== But no one chants M! R! I! for a reason ==
Hart Highlight Reel
This technique seems to be working again, so here’s both of the Corey Hart homers.
Corey Hart has five base hits as a Mariner.
Three of them are home runs.
In 22 plate appearances, he’s slugging .636.
2013 Mariners vs. LH starter: .227/.293/.367
2014 Mariners vs. LH starter: .292/.370/.557
Will that continue? No. But last year’s most consistent hitter was Raul Ibanez, who would often sit vs. LH starters. In fact, the only player to get consistent playing time vs. LH starters in 2013 and have decent success against LH pitching was Kendrys Morales, whose slash line was .282/.353/.440 for a wOBA of .345 vs. lefties.
Hart’s career line vs. LH: .300/.369/.527 for wOBA of .385
In addition to Hart, in very, very early returns, Justin Smoak is much improved vs. LH pitching so far. He already has two doubles vs. LH pitching in 12 plate appearances, whereas last year he had only six doubles in 164 PAs.
Hart going bombs away and Smoak achieving consistency from the right side will go along way to addressing the “left-handed tilt” issue.
Mixed with the joy of Hart’s performance was concern for starter James Paxton.
K-Pax had a decent outing despite giving up three earned runs in 5.0 IP, but he left with a strain to his left (throwing) lateral muscle. That’s the same muscle that has kept Stephen Pryor on the disabled list, though Pryor had a tear, not a strain.
Paxton will get an MRI, and will almost certainly miss a start or two. No point taking any chances, particularly with Chris Young sitting there waiting.
Before the injury, there was progress with Paxton being more efficient (59 pitches for 19 batters or 3.1 P/BF). Despite his great success, he’s been over 4 P/BF but has managed to go deep into games because of a micro-low BABIP-against. He needs to be more efficient for those games when his batted-balls are not all being converted into outs, and he was showing that Tuesday before he got pulled.
- Tacoma was postponed again (third time in the short year, I think).
- High Desert lost one of those California shootouts, but Patrick Kivlehan went 3-for-4 with a homer and a triple.
- Gabriel Guerrero had two more hits, and has 11 in his first six games. Suddenly the organization has a gajillion promising RH hitters.
- My man Marcus Littlewood wants to show he deserved the promotion to High Desert he didn’t get: .471/.500/.529 in his first four games with just one strikeout.