Fake Game 7, Indians at Mariners

marc w · March 9, 2015 at 12:45 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Taijuan Walker vs. Carlos Carrasco, 1:05pm

No offense to the David Huffs and JA Happs of the world, but it’s really nice to get a pitching match-up to savor, as much as anything about spring training can be “savored.” Taijuan Walker has a very good upside, and his health and development can go a long way towards maintaining the almost impossibly good run-prevention numbers the M’s 2014 staff put up. Walker’s new slider will be under the pitch fx microscope today, and we’ll get some sense of his confidence with his split-change. And then there’s Carlos Carrasco, the most out-of-nowhere ace in baseball, up to and possibly including his teammate, Corey Kluber. Carrasco was a Phillies prospect (his first mention on these pages came in a comment about a trade involving Erik Bedard) who eventually moved to Cleveland in the first Cliff Lee trade. Like many pitching prospects, he just never seemed to put it all together. He spent several years as a swingman with control issues, or strikeout issues, or both. He seemed like a fungible ground ball guy until the middle of last year, when a tweaked delivery and the confidence borne from a long stint in the bullpen (?) made something click. Like Kluber, part of this is mental, but a lot of it is change-up related. Carrasco’s doesn’t move the same way most hurlers’ do, and it’s thrown very hard with a Felix-like gap between FB and CH velocity. It didn’t hurt that Carrasco’s velocity was up a bit since 2011-13, but it’s not like Carrasco’s FB is blowing people away. Taijuan – look closely at what Carrasco is doing, and look at what Felix is doing with their change-ups. Not saying you have to copy either of them, but incorporate something if it helps.

1: Ruggiano, CF
2: Smith, RF
3: Seager, 3B
4: Weeks, DH
5: Morrison, 1B
6: Zunino, C
7: Ackley, LF
8: Miller, SS
9: Taylor, 2B
SP: Walker

The M’s added former Twin Kevin Correia today. Correia’s a non-descript low-K, solid control guy, so of course he was a Twin. He’s gone from a two year, $10m deal in Minnesota to a minor league deal with Seattle thanks to some poor performance with the Twins and then a collapse with the Dodgers.


6 Responses to “Fake Game 7, Indians at Mariners”

  1. californiamariner on March 9th, 2015 1:15 pm

    Currently watching live (on TV) my first spring training game of the season!

    Walker looked fine in the 1st. This game doesn’t mean anything and you never know what he’s working on in particular in one of these games so I’m not going to judge too much, but he’s just never thoroughly impressed me like I would have expected after seeing his place on prospect lists over the last few years. And that’s speaking more to what I’ve seen the last couple seasons than to what I’m watching today.

  2. Woodcutta on March 9th, 2015 1:19 pm

    I haven’t watched that many Spring Training games but it seems umps are starting to call that high strike more consistently of which I am a fan.

  3. californiamariner on March 9th, 2015 1:26 pm

    Right after I said I wouldn’t judge too much today, I must say Walker looks pretty damn good on this day! Ha!

  4. californiamariner on March 9th, 2015 1:42 pm

    Walker faces the minimum 9 through 3 innings, Brad Miller hits a bomb, fun day!

  5. Nate on March 9th, 2015 1:45 pm

    No Radio Broadcast? = no listen at work 🙁
    Go M’s

  6. Woodcutta on March 9th, 2015 2:23 pm

    Brad Miller = OP

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