Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Interesting... I feel like I should make bolder predictions (see post below).  A split in these next two games, and it almost sounds like I have a damned clue what I'm talking about.

So some random thoughts and interesting developments...

The bullpen owes Doug Fister a steak.

Speaking of Douggie - When Cliff Lee comes back, who gets bumped from the rotation?  Fister suddenly appears way more desirable than Ian Snell right now. The outing this evening by Vargas and Snell's next start vs. Chicago are going to go a long way towards answering that question.

Fister is using his fastball at almost twice the rate he did last year and using his change less than 1/3 of the rate he did last year.  His fastball really isn't anything special at 88-89 ish, but he must have his location dialed in while he's really keeping hitters off balance with his off speed stuff, using the change far more sparingly.  Really small sample, yes but still - it's like an entirely different pitcher.

Going the other way is Snell.  He's relying less and less on his fastball which, by the way has averaged 92.9, 92.5, 91.8, and now 90.6 over the last four years. Yikes.  Once a fastball, slider pitcher he has turned into a fastball, change-up pitcher and the results pretty much speak for themselves.  If he was mediocre and pitched into the 6th and 7th inning routinely it would be one thing, but being marginal and rarely getting out of the 5th inning makes it both tough to win games and it's taxing on the bullpen.  Folks are holding on to his nice little run in 06-07 coupled with his dazzling AAA stats in 2009 - but I'd say the experiment is just about over for Snell.  He will need a couple of solid outings to keep his heel in the door.

By my crude count, when Lee returns, it'll be in Vargas' slot - but I'm not sure that means much long term.

Lastly, Casey Kotchman. Why not him?  Why not now?  Ah, Jesse Jackson phraseology...

Go Mariners

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