Mariners Mini Morsels: August 10th

Editors Note: M.G. Vernon, otherwise known as Maqman, is a guy who likes the Mariners in a similar manner to the way I like the Mariners, and maybe similar to how you like the Mariners, too. He will be providing us with bi-daily nuggets of interesting baseball information, much of it pertaining to the Seattle Mariners. This right here is the kickoff of Mariners Mini Morsels. Enjoy!


Casper Wells keeps on movin’ on.  The Phillies have claimed him off waivers from the White Sox.  The Ms designated him after spring training and the Blue Jays picked him up, then he moved on to Oakland, and then to the pale hose, for whom he hit .167/.225/.182 in 38 games.  A lot of folks thought that releasing him and keeping Bay was a bad move.  Seems that idea is just blowin’ in the wind.

19-year old Lars Huijer from the Netherlands, who the Ms signed for $170,000 in 2011, is now pitching for the Everett AquaSox.  He has won 7 games and lost 1 with a 1.49 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP in 54.1 IP. Additionally, Huijer has recorded 46 SO and 16 BB.  Bullpen Banter’s Conor Dowley has a story with video here.

An interesting exchange from Dave Cameron’s Fangraphs chat this week.  Comment From Internet User Since 1995:  “How precise (not accurate) is WAR?”  Dave’s reply – “I’d say the error bars are probably something like +/- 1.5 WAR over a full season”.  With one WAR valued at about $5MM, that could be a difference in value of $15MM between the highest and lowest values within one’s margin of error.

The Ms have turned one corner already this season.  The team’s home game attendance is up 6% to this point, from an average of 21,258 last season to 22,520 this year—an increase of 1,262 human beings per game.  They have the attendance numbers trending in the right direction, now they need to work on the won/lost numbers.

From MLBTR: Jason Vargas will soon rejoin the Angels’ rotation after over a month on the DL due to a blood clot. According to the L A Times Mike DiGiovanna, his performance down the stretch will likely impact his standing on the free agent market this winter. He later opines that the Angels are interested in keeping Vargas around.  The Ms should put in a bid for him; they could use him and they would drive up his cost to the LAA of A if they really, really want him.

Franklin Gutierrez will begin his fourth rehab assignment of the season today.  Multiple injuries and illnesses have limited Gutierrez to playing in just 58 games over the past two seasons.

From August 24, 1995 the Ms went from 11 ½ games out of first place in the AL West to win the division by winning 25 of their remaining 36 games.   Luckily, while the team is 12 ½ games out of first place now, they have two additional weeks to make up the difference.

Since the start of 2012, MLB hitters have struck out an all time high 19.8% of the time, up from 16.4% in 2002 and 17.5% in 2007, according to the Rising Apple blog.  In this pitcher’s era, hurlers have seemingly turned to living outside the strike zone for success. In 2004, 55% of all pitches were in the physical zone.  In 2012 that rate fell to 45%, where it has remained this season. Considering the approximate 700,000 pitches thrown per season, MLB hitters are seeing a startling 70,000 fewer strikes, i.e. hittable pitches, than they were ten years ago.