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Seattle University Baseball Scouting Reports Part 2

seattle u

I was able to see Seattle University’s baseball team for the second time this year, this time, against Dallas Baptist in WAC conference play.

The starting pitcher was Skyler Genger, a freshman right-hander. He doesn’t have a real fluid delivery, with some real jerk in it.

He gets on top of the ball well, and knows he has to keep it low. His fastball doesn’t look hard and has a little bit of two seam run. He gave up a homer to leadoff hitter Boomer Collins when Genger had the platoon advantage. Collins would clobber another ball the wall later in the game. Overall, he was hit hard and didn’t miss bats, and these problems just continued as the game went along. His off-speed doesn’t have a ton of movement, and he was mainly just relying on speed differential. He could occasionally throw the fastball high just to keep hitters off balance, but he probably should have done it more. It seems like he has a lot of effort in his delivery, with a lot of grunting, especially on his curveball.

Landon Cray showed a little bit with the bat in this game, hitting a fly-ball to the right field wall (4.44 second fly-out) on an off-speed pitch with the platoon advantage. He also hit a 5.97 second infield fly-ball. He doesn’t have a real strong arm in right-field, but I pulled a 4.09 second time to first from him, which is blazing speed from the right side (so much that I think it might be wrong).

Nate Roberts once again showed nice range and defensive skills at shortstop, despite having below average athleticism and well below average speed. He also hit a surprising 6.22 infield fly-ball.

Ryan Somers yanked a ball hard pull side foul with the platoon advantage. He also hit a 5.69 infield fly-ball, and creamed another ball to the wall the other way. There were some things to like about his bat in the game. Cash Mcquire, who I liked last time, had a 4.56 fly-ball to right, which is the other way for him. Other than that, he didn’t do really anything notable.

Brian Olson played catcher and looked like a nice receiver behind the plate. His pop times in warm ups, at least the ones I got, were: 1.91, 1.88, 1.94, 1.94. Those are major league times. He showed a quick bat as a hitter, pulling one hard foul without the platoon advantage and also hitting a 4.59 second fly-ball to center.

Eric Yardley is a sidearming righty that was initially brought in to face another righty. He jammed him on the first pitch and got out of the inning. Unfortunately, he was left in to pitch the next inning and had to face some lefties. He gave up a homer and then absolutely came unraveled, giving up 5 runs before he was finally pulled.

Kyle Doyle is a lefty with an arm angle that doesn’t come out from his body until very late, really until he finishes his stride. It may be difficult to repeat that, but it probably makes him a little harder for righties to see. He gets sweeping action on his breaking ball and has the ability to go glove side on his fastball. This made him really tough on lefties.

Zach Aaker hit a 3.88 fly-ball to left, while Chase Fields hit a 5.06 infield fly-ball on a bad swing. Sean Narby has a clear upper cut swing that was a little slow at times. He hit a 5.46 fly-ball to right, and hit some other balls well. Nick Latta hit at the bottom of the lineup, but he pulled a homer without the platoon advantage (versus former Astros’ draft pick Joseph Shaw). He also showed good plate discipline.

Seattle University Baseball Scouting Reports

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Thanks to their addition to the WAC this season (along with the additions of Texas State and Dallas Baptist), Seattle University’s baseball team played against Texas State, which was a day trip for me, but close enough that I wanted to go see them.

Garrett Anderson is a sophomore left-handed pitcher with good size (6-3 210), but a weird delivery. He has an awkward hip turn where he brings his leg back sort of like we often see in Japan.

He is not real athletic looking but was a solid fielder on the mound. He threw a lot of low breaking balls that put a lot of strain on the catcher. He gave up a lot of contact with his 84 to 86 MPH fastball and was an extreme low ball pitcher. He was really hit hard the 2nd time around the order. Here is him giving up the homer that kind of broke his outing, even though he had the platoon advantage.

Chase Fields is a small (5-8 150) junior centerfielder that took good routes to the ball and showed solid range. The arm isn’t strong, but he runs a 4.19 from the right side, which is very nice.

