Cactus League Game 8, Mariners at Cleveland

marc w · March 8, 2021 at 12:02 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Yusei Kikuchi vs. Zach Plesac, 12:05pm

Cleveland’s player development team did an amazing job turning one-time org depth pitcher Corey Kluber into a Cy Young-winning behemoth. They decided they didn’t really want to keep Kluber around for his decline phase, and saw Trevor Bauer pitch brilliantly in 2018. The next year, Mike Clevinger took huge strides forward, going from a solid middle-of-the-rotation prospect to a bat-missing #1/#2. Instead of building around *these* guys, Cleveland traded both away, just in time to watch Shane Bieber lay waste to the AL en route to his own Cy Young award.

It’s a remarkable run of success, and the hope to keep it going with today’s starter, Zach Plesac, and RHP Triston McKenzie. For all of the accolades that the Dodgers, Astros, and, increasingly, Mariners get for their pitching development, I’m not sure anyone can touch what Cleveland’s done the last five years. The problem is that they seem to think it’s enough. I mean, it did help net them an AL pennant, but the club can’t hit, and they seem stubbornly uninterested in changing that. Hey, if they don’t care, I won’t worry too much about it, but it’s a real clear symptom of the problems in baseball’s finance and overall competitiveness.

In questionably meaningful stats, the M’s have a team OPS over .800 in the spring, one of ten clubs to do so. They’ve scored the fewest runs of any of those 10, though bad luck may be a part of it. The pitching’s been poor this year, though again, it’s hard to make much of spring stats in a cactus league that’s played pretty hitter-friendly.

1: Crawford, SS
2: Haniger, RF
3: Seager, 3B
4: White, 1B
5: Murphy, C
6: Trammell, CF
7: Moore, 2B
8: Fraley, DH
9: Rodriguez, LF
SP: Kikuchi

Good to see Julio get a start, and to see Trammell get a run in CF. Trammell seems to have the inside track on the LF job, though Fraley keeps getting PAs to see if he can get back on track and challenge him.


One Response to “Cactus League Game 8, Mariners at Cleveland”

  1. Stevemotivateir on March 9th, 2021 5:23 am

    It’s weird to think that at some point we could see 3 former Padres in the regular lineup, and another closing games, from 1 trade that was less than a year ago involving a former minor league free agent.

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