Game 16, Rockies at Mariners

marc w · August 8, 2020 at 3:56 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Nick Margevicius vs. Ryan Castellani, 6:10pm

Yusei Kikuchi probably pitched a bit better than his line last night, but starters will need to be pretty flawless given the quality of the M’s bullpen. By Fangraphs, they’re the worst ‘pen in MLB, with a FIP near 7. A couple of other teams have even worse ERAs, but the M’s are pretty close. The reason isn’t a big shock. They’re walking too many, and they’re giving up HRs like they’re throwing rubber balls. This was always a problem on the roster, and the club probably expects to get actual prospects coming through the ‘pen in the next year or two. But again, it’s got to be a bit of a concern that they can’t help them get up to a “bad” but not “avert your eyes” level of performance.

Today, the M’s face Ryan Castellani, who’s making his big league debut. Castellani was a 2nd round pick back in 2014, and has made a slow rise up the system thanks to injuries and inconsistency. He pitched only 40+ innings last year due to elbow trouble. While he was active, he really struggled – he walked 30 and hit 5 in 43 IP, and somehow found time to allow 14 HRs, or nearly 3 per 9. He was better, but still not good, back in 2018, too. Even when healthy and effective-ish, Castellani was never a strikeout guy, either.

Castellani pitched in the AFL a few years ago, and at the time, threw two fastballs around 93 from a low 3/4 arm-slot (FG called him a Max Scherzer clone from a mechanical point of view). He’s got a bit of run on his sinker, but not a ton, especially considering that arm slot. He’s also got a change, a slider, and a curve. The breaking balls are probably the best of his offerings. With a deep arsenal, what used to be good control, and okay velocity, it’s not a shock that Castellani’s a top 20 prospect in a not-too-deep Rockies system. But because of…everything else, he’s not a top-10 guy or a high ceiling guy. He *does* have that super heavy, sinking four-seam fastball so beloved by the Rockies, and he can use that sinker to righties as well. A change and curve would seem to give him options to throw to lefties, too. We’ll see if he’s able to take this starting opportunity, or if he heads to the bullpen where his FB might play up.

Nick Margevicius will make his first start in a Seattle uniform, but he made 12 last year with San Diego. The lefty has below-average velo, with a four-seam fastball around 88-89. It’s very straight, and has pretty good rise despite average to low spin. He also has a change, a curve, and his preferred secondary, a slider. An underpowered fastball and a sliedr seems like a recipe for bad platoon splits, and in his short career, he’s got them. They’re just not what you think. He’s really, really struggled against the few lefties he’s faced, while he’s been so-so against righties. Lefties really seem to see his fastball well, but without a ton of batters-faced, that could be small-sample weirdness.

1: Crawford, SS
2: Long, 2B
3: Lewis, CF
4: Seager, 3B
5: Vogelbach, DH
6: White, 1B
7: Lopes, LF
8: Smith, RF
9: Hudson, C
SP: Margevicius


7 Responses to “Game 16, Rockies at Mariners”

  1. Stevemotivateir on August 8th, 2020 7:03 pm

    3.1 innings for Nick.

    I guess that wasn’t too bad.

  2. eponymous coward on August 8th, 2020 10:07 pm

    On the other hand, the M’s offense has decided to take a little siesta, leaving the bad bullpen very exposed.

    Jerry’s doing well at the tank job, we’re last in the AL and this team looks it- last 162 games for the franchise have been 60-102. Just have to beat out the Pirates for the top pick… it’s quite achievable.

  3. Stevemotivateir on August 9th, 2020 6:46 am

    Projected to finish second to last and currently… second to last. Weird, no doubt. Those who believed this team was going to win a significant number of games in the middle of a rebuild will surely be disappointed.

  4. Stevemotivateir on August 9th, 2020 7:28 am

    On the bright side, despite a horrific offensive performance, Crawford broke up the no-hitter and has impressed both on the field and at the plate, Margevicius (spelled that right?) got his job done well, and Evan White made one of the single greatest defensive plays I’ve ever seen by a first baseman.

    Lewis, Crawford, Nola, and I would argue Kikuchi, have been the most notable positives so far this season. That’s not nothing. Seager has been great as well, but he of course doesn’t figure into the future plans.

  5. Stevemotivateir on August 9th, 2020 2:38 pm

    Sheffield was impressive.

    I’m assuming they don’t send him back out.

  6. eponymous coward on August 9th, 2020 11:24 pm

    Those who believed this team was going to win a significant number of games in the middle of a rebuild will surely be disappointed.

    In all fairness, that includes the GM, who wanted “a step back” not a tank job. But to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you play in MLB with the Mariners you have, not the Mariners you wish you had.

    Sheffield was impressive.
    I’m assuming they don’t send him back out.

    He was and they didn’t, but fortunately the bullpen didn’t cough this one up.

    I’ll take what I can get this year, but it’s definitely rougher than I would like. Evan White is looking like a better fielding version of Justin Smoak (as in: a candidate for the Not Ready For Prime Time Players who got put into the lineup for a bad M’s team and took forrrr-eeeevvvv-eerrrr to get to a decent MLB bat), and the vultures are circling for Vogelbach and Mallex Smith…

    You’d kind of hope that if Dipoto and the org he’s built has talent and training secret sauce™ that’s ready to overpower the AL real soon now™, that those two would be some of the players they would use it on. This team could use a reasonable DH and another OF instead of playing backup infielders all over the roster. But the Mallex Smith of 2018 and the Vogelbach from pre-All Star Break 2019 are nowhere to be seen. (shrugs)

    You can see some glimpses of what the next good Seattle team MIGHT be out there (Sheffield, Crawford, Lewis, maybe Kikuchi- Nola is going to be Seager’s age by the time this team’s any good, so I don’t know about him) but there’s just a lot of work still to do.

  7. Stevemotivateir on August 10th, 2020 8:06 am

    A “step back” was what the Yankees did in 2016. Seattle didn’t quite have the same kind of roster, and yes, that’s putting it politely.

    White doesn’t look ready for the show. But to be fair, he had good PA’s yesterday and hits the ball hard (when he connects). He probably should be back in the player pool in Tacoma, but I’d imagine they have a target number before making a decision. Maybe 100 PA’s?

    Vogelbach was as good as gone before the 2019 season finished. He’s indecisive and can’t get out of that mindset. If this were a season for contention, watching him take strikes looking would infuriate me. Luckily, Seattle doesn’t really need him.

    Seattle doesn’t really need a pure DH. A veteran corner outfielder (or infielder) who could DH many or most nights would do fine. I can think of a couple hitting free agency this off-season.

    Sheffield’s ability to mix speeds seemed to keep the Rockies off balance. Honestly, I’ve looked at Sheffield and Dunn as complementary starters. If either one, or both, are capable of handling a spot in the rotation, I’ll think of it as a bonus.

    The meat & potatoes from the farm are still simmering (with or without that secret sauce). If Seattle hits on a few before then, great, but they’re going to need outside help regardless and they’ll probably need to get started this coming off-season.

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