== Unintended lineup change fuels offensive burst ==
- Hyper-detailed baseball-reference.com 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.
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.
- 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.
- Gabriel Guerrero continued his hot streak with his third homer, plus a single and a double. He’s now at .396/.423/.667. Gaby likes the desert. Patrick Kivlehan and Aaron Barbosa both had three hits and a walk each.