Game 34, Mariners at Phillies

marc w · May 10, 2017 at 10:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Yovani Gallardo vs. Zach Eflin, 10:05am

Another day, another flurry of personnel moves for the M’s. First, the M’s confirmed that Hisashi Iwakuma would not be making his next start by placing him on the 10-day DL. The stated reason for this was NOT his knee, bruised by a comebacker in his last start. Instead, it was inflammation of the shoulder. That’s quite a bit different, and much more worrying for a team that now has 80% of its projected starting rotation on the DL. I don’t know what Kuma’s dealing with right now, and I obviously haven’t seen/wouldn’t be able to interpret whatever testing the M’s training staff has done. But can we just state the obvious here? It’s not normal for a pitcher to just lose 3-5 MPH without an underlying physical problem. Maybe that problem was deemed manageable, or maybe it was really, really hard to find. I just hope Kuma’s able to come back and hit 88 again after some rest. The news on Paxton/Felix has been much better, as they’re on schedule to return soon – perhaps on the next homestand.

To take Kuma’s place on the active roster, the M’s have brought up Sam Gaviglio from Tacoma. The righty out of Oregon State has good control; he’s walked just 3 batters this year in 5 starts. He uses a sinking fastball with lots of armside run to get ground balls. He’s not overpowering at all, with a FB in the high-80s, so he’s more in the Christian Bergman mold. He came to the org in a trade for current Philly Ty Kelly back before the 2015 season, but hasn’t cracked the 40-man roster until today. His 40-man spot was created when the M’s moved Evan Marshall to the 60-day DL. With Gaviglio up, the Mariners currently have 3 of Tacoma’s opening day starters in their rotation, and just two of their own opening day rotation (and one of those, Ariel Miranda, was just a fill-in for Drew Smyly). FOUR of Tacoma’s opening day starters have been called up. Every team stashes pitching depth on the 40-man, and recall those guys when needed. As such, it’s not a huge shock to see Chase de Jong and Chris Heston fill in for injured players. But I can’t remember the M’s reaching down past the 40-man so often, at least so early in the season. Gaviglio, like Christian Bergman, didn’t seem to have a clear path to the big leagues this year, nor did, say, Mike Freeman, who’d been DFA’d in March. It says something about the magnitude of the M’s injury woes that they’ve gotten a chance, and it also says something about how they’re bringing their actual prospects – Andrew Moore and Max Povse along.

Today’s game *will* feature Robinson Cano, who tested his injured quad in the batting cage, and then proclaimed himself ready to go. Nelson Cruz remains limited to pinch hitting duty with a tight hamstring.

Phils starter Zach Eflin is a command/control righty with impeccable command but nothing in the way of an out pitch. As such, he gets vanishingly few strikeouts, but limits his walks as well – he’s in a near dead-heat with Felix Hernandez with one of the lowest walk rates in all of baseball this year. While his ground ball rate’s a touch above average right now, he’s not a sinkerballer in the Aaron Cook mold. He throws a four-seam as well as a sinker, a slider that he throws a ton of, and then an occasional change. At 6’6″ and with a fastball averaging 93, he doesn’t SEEM like a pitcher who’d struggle to strike out 2-3 per start, but here we are. Put it all together, and I’d describe him as the Phillies’ Blake Beavan (Beavan just signed a minor league deal with the Mets, by the way).

1: Segura, SS
2: Gamel, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Seager, 3B
5: Valencia, 1B
6: Heredia, LF
7: Dyson, CF
8: Ruiz, C
9/SP: Gallardo

More moves: the M’s re-signed ex-Phillies reliever Justin de Fratus, whom they traded for last offseason, and whom they then traded away in June. He’d shown much lower velocity in M’s camp, and was thus removed from the 40-man, but pitched a bit for Tacoma before the trade. He’d been pitching in independent ball before the M’s picked him up.

The M’s also traded for minor league pitcher Bryan Bonnell, giving up an international bonus pool slot. Bonnell had been pitching in the Florida State League in the Rays organization.

The biggest news in the M’s minors last night was the AAA debut of Andrew Moore. He went 5 2/3 IP, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits (including a HR), walking 1 and striking out 5 in the Rainiers 11-8 win over New Orleans. Kate Preusser of LL was there, and has a great overview of his game (which apparently featured one 95 MPH fastball) that you should check out. Mike Zunino homered in his return to Tacoma. They’re off today, but host Round Rock and knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa tomorrow night.

Arkansas is off today, but begin yet another series with the Springfield Cardinals tomorrow. They’ll face Cards prospect Jack Flaherty for the 3rd time in a couple of weeks.

Modesto beat Lancaster 15-13 in a classic California League special last night. The Nuts pitchers gave up 4 HRs, while the bats only hit one of their own, but 17 non-HR hits came in handy. Lancaster actually had a 6-0 lead in this one, before the Nuts scored 9 runs in the 5th-6th innings. Lukas Schiraldi had a forgettable relief appearance, walking 5 and yielding 6 runs in 1 inning. There were a lot of ugly lines, of course, like Salvador Justo’s 4 runs on 2 hits in 1/3 of an inning. Relievers inherited a total of 10 runners in the game, and 8 of them ended up scoring. The two teams play again tonight.

I mentioned Clinton’s win over Lansing yesterday, but wanted to point out that Gareth Morgan hit his 2nd HR in that contest. Morgan was a promising HS slugger out of Canada, but struggled mightily in the Arizona league, putting up eye-watering strikeout totals from 2014-2016. He got an aggressive assignment to the MWL this year, and while the strikeouts are still whatever flag is like 3 steps beyond red, he’s holding his own, more or less. Still a long way to go, of course, but signs of life in a talented prospect who’d seemed 100% busted are always welcome. Ljay Newsome starts today for Clinton.


7 Responses to “Game 34, Mariners at Phillies”

  1. mrakbaseball on May 10th, 2017 10:54 am

    Gamel is just ridiculous and Cano’s quad seems to be feeling much better.

  2. Steve Nelson on May 10th, 2017 12:17 pm

    And kudos to the current management team for loading up on AAAA talent – so with the ridiculous number of injuries the team been able to plug holes with guys who will be at least marginally capable.

    Maybe they were just figuring that if they brought in enough bodies, some of them were bound to stick. Whatever – it’s certainly been valuable now. And something that previous regimes haven’t done as successfully.

  3. mrakbaseball on May 10th, 2017 12:54 pm

    Gamel has reached base 9 of 11 at-bats this series.

  4. Grayfox3d on May 10th, 2017 1:23 pm

    Luckily the Mariners scored a bunch of runs because Altavilla looks terrible.

  5. Grayfox3d on May 10th, 2017 1:56 pm

    Ouch Overton getting tossed around a bit here like batting practice.

    Good win for the Offense.

  6. eponymous coward on May 10th, 2017 2:43 pm

    So, if I told you on April 1st that I had come from the future and said this, how would you have responded?

    The M’s started out 2-8, and have subsequently had their top rookie OFer and up on the DL, DFA’ed their Opening Day starting CF, had their Opening Day SS spend time on the DL, have an ailing Opening Day DH, oh, and 4/5ths of the starting rotation is on the DL. The bullpen is sporting an ERA of over 5. So what do you think the M’s record on May 10th after 34 games is?

    I suspect people wouldn’t be guessing .500…

  7. MKT on May 10th, 2017 2:58 pm

    Indeed. The Mariners are only 11th in the majors in team OPS, but the offense had that horrible start. Their OPS was .724 in April but has been .854 in May. They’ve probably had a top 5 offense since their season-starting cold streak finally ended.

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