Houston Astros Offseason Review

Pitchers and catchers report within weeks. That means it is time to review the offseason moves of the Seattle Mariners and their division rivals. We have already discussed the Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and Los Angeles Angels. Now, it is time to discuss the World Series champion Houston Astros. Houston’s offense led the American League in runs scored and every other significant offensive category with the exception of home runs where they finished second. Jose Altuve was MVP and earned a batting title. Altuve and teammates George Springer and Marwin…

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Los Angeles Angels Offseason Review

Pitchers and catchers report within weeks. That means it is time to review the offseason moves of the Seattle Mariners and their division rivals. We have already discussed the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers. Next, the Los Angeles Angels. A club that finished two games under .500, but won six more contests than in 2016. Once again, injuries significantly hampered the Angels rotation. In total, manager Mike Scioscia needed 13 starters to get through the season, including reliever Yusmeiro Petit for a spot start. Only Ricky Nolasco made over 30…

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Texas Rangers Offseason Review

Pitchers and catchers report within weeks. That means it is time to review the offseason moves of the Seattle Mariners and their division rivals. We have already discussed the Oakland Athletics. Next, the Texas Rangers, who finished in a distant third place tie with the Mariners. The Rangers’ run production was fifth best in the American League despite their hitters being below league-average at reaching base. How did the offense create runs? Power and speed. The team was third in the league in home runs, second in stolen bases. Texas…

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Oakland Athletics Offseason Review

Pitchers and catchers report within weeks. That means it is time to review the offseason moves of the Seattle Mariners and their division rivals. First up are the Oakland Athletics, occupants of the American League West cellar for three consecutive years. Once again, Oakland’s defense rated near the bottom of the majors. Based on defensive runs saved (DRS), corner outfielders Khris Davis and Matt Joyce were among the worst at their respective positions. The same applies to Marcus Semien, ranked number-25 of 26 shortstops with 700-plus innings. Injuries and the…

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2018 Preview & Prospect Rankings Guide

How often do you search Google for ‘mariners prospects,’ ‘mariners top prospects,’ ‘mariners prospect rankings,’ ‘Kyle Lewis scouting report,’ ‘Evan White scouting report’ or even ‘Luis Liberato scouting report’?  Whether you have or haven’t, you’ve found the answers to such searches, and more. It’s that time of year. The Top 25 Prospect Rankings are out and if you are a 4-Ever subscriber or a subscriber to Baseball Things, you get FULL access without spending another penny. 4-Ever Subscribers: All you need to do is email or DM me on Twitter…

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Arkins: Reflections From Dipoto Island

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is a man on an island. Not literally, but in a figurative sense. You see, the 49-year-old executive appears comfortable entering the upcoming season with his current stable of starting pitchers. Few outside his organization feels the same way. By and large, fans and local media members believe the rotation is the Mariners’ weakest link. If it is not addressed in a big way, the club’s 16-year postseason drought will drag into 2019. Naturally, Dipoto pushes back against such criticism. He routinely points out…

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Arkins: When M’s Pull Starters Critical To 2018 Success

By design, starting pitchers are going deep into games less often. Instead, teams are turning to relievers earlier than ever before. This philosophy has considerable merit, especially with more clubs building bullpens capable of repeatedly delivering quality innings. Why start the sixth inning with a back-of-the-rotation arm when a better option is warming up in the bullpen? Mike Petriello of MLB.com agrees. He recently identified six starters who may benefit from short, successful starts, rather than longer, mediocre outings. Petriello’s candidates perform well early, but fall off the proverbial cliff after facing a…

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Arkins: Verlander To Cooperstown No Sure Thing

When Houston Astro fans reflect on the 2017 season, most will likely view the late-season acquisition of Justin Verlander as a transformative moment in franchise history. Including the postseason, Verlander posted a 1.67 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 70 innings with Houston winning 10 of the 11 game appearances. Most importantly, the Astros won their first World Series title with the right-hander leading the charge. Verlander’s immediate impact in Houston and the national exposure he received during the postseason prompted some talking heads and fans to declare he is already…

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