Ryan Somers hit a ball to the track that stayed in the air for 4.31 seconds with the platoon advantage. He keeps his hands really low, and while the bat looks quick enough, it is really tough for him to get it started. This could be one of the reasons he chased low. He played left-field, and didn’t show a lot of athleticism, but had a good to solid arm.

Nate Roberts is a small looking senior shortstop, and while the range looked good, his arm is not real strong. He isn’t really fast or athletic either, with a 4.12 on a bunt, which is really slow.

Cash Mcquire played 2nd and showed off a strong arm. He isn’t real athletic, but the range played fine. At the plate, he hit a 4.81 second flyball to centerfield, and a homer that left in 4.62 seconds. He has a really sweet and easy swing with unexpected power. He even drilled the ball to the wall without the platoon advantage, but him running on the bases showed his lack of athleticism.

Grant Newton played catcher and was a solid receiver and framing. I got a 2.1 pop time in warmups, but I wasn’t really impressed with the arm action. He runs slow of course, with a 4.54 to first base. He pulled the ball well with the platoon advantage, but his approach throughout the game seemed to show that he was a dead pull hitter.

Nick Latta doesn’t look like a first baseman, but that is what he plays. In fact, with his frame, he could definitely add some weight. He was an awkward runner, perhaps because of the weird size, and ran two 4.31 seconds from home to first, and another 4.35 as a right-handed batter, which is okay speed, almost MLB average. At the plate, he has a big leg split that puts him in a weird position to swing. He has a slow and uppercut swing that put him behind fastballs.

Ben Ruff doesn’t really have 3rd base build, but seemed to field the ball well. He isn’t real athletic and looked almost hurt at times, but did run an okay 4.31 to first base. He got around on one ball well, but was behind the better fastballs he saw in the game late. It seemed that he needed a lot of body movement to get his swing going.

Landon Cray showed good speed, about a 4.1 to first from the left side. Brian Olson has a quick bat, but is not very big. He has an uppercut sort of uncontrolled swing and is mostly an aggressive hitter.

Olson was taken out after only a couple of at-bats. Seattle U used several pinch hitters, so very limited notes on them (and I think no notes on one or two of them):

Austen Brand has a big violent swing and is a well below average runner. Steven Kirbach has a quick and hard swing from the left side. He is a redshirt junior who can catch.

Skyler Genger is a right-handed pitcher with another sort of quirky delivery, except in a different way than Anderson (other than the obvious handness difference). His leg kick doesn’t help with the fluidity of his delivery. Runners would get easy jumps on the freshman. He was athletic off the mound and got good plane on the ball, but he threw a lot of 84-87 MPH fastballs and was really hittable with too many balls over the middle of the plate. The problem wasn’t really throwing strikes, but his command and control left a lot to be desired.

Connor Moore is a small lefty freshman that is actually listed as a utility player. He uses a high leg kick to hide the ball. He threw a 87-89 MPH fastball and a soft breaking ball that got some whiffs, but he also spiked it before it got to the plate a lot.

Jake Chutney is a big looking lefty with a slight pause in his leg kick. He comes over the top (without a real high release point) and throws 83-85 MPH with some sink on the ball. He also had a pretty good looking breaking ball when he could get it over. It wasn’t real hard, but had solid movement.

Evan Ewing is a long and lanky right-handed pitcher. He usually throws in the mid 80s, and deceptively moves his arm up in his delivery. He threw a slow breaking pitch for a lot of strikes but they were not really quality strikes.

I should get to see Seattle U at least one more time this year, and will post some further thoughts then.

Thoughts on King Felix and Shawn Kelly

joe saunders mariners
joe saunders mariners

So intimidating!

Thursday was a big day in Mariner land. It was announced that the Mariners signed King Felix to a long-term deal, and then officially signed Kelly Shoppach. To make room they designated Shawn Kelly for assignment, and just for good measure signed Joe Saunders.

King Felix becomes the highest paid pitcher in baseball. These large deals are getting harder to evaluate thanks to increasingly large television deals and the increase of large extensions for superstar players. Keith Law once told me that he doesn’t write about extensions because there isn’t enough to evaluate. The more I thought about this extension in particular, I realized that this could be approached from several different ways and be talked about in several different very wordy posts. Felix is 26 and the deal ends when he is 33, so we are talking about getting all of Felix’s prime years, and not having to pay for years way after his prime.

