Aaand back to the Cactus League, but at T-Mobile Park…I dunno, Padres at Mariners

marc w · March 25, 2019 at 7:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Mike Leake vs. Chris Paddack, 7:10pm

Tonight’s the first of two home spring training games the M’s are playing at home. They’ve played regular season games in Japan, and are now playing spring training games in Seattle…it’s weird, I know, but it’s kind of a nice idea to re-invigorate FanFest and to see how the M’s regular season roster is shaping up.

This game’s of special interest due to the pitching match-up. The Padres picked up ex-Marlins hurler Chris Paddack in a trade, and promptly lost him to TJ surgery. But last year, his first full year back, he looked like a revelation. He doesn’t sport plus-plus velo, but he was running insane strikeout numbers across high-A and AA. He’s gone from intriguing flyer to serious prospect, and if the Padres are going to be the dark horse contender that so many see them as after the Manny Machado acquisition, Paddack’s the key.

If he implodes, which could easily happen, their rotation isn’t quite ready for prime time. They could have a decent offense, but yield too many runs to hang with the Dodgers. But if Paddack’s for real, you could squint and see a wild card team here, with the likes of Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer behind him. It’s possible all of them aren’t quite ready for prime time, and prospects like Cal Quantrill can’t fill in behind them. But if their player development does some excellent work, the Pads could arrive a year or two early, and Paddack could be an odd sort of ace.

It’s with that context that I’m really excited to see how he does against an experienced M’s line-up like this. And in even better news, CF Mallex Smith is healthy enough to play around 1/2 of this one, with an eye to playing in the M’s second opening day.

1: Smith, CF
2: Haniger, RF
3: Bruce, DH
4: Encarnacion, 1B
5: Santana, LF
6: Narvaez, C
7: Healy, 3B
8: Beckham, SS
9: Gordon, 2B
SP: Leake

There’s some swing and miss in this M’s line-up, which could play into Paddack’s strengths. But of course, the line-up also has a ton of MLB experience, which is something Paddack lacks. This ought to be interesting.


2 Responses to “Aaand back to the Cactus League, but at T-Mobile Park…I dunno, Padres at Mariners”

  1. marc w on March 25th, 2019 7:17 pm

    Aaaaand it’s already 3-0 padres. They didn’t wait long to jump on Leake.

  2. marc w on March 25th, 2019 7:18 pm

    After a K, they’ve gone single, double, HR, double. Leake’s looked off this spring.

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