Cactus League Game 2 – First Felix

marc w · February 23, 2019 at 12:13 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Felix vs. Bryan Mitchell, 12:10pm

Happy Felix Day.

Today’s game against the Padres offers our first look at the question mark that Felix has become. He is still one of my favorite Mariners ever, and I’m still not happy with how the M’s have managed his past two seasons, but with new coaches and perhaps a new approach, I’m eager to see if there’s still some royalty in Felix’s right arm.

The line-up features new prospects like Shed Long and Dom Thompson-Williams as well as drafted/developed guys like Eric Filia and Braden Bishop.

The Padres starter is ex-Yankee Bryan Mitchell, who put up a remarkably poor season last year, walking more than he K’d in 73 IP. He has mid-90s velo on his four seam, but the movement on it is mushy, without real rise or sink. He’s got a curve and cutter, but struggles to miss many bats.

The velo and 2018 results make me think of Justus Sheffield, and I don’t want to say I’m down on the new M’s starter or that he’s not a good prospect. Just IF Sheffield really struggled, it’d look like Mitchell, only left-handed. The M’s will be working with Justus on his fastball command, but they also have an advantage in that Sheffield’s slider is a better pitch than anything Mitchell throws. Still, it’s a reminder in this day and age that mid-90s velo from a starter isn’t enough on its own to make a great starter, even a 4-5.

With Manny Machado in the fold, I’d be stunned if the Pads stuck w/Mitchell in their rotation, but who knows.

1: Long, 2B
2: Beckham, SS
3: Santana, LF
4: Narvaez, C
5: Thompson-Williams, CF
6: Vogelbach, 1B
7: Negron, 3B
8: Filia, DH
9: Bishop, CF
SP: El Cartelua


One Response to “Cactus League Game 2 – First Felix”

  1. Summertime on February 24th, 2019 9:40 am

    This is the problem with Felix:

    “Coming into the outing, the possibility of disaster loomed. Servais said on multiple occasions that Hernandez looked “rusty” in the two bullpens and live batting practice sessions leading up to Saturday’s game against the Padres — the annual charity game.

    But one member of the Mariners front office wasn’t quite as kind.

    “It looked like he hasn’t picked up a ball the entire offseason,” he said.

    Hernandez said he threw two bullpen sessions and played catch in the offseason. But he struggled with his mechanics since arriving in Peoria. He made the decision to scrap his full windup for the first start and pitch exclusively from the stretch, even with no runners on base.”

    As much as I loved watching King Felix, his commitment to conditioning and honing his craft has always been lacking. If he were to commit to being great again, as Verlander did after he had a couple of down seasons, he could still be an effective pitcher.

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