Felix will be making a 1/4th of the Mariners payroll. As good as Felix is, he isn’t great enough to take a team to the playoffs by being 25 % of the team’s production. Even if one is extremely optimistic and projects Felix to be a 5 win (above replacement) pitcher in each of the 7 years, that is still just 20 wins above replacement, or about 72 wins (according to .320 winning percentage as replacement level). The Mariners will have to increase payroll or be extremely efficient with the rest of their money. The Mariners TV deal is reportedly set to change in 2015, and even though they haven’t been very good, it is generally assumed that the Mariners will get a large increase in money. Of course, there haven’t been many concise projections, and even less projections of what a future payroll would look like. Of course, it should go up, and I am sure they have their internal projections, but we, or at least I, have no idea at all of what it will look like.

With all reservations aside, Mariner fans realize that the King Felix means more than just his production on the field. If ownership did not give Felix what he wanted, and he left, whether via trade or free agency after the 2014 season, not only would the Mariners lose an elite pitcher, they would lose the fans if they still weren’t a good team. The Mariners being bad now has seriously hurt attendance, but on the days that Felix pitches, at least the 3rd base side of the stadium was full of yellow shirts.

Now, I don’t care if the owners make money. This is a sports site, not a business site. I write about the Mariners, not economics. With that said, the owners do care about making money. I care about evaluating baseball players, but they care about making money. Now usually, success equals money, so building a good team will lead to good attendance in most cases (the main exception is the Tampa Bay Rays). There are hypothetical situations where one could see the Mariners being better eventually without Felix (the most obvious example being a trade for a bunch of players, and using the money saved to spend on free agents that make the team and depth better). However, this would, in the short term, cripple attendance. If Mariner fans are already cynical, imagine a Felixless 90 loss Mariner team. The front office may have been a little burned anyway. The Mariners traded another elite pitcher, Cliff Lee, to the rival Texas Rangers and the most they got from it was one year of John Jaso (thanks to the Josh Lueke/Rays deal), and they valued him so little that he rode the bench for the majority of the first half of the year, and then was traded to a division rival.

The “trading an elite pitcher for prospects” doesn’t have a good recent track record, as shown by the Johan Santana trade, and even the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, as the prospects the Rockies received in the deal, even though Ubaldo turned out to be broken, have not panned out so far. So while I have advocated trading Felix in the past, that is not a risk the Mariners are willing to take. Amazingly, signing Felix to a long-term deal, and making him the highest paid pitcher in baseball, is the safe choice. If the Mariners did trade Felix, and the deal ultimately failed, obviously that is the end of Jack Z’s tenure (even if they made a good deal, there is a good chance that Z would be gone before the prospects developed anyway), and the Mariners roster would most likely lie in shambles (or at least wouldn’t have had enough to be competitive despite Zunino and the big 3).

With a top 10 farm system, there is hope that the Mariners, even assuming that they don’t have money to sign free agents (which they may with a new TV deal), the Mariners could put a competitive team around Felix (or, at the very least, wouldn’t be able to blame failed prospects on fence distances). Even if the deal fails, say Felix keeps losing velocity, or gets hurt, or just regresses, the Mariners would be understood by fans. Attendance would still fall, but it fans would most likely be more understanding if the Mariners commit to Felix and it backfires. It wouldn’t make the future losses any better, and there would be the regret that the Mariners didn’t take advantage of the value they had in Felix.

Of course, this doesn’t even factor in the contract and commitment from Felix’ perspective. Considering the quality of teams the Mariners have put around Felix, one would certainly understand if he gave the middle finger to the front office during negotiations or demanded a trade. Of course, 175 million dollars of guaranteed money, including doubling the salaries of his next two seasons, will cause a person to forgive a multitude of sins.

The Mariners also re-signed Felix’ brother Moises to another minor league deal. As talked about before, Moises is about as much of a non prospect as possible, and obviously this move wasn’t for baseball reasons.

I wrote about Shoppach and how he fits on the team here.

