I find it hard to believe that Washburn will continue to have a 7+ ERA all season. Without 20/20 hindsight and all, Washburn would have been a very good 4th or 5th starter and it’s possible he could be decent the rest of the season.
I’ve noticed he’s cut down on his walks considerably and I’d venture to say he’s been about as unlucky as anyone in baseball. Whether this is a defensive issue, maybe you’d be able to shed some light on that.
Batista just isn’t pitching well.
The batting has been pretty awful. They’re like bottom five in WPA/LI, and they have almost an extra Clutch batting win, which I guess means they could be doing even worse if not for some timely hitting.
Yea, Washburn’s the same pitcher he’s always been, so he’s going to pitch better the rest of the year. I can’t agree that he’s a very good 4th or 5th starter, though – a 4.8 FIP from a left handed flyball pitcher who gets half his games in Safeco Field isn’t much better than replacement level. If he had spent his last two and a half years in a park that didn’t kill home runs by right handed batters, people would have a very different view of him.
And while the Mariners defense is terrible, Washburn’s just getting hit hard. He’s got a 22.9% line drive rate which corresponds quite nicely with his .349 BABIP. As a pitch to contact guy with an 87 MPH fastball, he depends heavily on batters making mistakes to get themselves out. When they’re swinging well, he looks horrible. This won’t last all year, but we can’t blame the defense for hit rate. It’s just batters teeing off on his Triple-A stuff.
I just started reading Fantasyland by Sam Walker, about his experience in the Tout Wars fantasy league and in one of the sections he mentions Washburn. He (Walker) hired Sig Mejdal, who I believe is now with the Cardinals, to be his analyst. They went to watch an Angels spring training game and Sig approached Washburn, asking why his Opponent’s BA was so high against just the first batter he faced in an inning. Washburn started scratching his neck and looked odd, before saying something to the effect of “Thanks, now I’m gonna’ think about that all week.”
Melvin’s bullpen management in Seattle was unbelievably bad. He bunted all the time, and he didn’t understand how to use his bench. There was nothing in his time in Seattle that said “hey, I’m a good manager”.
I’d argue that Melvin’s success just proves the point that pretty much anyone can win if they have a talented roster and don’t actively irritate their players.