Cactus League Game 5, Mariners at White Sox – It’s Flexen Time

marc w · March 5, 2021 at 12:07 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Flexen vs. Jonathan Stiever, 12:05pm – On, finally.

The M’s take on the White Sox today in a televised game, giving us our first chance to see the (hopefully) new and improved Chris Flexen.

The White Sox spent years and years in a rebuild they fully committed to, trading away a young, club-controlled Chris Sale among other top players and collecting one of the best assemblages of prospects we’d seen in years. They got the top players in international free agency, they had high-ceiling arms like Michael Kopech, top position player prospects like Yoan Moncada. And then they just kept losing.

Moncada struggled a bit out of the gate, Kopech’s been injured, and many of their first-wave prospects, from Dylans Covey and Cease or the uber-prospect Lucas Giolito and one-time uber prospect Carlos Rodon didn’t become cornerstones. It happens. They became, at least for me, a cautionary tale about rebuilds, and how they can take a lot longer than anyone thinks, even with unbelievable talent.

It’s taken a while, but the Sox are now a pretty good team, and have a real shot in an AL Central weakened by teams that have stopped trying to improve, like Cleveland. They’ve been smart in the free agent market, grabbing Dallas Keuchel last year and Lance Lynn this offseason to help stabilize a rotation that’s grown a bit with Giolito’s emergence. They got Yasmani Grandal to catch, hoping he’d get more out of those starters, and brought in top-shelf closer Liam Hendriks. The White Sox are officially going for it.

I keep wondering if this is what the M’s might look like in a few years. Some growing pains at first (that sounds like I’m talking about Evan White and…yeah, I’m talking about Evan White), followed by slow and steady improvement and then some free agent splashes to round things out. We all hope it doesn’t take as long, but we’ll see. A good Chris Flexen really would help accelerate the M’s timeline.

1: Moore, 2B
2: Lewis, CF
3: France, 3B
4: Raleigh, C
5: Kelenic, RF
6: Fraley, DH
7: Haggerty, SS
8: Travis, 1B
9: Bishop, LF
SP: Flexen


3 Responses to “Cactus League Game 5, Mariners at White Sox – It’s Flexen Time”

  1. Stevemotivateir on March 5th, 2021 1:42 pm

    That last paragraph summarizes my thoughts for the last two offseasons.

  2. eponymous coward on March 6th, 2021 1:00 pm

    Well, looks like Kelenic is getting 3-6 weeks of rehab time for an adductor strain, according to Ryan Divish at the Times.

    So it turns out that not only was L’affaire Mather completely self-inflicted, a hypothetical where he keeps his mouth shut and spouts platitudes might have never created pressure to put Kelenic on the roster.

    Also, odds of the M’s starting LF on Opening Day being replacement level-ish just went up…

  3. Stevemotivateir on March 6th, 2021 1:55 pm

    Kelenic believes he’s already past the injury and ready to go opening day. “That was so 24 hours ago!” Jarred told local media.

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