“Jason Vargas could have been a hot commodity at the trade deadline had he not been on the disabled list with a blood clot in his throwing shoulder. Now that he’s back in the Halos rotation, the team could try to get something of value for him before he hits free agency at the end of September. Vargas, 30, isn’t anyone’s idea of a top-of-the-rotation starter, but he is about as consistent as starting pitchers come. If a team is in need of a southpaw who can eat innings while putting up a 4.00 earned-run average and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of just over two, then Vargas is the guy. The left-hander owns a 3.92 ERA in 101 innings on the year.”
—This according to Nathan Aderhold at SB Nation.
Rick Randall, SeattleClubhouse Publisher, started off his weekly Three Up, Three Down feature this week profiling…
“Patrick Kivlehan – 3B, High Desert Mavericks: .440/.464/.800 (11-25), 3 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO
Kivlehan is having an August to remember. He could basically go hitless the rest of the month and still count August as a very good 31 days. He drove in 12 runs in 6 games this week and now has 31 RBI and 29 hits in his 16 contests this month, raising his average to .341 and reaching a Mariners’ 2013 organization-high 22-game hitting-streak in the process. Patrick has raised his OPS just under .200 since his last hitless game and he also has nine walks over that extended stretch of success. He’s 2nd in the Cal League in total bases (122) since his call-up and has also chipped in with 10 steals in 13 tries for the Mavs.”
You can read all of Rick’s picks at mariners.scout.com.
From Steve Adams at MLBTR Weekly Chat:
Comment From Liam. Do you think that Justin Smoak‘s recent production is sustainable?
Steve Adams: Yeah, I do. He’s always posted some nice walk rates even when he’s had bad seasons. He might not ever end up being a 30 HR bat like Seattle had hoped, but a .360 OBP and 20 homers would be a huge victory considering the fact that he was written off as recently as 2-3 months ago.
Comment From Jacoby. Do I exceed 100 mil this offseason?
Steve Adams: I think so
Comment From gson. Does Shin-soo Choo’s agent, Scott Boras, really think anyone and everyone will be too dumb to look at Choo’s splits v LHP’s and offer him half of his projected demand, because well, that’s what he’s worth?
Steve Adams: Teams overpay for flawed players all the time. Brandon League got $22.5MM last offseason. Choo’s an OBP machine with decent power and speed, even in spite of his LHP flaws. He’ll get a significant contract, whether it’s a good deal or not. I’m guessing he gets overpaid.
“The Little League World Series is a great event and the players are treated extremely well while there. All their travel costs are picked up. It doesn’t mean this isn’t big business. Little League Baseball, Inc. is a non-profit based out of Williamsport, Pa. According to its most recent federal tax filings, it turned a $2.8 million profit in fiscal 2012 on $24.5 million in revenue. It finished the year with $78.5 million in assets. ESPN is paying $4 million to broadcast 32 games this year. If each player earned $750 every time their team appeared on television – all 14 players get the same amount – then it would cost just $672,000. That’s less than one quarter of the Little League’s profit. And that’s not even if Disney – $42.3 billion in revenue last year – covered it in some kind of a ‘do the right thing’ move. You can argue that having a financial reward for a child’s game turns innocence into industry. That’s merely because the games have been marketed as innocent and amateur, however. The games may start that way back home, but by the time they get to Pennsylvania, they are commodities.”
—Dan Wetzel from “Is it time to pay players at the Little League World Series? Of course, it is”
“If you’re big into speculation, then the appearance of Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik and director of scouting Tom McNamara sitting behind Cheney Stadium’s home plate for Walker’s 10th Triple-A start Tuesday against Colorado Springs – a 3-1 win for Tacoma – could be a sign that the Mariners are ready to promote their 21-year-old phenom.
One thing that isn’t on Walker’s side is his total innings pitched. With at least two projected starts remaining in the Rainiers’ season, which ends Sept. 2 if Tacoma fails to make the postseason, he’s already at 134 innings, surpassing last year’s count of 126 2/3.”
—Meg Wochnick in The News Tribune.com
According to tatertrottracker.com, the slowest trot around the bases on a homer this season belongs to Todd Helton, who took 31.54 seconds to get around. Maybe he could use a walker. Josh Donaldson has the 4th slowest trot time, while all eight of the other top 10 belong to El Supremo David Ortiz.
In terms of dollars lost, pitching injuries have increased by 700 percent over the last decade, reaching more than half a billion dollars lost per season. Tommy John surgery and the resultant rehab represents a majority of that money spent at the major league level, according to a study by Bleacher Report injury analyst Will Carroll.
The most watched World Series game in history? According to Wikipedia it was Game 7 in 1986, as the New York Mets defeated the Boston Red Sox at Shea Stadium in New York City. The game had a 55% share. This broke the record established two nights before in which 52% of televisions in use in the US were tuned in to see the Mets’ famous Game 6 comeback that forced a Game 7.