Cactus League Game ??: Mariners at Dodgers

marc w · March 11, 2021 at 4:53 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Flexen vs. Trevor Bauer, 5:05, MLB.TV!

After an absolutely disastrous performance against the Rangers yesterday, the M’s have an evening game against the reigning champions, the Dodgers. LA picked up perhaps the best starter on the market this offseason, getting Trevor Bauer to agree to a short but lucrative deal. The move gives the Dodgers rotation unreal depth, and as I’ve said before, the M’s need to be calling Andrew Friedman daily to ask what it might take to get some of the guys likely to be bumped from that rotation, Tony Gonsolin is my personal favorite, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Chris Flexen will get his second start of the spring. He looked solid against the Cubs, but didn’t quite have his best stuff. The same happened with Logan Gilbert in his recent start – he couldn’t command some of his breaking balls, and he noticeably slowed his arm down on his slider, which is part of the reason he got hit a little bit in the second inning. But it’s early March, and if he was able to get plenty of Ks without his best stuff, that’s encouraging. Flexen had some of the same issues with command, and it’ll be good to see how he responds today, albeit against a much better line-up than he faced the first time out.

Looking around the AL West, the Angels look better than they did a year ago, and they replaced their defensive legend at SS with…another defensive legend. But Houston…man, things aren’t looking great. Justin Verlander’s out for the year with his TJ recovery, and now Framber Valdez, coming off a great rookie year, hurt his finger which *could* put him out for the year as well. They picked up Jake Odorizzi, which should help stabilize things, but they’re all out of depth, as top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley will go under the knife for TJ surgery as well. Whitley’s been among the game’s biggest prospects, seemingly since he was selected in the first round of the 2016 draft, but he’s *still* not cracked the 200 IP mark…for his career. He missed most all of 2018, pitched sparingly in 2019 (and poorly), and then, well, 2020 happened. Now, he might return in late 2022? Horrific for the guy; you start getting Ryan Anderson vibes from him.

Today’s line-up:
1: Crawford, SS
2: Moore, 2B
3: France, 3B
4: Lewis, CF
5: Torrens, C
6: Trammell, LF
7: White, 1B
8: Marmolejos, DH
9: Fraley, RF
SP: Flexen

Jake Fraley’s been playing just about every day with Jarred Kelenic recovering from his knee injury. The door to becoming the starting LF on opening day opened, but Fraley hasn’t been able to walk through it. He’s now 0-15 with 5 BBs and 7 Ks, and is 0-2 in stolen base attempts. Taylor Trammell’s been great, but Fraley’s just making the M’s decision an easy one.


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