thursday, April 09, 2015

Mariners fan uses popcorn bucket to catch a foul ball

If you aren’t the type who brings a glove to the game, you’re going to come away with a sore hand or two. Well, unless you’re this inventive Mariners fan.

This fan ... no, this hero ... finds a way to make it work. He didn’t bring his glove to the game because he’s not 12, but he still gets the job done in the Mariners’ 2-0 loss to the Angels on Tuesday night. While he seems to have lost a significant amount of popcorn, it’s worth the parties future generations will throw in his honor.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 09, 2015 at 03:36 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: fatass, jesus montero, mariners

Local Cubs Broadcast Intro Is Just A Disaster

The GIF above cycles through some of the graphics that were used in the intro package that led into ABC 7’s broadcast of yesterday’s Cubs game. Did you catch all those errors? Here, let us slow things down for you.

To be fair, the season is still very young. Everyone’s still working out the kinks!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 09, 2015 at 01:03 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cubs, giants, mariners, nationals, reds, spelling is hard, television

Friday, April 03, 2015

New Balance signs Robinson Cano

Cavanaugh estimates that 300 major league players will wear New Balance cleats this season. It has come at a cost for the company that for so long proudly shunned endorsements—though a relatively cheap one, compared with other sports.

On Thursday, the brand announced that it has added Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano to an endorsement roster that already includes Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera.

“Robby wanted to be the face of a brand, and New Balance will enable him to be that,” said Michael Yormark, president and chief of branding and strategy for Roc Nation, which represents Cano. Yormark said Cano, who has more endorsements now than he did while playing in New York, also liked the fact that the company committed to working with him on his lifestyle business. It also will support his foundation by outfitting students at Cano’s RC22 Dream School in his hometown of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 03, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mariners, robinson cano

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Who is the best player in baseball? The most overrated? We poll 117 major leaguers to find out.

These results are not binding. Unless Proposition 29 passes. And we all pray that it does.

Yes or No: I’m happy to see Alex Rodriguez back from his yearlong suspension.
Yes 41 percent
No 29 percent
I don’t care 30 percent
“He burned the union. That didn’t sit well with players, so we’ll see how that plays out on the field this year.”—American League pitcher

You’re commissioner for the day. What is the first thing you would do?
Top answer: Shorten the season 19 percent
“We get two days off a month. People with regular jobs get more days off than that!”—American League outfielder

Which player would make the most entertaining reality-show star?
“C.J. Wilson. He’s into racing cars, he travels everywhere. and he’s [married to] a supermodel.”—American League outfielder

“It’s Yasiel Puig. He’s completely insane. He’s got to be up to some wacky stuff. That would be the show to watch.”—American League pitcher

“Didn’t Madison Bumgarner bus down his cattle for spring training? And he bought his wife a baby bull as a wedding gift. You’re telling me you wouldn’t want to watch that?”—American League pitcher

“Wade Miley. It’d be like Duck Dynasty.”—American League pitcher

 


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