Alrighty. It’s been a while. The stories and whatnot are piling up in my inbox, so it’s time for one big post with a few words on a lot of things. I haven’t had time to delve into a lot of what’s going on in Mariners territory. It seems like every time I feel like I will have a scrap of a moment to sit down and write, something comes up and I get pulled out of the moment. I don’t like writer’s block, but I’m dealing with it as I can.
- -The Nick Franklin call-up. Since being called up, Franklin has seen 68 Plate appearances. In that time, he has managed a .300/.382/.500. That gives him an OPS of .882. I am so not going to complain about this. I know it is early and there is still the majority of the season to go, but I have been really impressed with Franklin so far. His defense isn’t bad either, based on what I’ve seen (while I am still working on the defensive stats, I’m not working very hard, so I’ve only got what I’ve seen to go on). I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, but I am happy about the strong start in the majors. I really hope he pans out; we’re about due for some nice things to happen to Seattle baseball. I got to see Franklin’s first homer, but only just barely after napping on the couch immediately after dinner the other day. Thankful I woke up in time.
- -Mike Zunino was also brought up recently, of course, and has had only 8 plate appearances, so I really don’t know how to deal with that, and I know I shouldn’t worry or anything now. He’s got a 1.089 OPS or something ridiculous like that. In his 208 PA with Tacoma, he had a more reasonable Triple A OPS of .806 which is encouraging, but I would be more comfortable if/when that is sustained over a far longer period of time. I have no idea how he is at catching, but I really don’t want to have to put his name on the list with Rob Johnson and Jeff Clement. I am very frustrated with our situation at catcher. It seems like once I get used to someone, they’re gone. It was nice knowing you, Kelly Shoppach. I missed Zunino’s homer last night, while at a friend’s birthday party practicing drunk archery.
- -Aaron Harang pitched a complete game against Houston at Safeco last week. That’s pretty much all I want or need to say about that.
- -The Arizona Diamondbacks will be starting the 2014 season in Sydney, Australia. They will be playing the Dodgers. I will absolutely, totally, 100%, without a doubt be getting up (or staying up, depending) to watch this. Nobody needs that information, but I’m very excited about it, so I’m posting it here.
- -The Mariners first round draft pick DJ Peterson will be joining the Everett Aquasox this year. The Sox have already started their season off with the yearly exhibition game, and then in Spokane. Regrettably, I will not be able to be up there for Opening Day tomorrow night at Everett Memorial, but maybe if things go right for me, I can make it up there next Sunday for their home game against the Hillsboro Hops, whose mascot appears to be an aggressive yet friendly beer ingredient. I miss minor league games. I haven’t been to a single Rainiers game this year yet, and I only managed to make it to one Everett game last year. Just no opportunities for me to drive that far either way. I want to go to at least a few Everett games, given that I have a friend I can stay with there now, and my roller derby buddy Jeri skates at Comcast; hoping I can get a roller derby/baseball double header weekend in at some point this year.
- -I’m concerned about Tom Wilhelmsen, guys. I just am. And don’t click this link unless you want to be super sad. I hate seeing players I really like agonize over their failures. It just bums me out. His ERA has skyrocketed to 14.85 over the last 8 times he’s seen the hill, from 0.41. ERA is a flawed stat, of course, but I cannot imagine his FIP is any better over that same period of time. The positive is that on the season this far, his FIP is still only 3.17. So here’s hoping he can reverse his skid before things take a turn for the awful. We’re not winning any prizes this year, but when all you’re asking for is a winning season (and that is all I’m asking for, currently), having your only closer option collapse on you is horribly depressing.
- -Henry Blanco. I got nothin’. He apparently hit a grand slam yesterday (which of course I also missed), and he’s Kelly Shoppach’s replacement at nearly 42 years of age. He comes to us via the Toronto Blue Jays. I have no personal experience watching Blanco play, really, that sticks out to me for other teams, so I’m at a loss. I am guessing he will likely be going away at the end of this season, so I won’t get too attached. He’s a baseball player in a Mariners uniform, and for that I will give him the only thing I really have to offer any player, supportive clapping and maybe the occasional kind written word.
- -Two words; Hishashi. Iwakuma.
That is pretty much all I have at the moment. I do have some pictures to share, but will take care of that later (hopefully some time this week). For now, I’m going to spend some time watching the rest of this game with Oakland before I get the kayaks on the car to go out paddling with a friend later this afternoon. At 2-0 in the second inning, here’s hoping the M’s keep themselves afloat against Bartolo Colon. I am having a similar reaction to Marc W’s. I cannot believe that Colon has been an effective pitcher lately, let alone allowed to continue on a major league team after a period of running away from his baseball responsibilities. If I just didn’t show up to my job, I’d get fired. But athletes don’t live in our world, I guess. Whatever the case, he’s not doing so hot against us at the beginning of this game. Hit him hard, boys…