Mariners Begin Season with Hot Start

Week 1 & 2 Recap

Date Away Team Score Home Team Score Result
3/31 Mariners 10 Angels 3 W
4/1 Mariners 8 Angels 3 W
4/2 Mariners 8 Angels 2 W
4/3 Mariners 2 Athletics 3 L/12
4/4 Mariners Athletics PPD
4/5 Mariners 3 Athletics 1 W
4/6 Mariners 3 Athletics 6 L
4/7 OFF
4/8 Angels 3 Mariners 5 W
4/9 Angels 2 Mariners 0 L
4/10 OFF
4/11 Athletics 4 Mariners 6 W
4/12 Athletics 3 Mariners 1 L
4/13 Athletics 3 Mariners 0 L

Welcome back to another season of Seattle Mariners baseball. I’ll be covering the team week by week again and in the coming weeks you’ll be seeing some new features to this recurring series. For now, enjoy this recap of the first two weeks of play.

  • That series sweep against the Angels to begin the year felt really good. A number of experts picked the Angels to have resurgent year, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton couldn’t this bad the thinking went. Well a thorough dismantling by the Mariners doesn’t prove much–its only three games after all–but it sure was fun.
  • I’ll be glad when the Mariners are playing any of the other 27 teams in the majors. We started the year with five games against the Angels and six games against the Athletics. While we were able to build a small lead against three of the AL West teams, it’ll be nice to see another opponent.

Player Performances One of the features I’m including is a look at the recent player performances from the past two weeks. That small of a sample size will give us some pretty extreme data points. If you want to see the methodology behind these statistics, check out this page. The two tables below are the batting and pitching data from the last two weeks (3/31-4/13).

Batters

Name G AB 1B 2B 3B HR SB BB AVG OBP SLG BB% K% BABIP WAR
Abraham Almonte 11 46 6 3 0 1 1 5 .217 .294 .348 9.8% 35.3% .333 0.5
Dustin Ackley 10 39 7 3 1 1 1 2 .308 .341 .513 4.9% 12.2% .333 0.3
Mike Zunino 9 35 5 1 1 2 0 0 .257 .257 .514 0.0% 34.3% .333 0.3
Brad Miller 11 49 6 2 0 3 0 1 .224 .240 .449 2.0% 34.0% .276 0.2
Kyle Seager 10 33 1 3 0 0 0 8 .121 .293 .212 19.5% 24.4% .174 0.2
Michael Saunders 9 17 2 1 0 0 0 1 .176 .211 .235 5.3% 15.8% .200 0.2
Robinson Cano 11 42 12 2 0 0 0 6 .333 .417 .381 12.5% 12.5% .389 0.1
Willie Bloomquist 3 7 2 0 0 0 0 1 .286 .375 .286 12.5% 12.5% .333 0.1
Justin Smoak 11 41 4 3 0 2 0 5 .220 .304 .439 10.9% 32.6% .292 0.0
Corey Hart 8 32 3 0 0 3 0 1 .188 .235 .469 2.9% 26.5% .150 0.0
John Buck 2 7 1 0 0 0 0 1 .143 .250 .143 12.5% 12.5% .167 0.0
Logan Morrison 7 20 3 0 0 0 1 2 .150 .227 .150 9.1% 22.7% .200 -0.2
Stefen Romero 5 15 1 1 0 0 0 0 .133 .188 .200 0.0% 37.5% .222 -0.2
  • Robinson Cano was the big story this offseason and he’s gotten off to a pretty good start sporting a great AVG and playing good defense at second base. Don’t look now but he only has two extra-base hits and no home runs. I’d expect those hits to come, Cano has averaged over 40 doubles a year for his entire career, but for now, he’s hitting a pretty empty .333.
  • Kyle Seager has had some pretty bad breaks to start this year. He hasn’t had some hits fall in on some pretty hard hit balls and had a home run taken away after a replay challenge. The good news is that he’s still getting on base, walking at almost a 20% clip. Its still early so I’m not worried.
  • Mike Zunino is a very strong man. Both of the home runs he’s hit so far have traveled more than 400 feet and when he makes contact, the ball jumps off his bat. The problem right now is making contact. He’s striking out way too much–almost 35%–to generate a productive batting line. He still has a lot of work to do but any deficiency with his bat he’s made up for behind the plate. His defense is definitely his strength and it shows. Reports have said that Felix has requested Zunino as his personal catcher and I can’t think of higher praise. Depending on what you think of the validity of pitch framing research, Zunino could provide upwards of 4 or 5 wins this year on his defense alone. That’s an exciting thought.

