Attention Seattle Mariners’ general manager Jerry Dipoto: Marc Rzepczynski has been bad all season, but last nights debacle against the Texas Rangers should have made it clear that Rzepczynski is done and needs to be designated for assignment.
Before we dig into the statistics of what’s been going wrong with the 32-year old lefty specialist, let’s take a look at this pitch sequence to Joey Gallo in the top of the seventh last night.
Not a single one of those pitches found the actual strike zone — the umpire helped out the veteran reliever on the third pitch of that at bat because it was borderline and Mike Zunino is still a framing god.
Before that walk to Gallo, he was brought in to face lefty Normar Mazara with the runners on first and second with one out.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t been just a bad couple of appearances for Rzepczynski as he’s currently got a stat line of 9.39/7.42/5.08 which is absolutely atrocious. His higher ERA shows that he’s been getting some poor luck with his defense, which is confirmed by the stupidly high BABIP of .423; while the slightly lower, but still awful FIP of 7.42 indicates that runners are getting on at an insanely high rate against him and his walk rate of 19.2% confirms that.
Now that high BABIP would seem like it’s primed for regression, but it seems likely to be sustained because of the hard line drives that are fundin holes. Basically these aren’t cheap hits that Rzepczynski is giving up. And that’s why the high BABIP against him is likely to remain high.
As for the high walk rate, we kind of touched on this in the Gallo walk…but his command has not been there over the last couple of seasons. Rzepczynski has had higher walk rates than his career norm since coming to Seattle, and this season it’s been his worst because he can’t find the strike zone.
Rzepczynski doesn’t have the command that he’s had in the past, and is giving up walks at an insanely high rate because he doesn’t have command. If the Mariners are seriously going to make a run at a post season berth, then the 32-year old needs to be DFA’d to make room for more offense off of the bench — Daniel Vogelbach anyone? — it’s going to be the team’s best bet going forward to score.