Mariner fans were told new general manager, Jerry Dipoto, is big on analytics, though he is quick to say that is only part of his assessment of talent. So in his first player move he claims pitcher Cody Martin, 26, on waivers from the Oakland A’s and releases pitcher Logan Kensing to make room for Martin.
I don’t know the secret analytics involved with the two players, but I know the numbers. Martin made the opening day roster of the Atlanta Braves, pitched in 25 games and went 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA. He struck out 24 and walked 3. The A’s purchased Martin from the Braves on July 2nd and we know the A’s Billy Beane loves analytics. So there must be something with this Martin guy right?
At Oakland he appeared in four games, two of which were starts, amassing only 9 innings, 16 hits, 5 walks, and 14 runs. Ouch! In his 30.2 innings with Atlanta and Oakland he gave up 8 homers, or 2.3 per 9 innings. Another ouch!
The samples are small and it is unfair to some extent to judge a pitcher on 30+ innings. In his minor league career he is 31-29, 3.24 with 9.2 strikeouts per nine. That covers 118 games, 84 of which were starts. The good news only 0.7 home runs per nine. The bad news is that the major leagues are not the minor leagues. They are called minor for a reason. Projecting baseball talent is the hardest to judge because the gap between AA or AAA and the majors is much larger than College football or basketball and the NFL and NBA.
Logan Kensing made 19 relief appearances with Seattle and was 2-1 with a 5.87 ERA. The big difference is that Logan is 33 and Cody is 26. The Mariners just got younger and that is a good analytic.
Dipoto did not make big splash like throwing a boulder into the pool to get Mariner fans to go “Wow!” He barely made a ripple with a small pebble in a puddle of water. And that’s good thing. He has patience. More moves are coming. We know that.