It is widely thought that the Mariners are planning on trading Kelley, as it was surprising that he was designated for assignment. I ranked Kelley as the 27th best player on the 40 man roster in the most recent ranking. I literally went back to the official 40 man roster on the Mariners website to make sure that Carlos Peguero was still on the roster. I have no idea why he still is. I have repeated this argument and bewilderment multiple times, so I won’t do it again. The point is that Peguero is not a big league player, and Kelly has shown that he is. In fact, my first thought was that Kelly was one of the best players that have been DFA’d recently. So I looked at the MLB Depth Charts DFA Tracker and looked at all the players DFA’d since October. Here is a complete list of players DFA’d since then with a higher Baseball Reference WAR in 2012 than Kelley:

Jim Miller

Mickey Storey

Chris Seddon

Chris Dickerson

George Kottaras

So it was a couple more than I thought there would be. These are somewhat useful players that are not full-time players or have a flaw. However, the point still stands, as I think Kelley is a useful player that would help even the deep Mariners bullpen in 2013. Peguero is not the kind of player that will help them. The Mariners already signed Kelley to a 935,000 dollar deal a couple of weeks ago. If he clears waivers and is released, he will be given $155,833 of that money. If he is claimed, the new team will owe all the entirety of the money. I believe that Kelley is worth that, and even if the Mariners have to pay him the 155,833 dollars, it won’t hurt them as much, in my opinion, as losing Kelley. I think Shoppach is more valuable than Kelley, and he isn’t getting paid much more, so at least the Mariners are improving, but they could have cut someone that was less valuable and not helpful for the 2013 or future Mariner teams. It was thought that the Mariners just sent down Kelley to AAA in 2012 for a period of time because they could, not because they thought he didn’t belong on the MLB team. Evidently that wasn’t true, it seems that he they didn’t believe that he had much future value.

Of course, signing Saunders means that the Mariners will have to remove someone else off the 40 man roster, but they won’t have to until the deal is official, which as we have seen this off-season, can take weeks, or in extreme cases, months. I am going to turn my evaluation of Saunders into a separate article.

Can We Quantify the “Marine Air Effect” at Safeco?

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With the fences at Safeco Field moving in for the 2013 season, and the Mariners moving away from a defensive heavy approach to one that relies more on the home run, we expect to see more offense in Safeco, instead of the near unprecedented offensive black hole that Seattle was in 2012. Of course, while the Mariners have done their in-house studies as to how much this should improve offense, we also have to take into account the environment. A 400 foot fence in Colorado is not going to play the same as a 400 foot fence in Minnesota. In Seattle, there is the famous “marine air effect” that many people believe drives down offense, perhaps even more than the fences themselves. This is why some people don’t even trust the spray charts from previous teams when they come to Seattle, as they don’t believe the ball will travel as far. I wanted to see if we could quantify “the marine air affect”, using Baseball Heat Maps’ (.com) batted ball distances (on everything but bunts, which I removed).

Since Pitch F/X data started in 2007, I looked at the Mariners 2008-2012 rosters, looking for both pitchers and hitters that played significant time (I didn’t use a hard cut-off, but something like 200 plate appearances or 50 innings) for both the Mariners and some other MLB team in the Pitch F/X era. Since we can’t really break down home/road splits (we could manually, using game logs etc., but it would take an incredibly long amount of time for 51 players profiled below), we have to look at just the entire time they with the Mariners versus the other team. I split the data into pitchers and hitters (and before and after), but you should be able to click on the labelled sheets.

Hitters

[table id=17 /]

Pitchers

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As we can see, the variation between hitters does suggest that there is a slight effect on batted balls for hitters playing for the Mariners versus when they played for other teams. For pitchers, there was no real reason to think that they benefited from Safeco when it came to actual batted ball distance, meaning the ball seemed to travel normally. Of course, there are many variables that we didn’t account for, like aging curves, home/road splits, and there is a bias on ground-balls (since it doesn’t use Hit F/X, as that is not publicly available. My understanding is that ground-balls are measured when they are picked up, so a weak ground-ball that gets through may go 200 feet, even though it wasn’t hit as hard. Perhaps zeroing out ground-balls would be helpful in future study). With that said, this data doesn’t give us much reason to believe that the ball travels further (or obviously less) on average for the Mariners than any other team. How Safeco plays in 2013 may give us a better idea (especially since only two players played for the Mariners in 2012, which was the most extreme year).

