The Mariners and reliever volatility

At some stage of their baseball career, a relief pitcher was no longer viewed as starting pitcher material by an organization. Perhaps, they couldn’t consistently repeat their delivery, didn’t possess a viable third pitch, or had physical limitations due to their injury history. These “flaws” can make it challenging to forecast the performance of many relievers, especially during stressful game situations. That’s why baseball analysts frequently use the term “volatility” when describing the inconsistent nature of relief pitching. “Volatile” is certainly an appropriate way to describe Seattle Mariners relievers during…

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The evolution of the Mariners rotation

Plenty has been made about the remake of the Seattle Mariners rotation heading into 2016 and rightfully so. The 2015 edition had considerable upside, but ultimately disappointed. Seattle only had two qualified starters in terms of innings pitched, Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker, as injuries limited Hisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton. By ERA the rotation ranked 17th in the entire league and by fWAR it ranked 19th. Those aren’t the type of numbers that will end what is now the longest playoff drought in Major League Baseball. Unless it’s backed by a…

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Mariners hot stove recap

After suffering through another losing season and extending their playoff drought to 14 year, Seattle Mariners management decided to hire Jerry Dipoto to be their general manager. Since taking over in late September, the 47-year-old has significantly altered the club’s approach towards scouting, player development, and coaching. While Dipoto’s initial actions are encouraging, the root cause to the Mariners’ underwhelming record is the fact that they didn’t have enough good players to compete last season. That’s the main reason behind Dipoto’s hiring and why he was the major’s most active…

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MLB Draft Watch List: Pac-12’s Best

It’s January, yes, and baseball, as most know it, doesn’t start for two and a half months. Spring training doesn’t start for big-league club for another 3 1/2 weeks. But college baseball gets under way in less than a month, and here is what’s on my watch list for the first few months. First, be ware in case you are planning to join me on the trail — the weather will wash out games — sometimes they get banged a day or more in advance, others the games won’t officially…

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AL West hot stove recap

  Last season was a forgettable one for Seattle Mariner fans who were forced to watch the American League (AL) West division standings turned upside down in a way that didn’t result in their team reaching the postseason. The two worst teams of 2014 reached the postseason and the two teams that had reached the postseason the season prior took a step backwards. At the same time, the Mariners – who were projected to be a World Series contender – ended up losing 86 games. This abrupt change of fortune…

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Should M’s eye Cespedes, Upton?

The short, easy answer to the title question is, no, they shouldn’t. But it’s a little bit more complicated than that, because, well, in a vacuum, Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes are better players than those the Seattle Mariners project to use in both corner outfield spots in 2016. Before we go too far, let’s clear some things up about such a scenario. Paying either player 5-6 years worth at $18-20 million per isn’t happening, nor should it. The Mariners, under the tutelage of new GM Jerry Dipoto, are on…

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Devaluing the RBI

About a week ago, I heard an MLB Radio network commentator say  Jeff Kent deserved to be in the Hall of Fame, which isn’t big news in itself. Plenty of fans and media personnel feel the same way. What came next was both surprising and disappointing. This particular analyst continued to make his case for Kent by noting Hall of Fame outfielder Andre Dawson “only” had four seasons with 100-plus runs batted in (RBI) compared to Kent’s eight. Somehow, this rationale was supposed to reinforce Kent’s case. At this point,…

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