Game 12 + Minors Rewind: Hitting Slump is Texas Toast


Saunders wasn’t supposed to start, but got the last laugh

== Unintended lineup change fuels offensive burst ==

  • Hyper-detailed boxscore here.

Michael Saunders has been in a bit of exile.  Or so it seemed.

Manager Lloyd McClendon has been giving Saunders playing time as a late-inning replacement, but only three starts.

Although both are left-handed, and neither was hitting particularly well, Logan Morrison was the one McClendon seemed more interested in getting into the lineup.

That was the case again on Monday night in Texas, but Morrison’s hamstring didn’t cooperate.  LoMo was on the lineup card, but never trotted out to right field.  Instead, it was Saunders.

And by the end of the night, it was the best unintended move of the season.

Saunders had two hits to bump his season average up from .176 to .227.  And his triple in the 6th (video link) brought home Robinson Cano to kick start a six-run inning that was a much-needed tonic for what had been an anemic Mariner offense for a few days.

Also in the mix was Mike Zunino‘s third Zuumball! of the season (video link) in the 5th, and then he came back for a single during the big rally in the 6th.


All of which ultimately came to the benefit of starter and winner Roenis Elias.

His line: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.

Overall after three starts: 2.16 ERA | 1.02 WHIP | 3.2 BB/9 | 5.4 K/9

Can he keep it up?  It’s true that Elias’ xFIP is 4.37, which is much more ordinary than his ERA.  And he has been the beneficiary of a .222 BABIP-against.

But after three games, in our designer Brainstorm stats, Elias rates out at 98-111-109.  He’s been above-average, so far, at preventing non-random offense (only three extra-base hits).  And he’s been roughly average at getting non-random outs.

In other words, he’s managing to eat innings, throw enough strikes to get by, without getting hit hard.

So far, so good.  And I didn’t expect to be saying that.


Daily Prospect-palooza

  • The bats of Tacoma keep rolling:

Nick Franklin 2 more hits (.410 BA)

Chris Taylor 2 hits and a walk

Ji-Man Choi double and 2 walks (.567 OBP)

  • Brandon Maurer started, but it was a “bullpen” start due to Blake Beavan being called up to pitch for the Big Club.  He only went 2.0 IP, but had three strikeouts.  Looks like he’s a reliever for the moment.
  • Jack Marder‘s stock dropped a lot last year, but he’s trying to recover, and he had a homer and a double for Jackson.
  • A few years ago, Mark Appel was the No. 1 pitcher for Stanford, and Jordan Pries was No. 2.  Appel would later go near the top of two consecutive drafts (after not signing the first time).  Pries lasted until the 30th round.  That’s the background.
  • Monday: Pries for Jackson — 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K.  Appel for Lancaster against High Desert — 3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.



3 thoughts on “Game 12 + Minors Rewind: Hitting Slump is Texas Toast

  1. Interesting side note: Guerrero hit his homer off of Mark Appel.

    I like Saunders in RF. Good defense, and he hit .790 OPS second half after he recovered from his injured shoulder. That included OPS’s of .878 and .814 in July and August. The guy runs the bases well too. Maybe Ackley, Almonte and Saunders are not a murdering row outfield. But there’s speed and enough good hitting to build rallies.

  2. Last year Guerrero had one HR per 125 PA, so far this season one every 16 PA. At 6’3″ 190 lb at age 20 he’s got some projection left. He’s got my attention.

  3. I want to get on board with Guerrero but who knows with the desert. Anyone follow the minors in the early 2000s? I can’t tell you how excited i was for Juan Silvestre. Boy were my hopes dashed. BUT i suppose there is a big difference between high A at 20 and high A at 24.

    I didn’t think I was going to be thinking about Juan Silvestre when i woke up this morning! Baseball Reference you are a bit of a rat-hole…who knows where it might take you.

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