Pitchers

Name IP G TBF SO K/9 BB BB/9 HR HR/9 BABIP ERA FIP pLI WAR
Felix Hernandez 21 1/3 3 84 30 12.66 2 0.84 2 0.84 .250 2.11 2.11 0.7
Erasmo Ramirez 16 3 70 10 5.63 6 3.38 3 1.69 .320 5.63 5.64 -0.1
James Paxton 12 2 43 13 9.75 2 1.50 2 1.50 .154 2.25 3.64 0.1
Roenis Elias 10 2 39 5 4.50 4 3.60 1 0.90 .179 2.70 4.94 0.0
Chris Young 8 2 31 4 4.50 3 3.38 0 0.00 .167 0.00 3.26 0.1
Fernando Rodney 3 2/3 4 14 7 17.18 2 4.91 0 0.00 .400 0.00 0.96 2.0 0.2
Joe Beimel 5 4 18 2 3.60 1 1.80 0 0.00 .200 0.00 2.94 0.9 0.1
Tom Wilhelmsen 3 1/3 4 14 3 8.10 3 8.10 0 0.00 .250 0.00 4.04 2.4 0.0
Dominic Leone 4 1/3 3 17 3 6.23 2 4.15 0 0.00 .167 0.00 3.14 0.6 0.0
Danny Farquhar 4 2/3 4 18 6 11.57 4 7.71 0 0.00 .000 1.93 3.14 1.6 0.0
Yoervis Medina 6 6 24 7 10.50 4 6.00 1 1.50 .167 1.50 4.97 1.5 -0.1
Lucas Luetge 1 2 5 1 9.00 1 9.00 1 9.00 .000 18.00 17.14 0.3 -0.1
Hector Noesi 1 2 6 2 18.00 0 0.00 1 9.00 .333 27.00 12.14 0.4 -0.1
Charlie Furbush 3 2/3 5 19 3 7.36 2 4.91 1 2.45 .385 7.36 6.68 1.7 -0.2
  • Felix is still Felix, but now, with more strikeouts. I didn’t know Felix’s pitches could get any nastier but when I watched his start last Friday, he was completely dominant. He was controlling all of his pitches, inside and out. The Athletics couldn’t get anything going against him until the 8th, after he had thrown 100 pitches. I know I sound like a broken record but it is a treat to watch him pitch every five days.
  • This year, I’ve added a new statistic to the pitcher’s table, pLI (Average Leverage Index). The Leverage Index attempts to quantify the pressures of a close game. Depending on the score, inning, outs, and number of runners on base, certain situations have a higher leverage than others. Down by one run in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and two on base has a much higher leverage than a similar situation in the first inning. I’ve added this statistic for all of our relief pitchers to get a better idea of how Lloyd McClendon is using his bullpen. A quick glance shows us that two pitchers with significant closing experience, Tom Wilhelmsen and Fernando Rodney, have the highest average Leverage Index for their innings pitched. We can also see that Charlie Furbush has given up four walks and a home run in 3 2/3 innings with a average Leverage Index of 1.7. That’s not good.
  • Hector Noesi is no longer a Mariner after serving up a walk-off home run to Coco Crisp in the twelfth inning two Thursdays ago. There wasn’t even any hesitation. Boom, gone.

AL West Standings

Team Win-Loss Win% Games Behind
Athletics 8-4 0.667
Mariners 6-5 0.545 1.5
Angels 6-6 0.500 2.0
Rangers 6-6 0.500 2.0
Astros 5-8 0.385 3.5

Hard to determine anything from just two weeks of play but its good to see the Mariners at the top half of the table.

The Week Ahead

Date Away Team Probable Pitcher Home Team Probable Pitcher
4/14 Mariners L Roenis Elias Rangers R Colby Lewis
4/15 Mariners R Blake Beavan Rangers L Robert Ross
4/16 Mariners R Felix Hernandez Rangers R Yu Darvish
4/17 Mariners R Erasmo Ramirez Rangers R Tanner Scheppers
4/18 Mariners R Chris Young Marlins R Nathan Eovaldi
4/19 Mariners L Roenis Elias Marlins R Henderson Alvarez
4/20 Mariners R Blake Beavan Marlins L Brad Hand

The Mariners start a seven game road trip which falls in the middle of a thirteen game stretch. I don’t care what you’re doing on Wednesday, Felix vs. Darvish is a must see match up.

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