Kyle Seager Mariners

So, the Seattle Mariners finished the month of April 15-12. There were some ups and downs, including a month the bullpen was one of the best in baseball as the offense is among the league’s bottom third.

Mariners April Win-Loss 2015-2019

2019: 18-14
2018: 16-11
2017: 11-15
2016: 13-10
2015: 10-12

There are a lot of ways to look at the first month of the season, but I hope some of the following numbers help tell the story from a little different angle.

Below is a mix of team and player stats, some are positive, some are not. And there’s mostly no rhyme or reason to the order they are listed.

The Mariners rank…

17th in runs scored per game (4.15)
13th in runs allowed per game (4.11)
28th in batting average (.211)
27th in on-base percentage (.291)
21st in slugging percentage (.375)
17th in home runs (30)
4th in doubles (46)
10th in stolen bases (13)
8th in batting average with runners on base (.255)
7th in slugging percentage with runners on base (.427)
3rd in batting average with runners in scoring position (.281)
2nd in slugging percentage with runners in scoring position (.516)
11th in batting average with RISP and two outs (.235)
5th in slugging percentage with RISP and two outs (.444)

So, the team 11th in batting average w/RISP and fifth in slugging w/RISP is is 17th in runs scored. It’s as if the stats aren’t telling at all and should never be pushed as such an important part of a team’s chances to win games. It’s always been about getting on base, creating a lot of opportunities, and hitting for power. Always.

25th in batting average with two outs (.211)
22nd in on-base percentage with two outs (.299)
21st in slugging percentage with two outs (.362)
30th in batting average when leading off an inning (.184)
26th in on-base percentage when leading off an inning (.272)
19th in ERA (3.75)
16th in FIP (4.02)
28th in xFIP (4.51)
28th in pitcher strikeout rate (20.5%)
28th in starting pitcher strikeout rate (19.7%)
29th in relief pitcher strikeout rate (21.6%)
20th in pitcher walk rate (9.3%)
3rd in saves (8)
7th in starting pitcher innings (137.0)
14th in relief pitcher innings (95.2)
29th in starting pitcher xFIP (4.64)
21st in relief pitcher xFIP (4.32)
8th in relief pitcher LOB%

Mariners relievers throw fewer fastballs than all but seven other clubs (49.7%)… They rank 9th-lowest in sliders thrown, 17th in cutters thrown, seventh in curveballs and eighth in changeups.

Mariners starters ranks 23rd in fastball rate (45.7%), 13th in sliders, 7th in cutters, 10th in curveballs, 20th in changeups…

Ty France ranks No. 14 in Sweet Spot rate (45.9%). Sweet Spot rate means the launch angle is between eight and 32 degrees, the angle at which nearly all hits travel off the bat.

Kyle Seager is 28th in barrel rate (16.3%) and 67th average exit velocity (91.0 mph).

Luis Torrens ranks 89th in average exit velocity at 90.4 mph.

Taylor Trammell‘s 40.7% strikeout rate ranks 16th-highest. Tom Murphy‘s 36.5% ranks 27th-highest.

Mitch Haniger;s 144 wRC+ is 19th in MLB among outfielders and 53rd overall.

France ranks 27th in fWAR (1.0).

Yusei Kikuchi‘s 30.2 innings is 28th in MLB, despite the fact most that rank ahead of him have made six starts to his five.

Marco Gonzales‘ 91.4 mph average exit velocity is 6th-highest in MLB.

Seattle’s 89.6 mph average exit velocity against is 7th-highest in baseball. The club’s allowed hard hit rate of 39.1% ranks 16th highest.

The Mariners’ pitching staff induces chases on pitches out of the zone at a 31.1% clip, 11th-highest in MLB. The starters ranks 22nd (29.9%). The relievers rank 3rd at 32.9%.

Mariners pitchers rank 30th in MLB in swinging strike rate at 9.5%, and 20th in called strike rate (16.5%). Both pitches are a sign of raw stuff and command.

No team in baseball allows more contact on chased pitches (70.2%), or contact overall (79.7%).

Seattle’s first-strike rate of 59.5% is 14th highest.

Mariners batters rank 27th in average exit velocity (88.0 mph, tied with LAA, PIT), 19th in hard hit rate (38.6%), and 5th in hard hit rate (9.7%).

Batting .219 on the first pitch, and slugging .406 on the first pitch, both worst in baseball.

Batting .199 at home, worst in baseball.

Seattle is batting just .160 when putting breaking balls in play.

Amazingly, the Mariners are 3rd-best in baseball is laying off pitches above the zone (18.5%).

48.2% of the Mariners hits off starting pitchers have been for extra bases, the highest rate in baseball.

43.3% of the club’s hits for the season have gone for extra bases.

45.1% of Mariners hits with two strikes are of the extra-base variety, No. 3 in MLB.

Mariners batters have hit against the shift 40% of the time this season, second-most in baseball (ATL, 41%).

Seattle is slugging .509 in non-two strike counts, 3rd worst in MLB. Cincinnati leads the league at .670. Cleveland is worst at .473.

In non-two strike counts, the Mariners have put 32% of their swings in play, 2nd-lowest in MLB.

Mariners batters have chased just 24% of pitches out of the strike zone, 4th lowest in baseball, and just 11% of pitches out of the zone on the first pitch of plate appearances, 2nd-best in baseball.

