Seattle's pathetic lineup shut out as Felix Hernandez takes a "loss" in 1-0 game

23 Comments

I really hope some of the Baseball Writers Association of America members and Cy Young award voters who still focus on a pitcher’s win total watched this afternoon’s Mariners-Blue Jays game.
Felix Hernandez tossed a complete game, allowing one run on two hits in eight innings, and got saddled with a “loss” because Seattle’s historically inept offense was shut out by five Toronto pitchers.
Hernandez is now 12-12 despite a league-best 2.31 ERA in a league-high 242 innings. Clearly he just doesn’t “know how to win.”
After all, if Mariners catcher Adam Moore had hit a double with two runners on base in the eighth inning instead of taking a called third strike right down the middle of the plate, clearly that would make Felix Hernandez a better pitcher and more deserving of the Cy Young award. Or something
Or if the Mariners’ hitters could have rallied in the ninth inning off Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg, that would have turned Hernandez’s “loss” into a “no-decision” or even a “win.” You know, because things that happen after a pitcher throws his final pitch are crucial to evaluating his performance. Or something.
How pathetic, both for the Mariners’ offense and for anyone who still relies on wins and losses to evaluate a pitcher. When eight innings of one-run ball equals a loss, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider how much weight you place on the concept of a “loss.” And when 242 innings of a 2.31 ERA equals 12 wins, maybe it’s time to do the same with the notion of a “win.”
Today marked the fifth time this season Hernandez has failed to get a “win” while allowing zero or one run in seven-plus innings and the 14th time this season he’s failed to get a “win” while throwing a Quality Start. And he’s still yet to get a “win” when allowing more than two runs, because his teammates rarely score more than two runs. For comparison, CC Sabathia has seven wins while allowing more than two runs. In totally unrelated news, the Yankees’ lineup leads the league in scoring.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Getty Images
2 Comments

Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.