Cactus League Games 5-6: Mariner Mitosis

marc w · February 27, 2020 at 11:30 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Logan Gilbert vs Tyler Beede (SF) 12:10 and
Ljay Newsome vs. Ross Detwiler (CHA) 12:05pm

The M’s split up and take on the Giants and White Sox today in what looks like an interesting pitching prospect day. Ljay Newsome was something of a breakout star last year, rising from org depth to put himself on the map by striking out a ton of Cal League batters. His time at M’s gas camp gave him several more ticks on what had been an underpowered fastball, and he used his pinpoint control to run amazing K:BB ratios for most of the summer. His AA stint was a bit of a struggle, which helps account for the fact that the M’s didn’t protect in the Rule 5 draft, but he comes into 2020 on the radar. This isn’t his first big league camp, as he won a spot a year ago thanks to leading the org in controlling the zone, but it’s his first time as an actual quasi-prospect. He’ll go up against well-traveled arm Ross Detwiler, who pitched in exactly one game for the Mariners in 2018.

Logan Gilbert’s own breakout requires fewer modifiers. He was a first-round pick who put up gaudy K numbers in college. He was supposed to move fast after being assigned to West Virginia, and he…moved really fast, overwhelming the Sally League and then the Cal League, becoming one of the minors top young arms. He could very easily see himself in a Mariners uniform this summer if he can repeat what he did in AA for another few months. A 165:33 K:BB ratio exceeded the wildest dreams of most fans, and presumably the team as well. As such, it should be fun to see how he does against a line-up sprinkled with MLB vets. He’ll be opposed by Tyler Beede, like Gilbert a first-round pick who became a top prospect in 2014-2015. But unlike Gilbert, Beede kept running into problems on his ascent. His first taste of AA went poorly, and his first TWO attempts at AAA were worse. Predictably, he wasn’t sharp in his initial foray into MLB – a couple of games in 2018 – but he managed to top 100 innings with the Giants last year, and will get plenty of opportunities this year with a rebuilding/go-nowhere club.

I’ve already made a fastball comp to Justus Sheffield, but Beede’s 94 MPH heater has some of Sheffield’s sink, and a similar release point. The real problem, though, is that Beede doesn’t have an outpitch breaking ball like Sheffield. Beede/Sheffield have had nearly identical results off the fastball, but Beede mixes a curve, cutter, and a rare slider to little effect. The curve’s probably the best of the bunch, but he doesn’t lean on it the way Sheffield leans on his slider. Maybe he should?

Line-up vs. SF:
1: Long, 2B
2: Crawford, SS
3: Seager, 3B
4: Carlos Gonzalez, DH
5: Murphy, C
6: Kelenic, RF
7: J. Marmolejos, 1B
8: Bishop, CF
9: Siri, LF
SP: Gilbert

Line-up vs. CHA:
1: Fraley, LF
2: Smith, CF
3: Lewis, RF
4: Vogelbach, 1B
5: Wisdom, 3B
6: Lopes, 2B
7: Raleigh, C
8: Cowgill, DH
9: Walton, SS
SP: Newsome

Good to see another start for Jarred Kelenic, and one for catching prospect Cal Raleigh.


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