Seon Gi Kim Struggles in AFL Debut

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Seon Gi Kim has joined Peoria in the Arizona Fall League. I didn’t hear anything about it until Rick Randall tweeted out that he had pitched tonight. Peoria played in Surprise, which means there is now Pitch F/X data (which is the reason for this post) on Kim. It was a terrible outing for Kim, as he took over in the to start the 3rd and faced 6 batters and got just 1 out.

You would think Kim might show some rust, and that maybe a reason his command was so poor, but his velocity was fine (he was anywhere from 89 MPH to 91-93 MPH on stadium guns when I saw him on MiLB.TV earlier this year). However, perhaps a bigger factor is the level of competition he was facing. Here are the ages and level reached of the 6 hitters he faced:

Mike O’Neill:24 years old, has reached AA

Daniel Muno: 23 years old, has reached A +

Colin Walsh: 23 years old, has reached A (and has played 194 games there)

Chris McGuiness: 24 years old, has reached AA

Brian Fletcher: 24 years old, has reached AA

Cesar Puello: 21 years old, has reached A +

Seon Gi Kim is 21 years old and has only reached A. So everyone other than Puello was older than Kim, and everyone was either at his level or above, even in AA. The gap between A and AA is quite vast, as any independent league roster shows. This should make us hesitate from criticizing Kim’s outing too much.

So let’s break down Kim’s outing:

He threw 26 pitches, only half of them for strikes, 4.33 pitches per a plate appearance. According to the GameDay strike zone, I count just 11 in the strike zone. His outing went like this: walk, ground-ball double, line drive double, walk, strikeout swinging, and ground-ball single.

He threw 18 fastballs at an average of 91.72 MPH, which is almost right at MLB averages. The hardest was 94 MPH, while the lowest was 85 MPH, which seems like a classification error, but it broke just like his other fastballs and not anything like his changeup or his slider. It had 4 inch break with 12 PFX break. In movement, this is really similar to Phillies prospect (in AA, originally a 12th round pick) Tyler Knigge, though Kniggee throws harder.

Kim threw 5 sliders for an average of 85 MPH. The hardest was one 86 MPH slider, and the softest was one 84 MPH slider. The other three were 85 MPH. The break was somewhat inconsistent, but we basically saw 7-9 inch break with 2-3 PFX. This is really similar to Justin Verlander’s slider, which is a pitch he has gone more to over the past couple of seasons. Blue Jays’ prospect Ian Kadish provides another comp for his slider.

He didn’t throw any to the first three batters, this was the one positive of his outing:

So Kim showed that he can dominate right-handed hitters with the slider when he keeps it away. With that and an average fastball, it gives you hope that he can at least turn into a reliever at a big league level with improved command (which may or may not come with age).

Kim threw just 2 changeups, one that was 84 MPH with 8 inch break and 9 PFX and another that was 81 MPH with 7 inch break and 4 PFX. It is impossible to make any comparisons with lousy data. Both of them were balls and one wasn’t really that close to being a strike.

He also threw one cutter, according to Pitch F/X, to the first batter. It was high for a ball away from the left-handed hitter. It was 87 MPH with 6 inch break and 8 PFX. This is somewhat similar to Brett Hunter’s (a AAA pitcher with the A’s) cutter.

Kim still has a lot of work to do if he is going to become a big league pitcher. The changeup will have to improve, and the pitchability will be extremely important going forward. I am curious to see if he is the kind of pitcher the Mariners want to send to High Desert (as he is the kind of guy who could really get creamed there), as it is quite clear he is not ready for AA. The only other option would have him repeating Clinton, which may not be a bad thing. He was below league average there statistically and he would still be roughly league average age wise. But as of now, Kim is interesting, but as Friday night showed, he clearly has a long way to go.

Mariners Claim Future Tacoma Rainier Scott Cousins

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The Mariners have claimed Scott Cousins off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Cousins never played for the Blue Jays. He was designated for assignment by the Marlins (who drafted him in 2006. Cousins had played his whole career with them) and claimed by the Blue Jays in October. The Blue Jays almost immediately designated him for assignment. The 27 year old outfielder has played all 3 outfield positions, with center-field being the most common. Perhaps unfortunately, Scott Cousins will always be known for running over Buster Posey and ending his season in 2011. Honestly, it was the first thing I thought of when he was claimed by the Mariners.

