One Night Only: Game Previews for April 4th

Note: it’s come to my attention that Derek Holland and not Alexi Ogando will start tonight for Texas — proving that One Night Only is already in midseason form so far as “grievous errors” go.

Throw off the shackles of your ceaseless toil and let baseball into your life, ya dopes.

(Totally proprietary NERD scores to appear at end of April. Probably.)

Seattle at Texas | 8:05pm ET
Starting Pitchers
Mariners: Erik Bedard
55.3 IP, 8.79 K/9, 3.74 BB/9, 3.79 FIP, 114 ERA+ (ZiPS)

Rangers: Alexi Ogando*
64.3 IP, 9.38 K/9, 4.34 BB/9, 3.66 FIP, 147 ERA+ (ZiPS)

*Actually, Derek Holland. ZiPS: 125.0 IP, 7.42 K/9, 3.24 BB/9, 4.38 FIP, 100 ERA+.

On Alexi Ogando, Part I
Let it be known that this author trusts Ranger GM Jon Daniels implicitly. If that weren’t the case before FanGraphs’ Annual Desert Pilgrimage (a.k.a. our trip to Arizona), then it’s certainly the case after the same. For it was there, at the Rangers spring-training facility in Surprise, that I saw a be-sunglassed Jon Daniels operating a golf cart. To use the word “majestic” to describe that spectacle would be to use a word inappropriately. Unfortunately, as I’m pressed for time and possess little facility with a thesaurus, it’ll have to do for now.

Daniels’ majesty aside, the logic behind inserting Ogando into the rotation is a bit unclear. While Ogando possesses two above-average pitches in his fastball and slider, he threw his changeup less than 5% of the time last season. It’s likely this lack of a third dependable pitch that made it difficult for him to deal with lefties, against whom he did this: 58 TBF, 6 K, 9 BB, 5.73 xFIP. Insofar as Seattle has Ichiro Suzuki, Chone Figgins, Milton Bradley, Jack Cust, Justin Smoak, Michael Saunders, and Ryan Langerhans — not all super dangerous, granted, but all lefties — this could be a sort of problem for Ogando.

Furthermore, he (i.e. Ogando) has made a grand total of three starts as a professional. There are few things that I’ve done just three times in my life that I’d feel comfortable doing in front of 40,000 people. I shan’t care to elaborate any further on what, exactly, those things are.

(For more on Alexi Ogando’s place in the rotation, do consider reading Tommy Rancel’s able analysis of same.)

On Alexi Ogando, Part II
Allow me to make it known: none of the above — no matter how cogent — has dissuaded me from picking him (i.e. Alexi Ogando) the frig up for as many fantasy teams as possible.

A List of Things You’ve Maybe Forgotten, What with Your Fast-Paced Life
• That now these three remain: faith, hope and love;
• That the greatest of these is love;
• That Erik Bedard’s 2007 was stupid-good. Regard: 182.0 IP, 10.93 K/9, 2.82 BB/9, 47.9 GB%, 2.90 xFIP.

If I Had My Druthers
• Erik Bedard would make hay of his relative health entering the season;
• Alexi Ogando would make hay of his opportunity to start;
• I’d realize my dream of designing, and selling for profit, that idiom-a-day desk calendar I always wanted to make.

Two Other Games
Atlanta at Milwaukee | 2:10pm ET
Brandon Beachy was an undrafted free agent (signed by Atlanta in 2008) who averaged 9.9 K/9 while slashing his way through the minors as if with a giant and menacing scythe. Except, instead of an actual scythe, he used a pretty normal-looking fastball and (maybe?) above-average changeup. His life as Real-Live Major League Starter begins today in Milwaukee — where all good things in this country begin.

Minnesota at New York Americans | 7:05pm ET
Ivan Nova throws his excellent changeup only about 24% of the time, but he gives 110% each time he does so, so it’s kinda like he throws it 26.4% of the time.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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(pssst…. hey, Carson — Holland’s getting the start tonight, not Ogando)