Let’s start with an space of the Mariners’ roster I believed was in best want of consideration previous to the deadline. Based mostly on the workforce’s actions, President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto seemingly agreed with me.
Final Friday, the Mariners acquired two-time All-Star Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds, who instantly turns into Seattle’s best starter. Castillo’s presence helps depressurize a rotation that’s been sturdy, however starting to really feel the pressure of the lengthy season.
The Mariners and Atlanta Braves are the one groups with 4 pitchers to make 20-plus begins this season. Nevertheless, rookie George Kirby is on a club-designed workload limit and sophomore Logan Gilbert has already surpassed his career-high for innings pitched in a yr. Moreover, the workers’s quantity haven’t seemed nice for the reason that All-Star break.
M’s Rotation Since All-Star Break
12 Video games
Whereas Castillo’s arrival is nice information for the Mariners, issues a few lack of rotation depth stay – a minimum of they do for me. Up to now, Seattle’s beginning workers has been lucky to keep away from accidents. Maybe this pattern continues. Then once more, if the workforce have been to endure the lack of a starter to harm, the interior substitute choices are restricted each in numbers and productiveness.
Then there’s the current struggles of Marco Gonzales, who’s been hit laborious in three of his final 4 outings. Maybe Gonzales is simply working via a tough patch and rebounds. But when the southpaw doesn’t regain his kind, the workforce can be in an identical predicament as it could be with an harm. No appropriate substitutes on the prepared.
A power of the workforce via the primary 4 months season, the bullpen has been taxed recently. Notably with the rotation masking fewer innings and delivering suboptimal outcomes. Compounding issues, the lack of late-inning arm Diego Castillo to the IL with a shoulder pressure.
Though the Mariners counsel Castillo will return when his 15-day IL stint is over, his absence has demonstrated how the lack of one key arm locations a big pressure on the remainder of the reduction workers. That’s why Dipoto not buying a minimum of one established reliever was considerably shocking to me. The one reduction arms lately added have been Matthew Boyd and Phillips Valdéz.
Boyd was acquired with catcher Curt Casali from the San Francisco Giants yesterday. The Eastside Catholic High School product hasn’t pitched this season after present process offseason surgical procedure to restore his flexor tendon. Nevertheless, Dipoto informed the media he anticipates Boyd can be able to contribute quickly in a multi-inning reduction position. In 2021, the left-hander had a 3.89 ERA and a league-average .314 xwOBA in 15 begins with the Detroit Tigers.
Having stated that, there’s a threat Boyd doesn’t pitch for the Mariners this season. He reported soreness in his elbow throughout a reside batting follow in mid-June. In consequence, the Giants shut down the previous Oregon State Beaver for a month. A current bullpen throwing session in late-July went properly; maybe he’s again on monitor. Alternatively, rehabilitation of an injured physique half isn’t linear and additional setbacks may happen. Personally, I’m rooting for Boyd to pitch for his hometown membership this season.
Valdez was a waiver wire declare from the Boston Pink Sox final week and is presently assigned to Class-AAA Tacoma. The correct-hander doubtless pitches with the big-league membership in some unspecified time in the future this season. Contemplating the Mariners’ success at serving to relievers turn out to be the perfect model of themselves, I wouldn’t base Valdéz’s worth to the workforce on the way in which it acquired him.
Rookie Matt Brash may symbolize an improve to the bullpen, assuming he can harness his potent stuff. Brash started the season within the Mariners’ rotation, however command points prompted an task to Class-AAA Tacoma in early Might. That’s when the workforce opted to transform the right-hander right into a reliever for the rest of this yr.
Since rejoining the Mariners on July 9, Brash has missed bats regularly. However he’s nonetheless strolling batters at a better than most popular fee. That stated, you’ll be able to see what the workforce likes within the 24-year-old.
Matt Brash As A Reliever
8 Video games
In concept, veteran Ken Giles, presently on a rehab task, might be a giant plus for the Mariners over the ultimate two months of the season. That’s assuming good well being.
The primary season of Giles two-year pact with Seattle was spent recovering from Tommy John surgery he underwent earlier than becoming a member of the workforce. In 2022, the right-hander has missed time to a finger harm after which a shoulder concern he’s presently rehabbing. It’s value mentioning the Mariners can be cautious with Giles. Due to this fact, the New Mexico native in all probability received’t be used on consecutive days when he initially returns.