Since breaking into the Majors in 2010, Cousins has split significant time between the Majors, AAA, and the DL, totalling up to 128 games in the National League. While he has one option left, he has really struggled in the Majors with a -.5 bWAR and 0 fWAR. His hitting statistics are downright laughable and he averaged just 250.951 feet per battled ball and striking out 30.9 % of the time.

Cousins is a big guy, around 6-1 200. It is a calm collected swing but is pretty slow. It became pretty apparent to me that he would struggle with hard stuff, but I wanted to look at more data. It turns out that he is getting absolutely torched by fastballs according to Brooks Baseball and Baseball Prospectus:

He doesn’t seem to have great plate discipline when I went back and watched him play some. However, it is not awful, he isn’t swinging at everything and he has decent walk rates through out the minors and has a 3.90 Pit/PA in the Majors which is pretty solid.

He has struggled so bad in the Majors, that looking at the left-handed hitter’s MLB splits probably isn’t very helpful, but as bad as he was against righties, he was even worse against lefties. In AAA, his splits have not been very dramatic. Despite this, the Marlins have basically only let him face righties (having the platoon advantage 85% of the time), and he has failed.

His best tool according to the Baseball Cube is his speed, which rates at 84. His biggest problem is contact, rated at just a 37. You know whose ratings those are really similar to? Trayvon Robinson. Robinson has the same exact speed rating but a little bit lower contact rating (19!). Cousins has the better speed score but Robinson has a better wRC + in the Majors (though Cousins had a better wRC + in the PCL this year). Cousins runs at least a 4.14 to first, which is pretty solid (though not amazing). He was a pitcher in college, shouldn’t be any problems with his arm (which is Robinson’s worst tool). It looked pretty strong when I saw him, but isn’t elite or anything. Good enough for right-field and probably center as well. Defensively, Cousins is rated positive by Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, and Baseball Reference (basically all of the defensive metrics). He is a better all around player than Robinson with better tools, but his bat has a lot of problems. With that skill set (the size, the speed, and the arm), I am surprised he lasted to the 3rd round in the draft. The contact problems must have been visible even back then, and obviously it is not always helpful to question draft picks several years in hindsight (and he hasn’t had any MLB success anyway). His inability to hit, at least so far, has really diminished the impact of those tools.

The move to claim Cousins was met with quite a bit of scorn from respected Mariner writers and bloggers. However, there does seem to be some kind of thinking that makes sense here. He is a left-handed hitting outfielder, which the Mariners need, with a very similar skillset to Trayvon Robinson (a switch hitter). There are reasons to think that he is better (or at least might be) than Robinson. Plus, he has an option left, making it possible to give Robinson one last shot in the big leagues while Cousins hits in Tacoma. If Robinson struggles in 2013 and proves not to be in the Mariners future plans, they can designate him for assignment and have a possible replacement in Cousins. This is a really cheap possible solution to the left-handed hitting outfielder problem. It also doesn’t have a very high probability of working, but it is a no risk move. I think Robinson has more of a chance of succeeding in the Majors than Cousin, but I can see why the Mariners did this.

Rams and Panthers and Hawks…. Oh My!

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I have to make an admission right at the onset here: this is the third version of this article. The first two were not, shall we say, family friendly. I was very frustrated watching an undisciplined team shoot themselves in the foot all game long. The defense which allowed no points couldn’t get off the field on 3rd downs. I counted 5 times that the Rams were in a 3rd and greater-than-10 situations, and all 5 times the Rams passed for a first down.

Even with the problems noted above, the Seahawks still had a few chances to win this game. That is when the typically undisciplined Pete Carroll decided to call plays like this was USC vs. Portland State. Why he called an onside kick to open the second half is a mystery worthy of FOX News and Geraldo Rivera. It has been speculated that maybe he was embarrassed by getting beat by the fake field goal at the end of the half. I really hope he is not that easy. Coach Carroll needs to quit being cute with the play calling. He no longer is the biggest bully in the yard. This is a team that needs to play smarter and more disciplined and if not, the thermostat in Carroll’s office chair will start to move from “What, me worry?” to “Hey Lane, need a D coordinator”? I’ll now leave that game in the past as my blood pressure is starting to rise again.