Seattle has scored first in 73% of their road games this season, 3rd-highest rate in MLB.

Mariners batters have struck out on three pitches 55 times this season, tied for most in MLB. Eugenio Suarez ranks last (.034), Luis Arraez ranks No. 1 at .306.

Mitch Haniger ranks 4th (.267).
Hangier hits versus the shift 78% of the time so far.
On inside pitches, Haniger owns a 55% ground ball rate.
Vs. right-handed breaking balls, Haniger is slugging .611.
On breaking balls away, Haniger has swung and missed 61% of the time, 8th-highest in MLB. He’s hitting .500 on fastballs away, however, 6th-best in baseball.
Haniger is destroying lefties so far, as evidenced by his .800 slugging percentage against them.
Oddly, lefty breaking balls have given him problems (87% whiff + foul rate).

Dylan Moore is batting .085 with two strikes, 6th-worst in MLB. He’s put in play just 17% of his swings on fastballs, lowest in baseball.

Tom Murphy has swung and missed on 44% of his total swings, incredibly just 7th-worst in MLB.
Murphy’s home run to right-center field Friday night was a welcomed sight, since he’s pulling nearly 59% of the balls he puts in play, good for 13th-highest in MLB. Former Mariners catcher Mike Zunino leads baseball in pull rate at 72.7%. Catchers dominate this statistic.

Of Kyle Seager’s 25 strikeouts this season, only three have come on fastballs.
Seager’s 1.158 slugging percentage w/RISP leads all of baseball, as does his .450 well-hit average on pitches 95 mph or higher.
Seager has kept the ball in the air versus righties this season (73% line drive+ fly ball).
Seager’s ground ball rate on pitches on the outer portion of the plate is 30%, and his batting average on such pitches is just .103.
Seager has swung and missed 54% of the time on breaking ball swings, and right-handed breaking balls are his nightmare (.062 average).

13 of Luis Torrens’ 16 strikeout have come on non-fastballs.
Torrens is hitless in his last 16 at-bats vs. LHP.

Ty France is batting .378 with a .622 with runners on base.
France has hit ground balls on just 6% of elevated pitches so far this season, which makes David Fletcher‘s effort versus Chris Flexen Friday night seem remarkable.
France has yet to hit a home run this season when ahead in the count.
France is batting .455 with two outs (2nd best), and slugging 1.167 versus changeups.

Opponents are batting .182 and slugging .281 off the bullpen, both best in MLB.

Seattle has turned a double play on 45% of its opportunities, the 2nd-best rate in baseball (24 of 53).

Mariners starters have allowed a league-high .346 OBP versus right-handed batters this season.

Ljay Newsome has induced a 79% swing rate with two strikes this season, the best among relievers this season.

With two strikes, Will Vest has allowed one extra-base hit.

Yusei Kikuchi has held lefties to a .087/.125/.087 slash, which means not one single extra-base hit yet.

Chris Flexen’s four-seamer has been battered when he elevates the pitch (.500 average, .786 slugging percentage).

Kendall Graveman has not allowed an earned run in any of his nine appearances this season and has allowed just five of 36 batters faced to reach base.
Opponents are slugging .061 off Graveman this season.
Graveman’s 34% chase rate on fastballs in Top 10 among relievers.
Opposing batters have swung and missed on half of Graveman’s sliders, and own a .067 average.

Rafael Montero has dominated RHBs this season — .185/.290/.259, despite a career mark of .265/.361/.437.
Montero’s fastball has held batters to a .111 slugging percentage, but a .647 slugging on everything else.

J.P. Crawford‘s average exit velocity (83.5 mph) ranks 23rd among 24 qualified shortstops (Didi Gregorius, 83.2), and his hard hit rate of 25.4% ranks No. 20.
He’s batting .375 on fastballs away and has whiffed on just 14% of his swings on pitches 95 mph or higher.
Crawford is batting .500 in favorable counts, and has struck out just once in 13 PAs versus left-handed pitchers. His career rate entering May is 22.5%.
Crawford has the 9th-lowest well-struck average on inside pitches this season at .067. He’s batting .133 and slugging .167 on inside pitches.
Crawford’s line-drive rate is down 6% this season and his ground ball rate is up 8%.

Seattle’s 7-4 win over the Angels Friday gave the club a positive run differential on the year of +1. They’re one of 15 with a positive differential to start the month of May. The Dodgers lead MLB at +34. The Tigers bring up the rear at -58.

The Mariners are 8-7 on the road and 7-5 at home.

Seattle is 10-10 vs teams .500 or better, the same record as the Padres. Houston is 13-7 in such games, including 5-2 versus Seattle.

The Mariners are 8-3 in day games, 7-9 at night, 11-8 vs right-handed starters, 4-4 versus lefties. They’re 4-0 in Little League games, 7-4 in 1-run contests, 5-2 versus teams below .500.

Through April, the Mariners have played the toughest schedule in the American League, tied with the Rockies for most difficult in all of baseball.

Got a take on what you just read? Talk about it here!

Image courtesy of Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire
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Jason A. Churchill

Churchill founded Prospect Insider in 2006 and spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI. Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio. He now serves as the Executive Copy Editor at Data Skrive, a tech company that manipulates data to provide automated content to clients including the AP, BetMGM, USA Today, and ESPN. Find Jason's baseball podcast, Baseball Things, right here.

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