Within the remaining days main as much as the deadline, the Mariners didn’t make a big improve to its offense. That stated, the workforce did purchase Jake Lamb from the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday. Not a marquee identify like Juan Soto, however Lamb may probably assist the lineup nonetheless.
Lamb was an All-Star in 2017 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, though accidents have plagued him throughout his 9 big-league seasons. In restricted motion with the Dodgers this season, the previous Washington Husky has been productive.
Jake Lamb in 2022
25 Video games
77 Plate appearances
It’s value noting Los Angeles has used the left-handed Lamb virtually solely (72 of 77 plate appearances) in opposition to right-handed pitching. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see whether or not the Mariners use Lamb in a platoon position or produce other concepts on easy methods to maximize his worth to the workforce.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out late-June addition Carlos Santana. The switch-hitter helped fill a void at first base created when Ty France landed on the injured listing. With the Mariners, Santana is slashing a weak .183/.297/.376 with a 95 wRC+, though he does have 5 house runs in 107 plate appearances.
With France hurting once more, Santana continues to be extraordinarily useful at first base. Nonetheless, Lamb may play the place. May this truth have an effect on the 36-year-old’s position or future with the Mariners?
In actuality, the Mariners are banking closely on the return of proper fielder Mitch Haniger from the IL to bolster run manufacturing. Haniger has performed in simply 9 video games this season resulting from a COVID an infection after which a excessive ankle sprain. Barring a setback in his present rehab task, the 31-year-old ought to return to the workforce within the close to future. Even when Haniger initially struggles to regain his kind from a yr in the past, his bat can be an improve by merely being league-average.
The opposite inner possibility representing a possible enhance to the lineup is outfielder Kyle Lewis, who missed the early a part of this season as he recovered from knee surgical procedure. Lewis returned in Might, however suffered a concussion in his fourth recreation. The 27-year-old would miss two months earlier than rejoining the Mariners in late July.
Lewis can actually assist the offense. However his knee points are limiting his capacity to persistently play the outfield and the workforce has a number of designated hitter choices with France, Santana, Haniger, and probably Lamb now within the combine. How will the Mercer product slot in?
Cal Raleigh is having an amazing season; a breakout marketing campaign. However he’s additionally taking part in so much. Inside the subsequent two weeks, he ought to attain profession highs in video games performed and innings. That’s as a collegian and an expert. Because of this, elevating the ground of the catcher place was crucial. Doing so would give the Mariners the chance to identify Raleigh extra usually and supply insurance coverage in case the Florida State alum suffered an harm.
Initially of the season, the Mariners seemingly had loads of catching depth. However so much has modified since then. Opening Day catcher Tom Murphy had season-ending shoulder surgical procedure, whereas Luis Torrens has struggled each offensively and defensively. If Seattle have been to lose Raleigh, its choices would have been Torrens and doubtless Brian O’Keefe from Class-AAA Tacoma.
The Mariners addressed the scenario by buying Casali, who’s presently on the IL with an indirect pressure suffered in early-July. That stated, he was three video games right into a rehab stint when the deal went down. Barring setbacks, the right-handed hitter ought to be part of his new membership within the close to future.
Curt Casali in 2022
41 Video games
126 Plate appearances
It’s value noting Casali has loved extra success (.345 AVG) in opposition to left-handed pitching than righties (.190 AVG) this season, though we’re coping with a really small pattern. One other necessary issue to think about, the 33-year-old is taken into account an above common defender behind the plate.
On To The Postseason?
Did the Mariners enhance their possibilities of reaching the postseason? Sure. How a lot doubtless will depend on your perspective.
At this level, it’s truthful to say Dipoto has extra religion in what the present roster can produce than a vocal phase of the Mariners’ fan base does. That’s comprehensible contemplating a lot hinges on a productive return by Haniger and the pitching workers remaining intact via the common season and into the playoffs. Alternatively, Dipoto did purchase the perfect beginning pitcher out there in the marketplace.
If Dipoto didn’t do sufficient previous to the deadline, it is going to turn out to be manifestly apparent over the following two months. Then once more, if the roster does gel, there can be purpose for celebration within the Emerald Metropolis properly into October. That in of itself makes this workforce value expecting the rest of the season.
And maybe the postseason.
My Oh My…
Luke is a local New Yorker, who grew up as a Mets fan. After the US Navy moved him to the Pacific Northwest in 2009, he determined to make Seattle his house.
In 2014, Luke joined the Prospect Insider workforce. Throughout baseball season, he can usually be discovered observing the native workforce at T-Cellular Park.
You may observe Luke on Twitter @luke_arkins