This Sunday the Seahawks travel to Carolina to face Cam Newton and the Panthers. The Panthers are 1-3 on the season and have ran into a little controversy. WR Steve Smith publicly undressed QB Cam Newton after a game a couple of weeks ago. Smith let Newton know that his sulking on the bench instead supporting back-up QB Derek Anderson, who was replacing Newton during a blow-out loss to the Giants. This once again called into question Newton’s maturity. The Panthers are also a little banged up. Starting RG Jeff Hangartner, LB Jason Beason and CB Chris Gamble all missed practice in Thursday and may not play on Sunday

The Seahawks are in good shape, as far as injuries are concerned. Seattle has rarely played well on the East Coast but this game is at 1:05 and not the dreaded 10 am start. I think that the start time difference and my hopes that Coach Carroll has seen the light and needs to either give Wilson the offense and call plays like an NFL coach or try to figure out an exit strategy and give the team to Flynn. While there are no must wins in week 5, this game might be a fork in the road for the 2012 Seahawks…and quite possibly beyond. If you stick with Wilson and open up the offense go to page 34, if you put Wilson on the bench and start Flynn, go to page 12. My question to you, mighty 12th man…which adventure would you choose?

2012 Seahawks Schedule Predictions: Part 2

Seahawks 2012 Schedule

Here is a quick recap of my predictions on the first 4 games:

9-9-12 @ Arizona:   Final Score: Seattle 23 Arizona 16

9-16-12 H Cowboys:  “Century Link Field is Tony Romo’s personal house of horrors and the 12th man will direct a ferocious auditory assault at him. This one will be close but look for special teams to make the difference in the Victory.”   Final Score: Seattle 27 Dallas 24

9-24-12 H Packers:  Final Score: Green Bay 30 Seattle 13

9-30-12 @ St. Louis: Final Score: Seattle 24 St. Louis 10.

Complete Part 1 of the Seahawks Predictions

Well since only 1 of my predictions proved to be true, I say that there is nowhere to go but up!!

10-7-12 @ Carolina (1-3): Going to the East coast is never a good place to find the Seattle Seahawks…if you are hoping for a win anyway. This time, at least, the game is at 1:05 and not the dreaded 10 am start. The Panthers have the 13th ranked offense and the 24th ranked defense. The Seahawks are struggling on offense but Coach Carroll should learn from the poor play calling in St. Louis.

Final Score: Seahawks 23—Panthers 17

10-14-12 H Patriots (2-2): The Seahawks have the #2 ranked defense in the NFL, The Patriots have the #1 ranked offense. There has not been many times in the last 10 or so years that I would have any hope much less confidence that the Hawks could win a game against the Pats. In this one the 12th man makes a difference and the Hawks win.

Final Score: Seahawks 19—-Patriots 10.

10-18-12 @ 49ers (3-1): This will be a litmus test against what could end up being the class of the NFC. Going to play on a Thursday gives Coach Carroll less time to prepare his young quarterback. The 49ers have the #3 ranked defense in the NFL and the better head coach. This game will show that Seattle still has work to do.

Final Score: San Francisco 24—Seattle 9

10-28-12 @ Detroit (1-3): Detroit boasts the #6 offense and the #10 defense in the NFL. Yet the Lions enter week 5 with a 1-3 record. QB Matt Stafford is having a decent start throwing for 1182 yds , 3 scores and 4 INT’s. The Lions lost a tough one to the Titans and tights ones to the 49ers and Vikings. The Seahawks playing that 10 am start on the road rarely bodes well. I think the Lions get a win here in a close game.

Final Score: Lions 24—Seahawks 21.

If the schedule shakes out like this, it would give the Hawks a 4-4 record at the halfway point of the season. However, things rarely work out as predicted. Hang on tight 12th man, because with watching Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll’s play calling and the NFL’s leading rusher the 2nd quarter of the season promises to be an interesting one, let’s just hope it’s a winning one as well.

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