Cactus League Nights: Reds at Mariners

marc w · March 12, 2021 at 5:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Nick Margevicius vs. Luis Castillo, 5:40 pm. ROOT TV, Mariners radio

Jake Fraley responded well to the tough love approach I took in yesterday’s preview. You’re welcome, Jake. Keep it up. Have to think he’s still behind Taylor Trammell for the LF job, but it’s better if there’s an actual competition. There may be a competition for the final few bullpen slots as well, but with Roenis Elias coming out of yesterday’s game injured, it won’t exactly be a free for all.

Today’s starter, Nick Margevicius, figures to get one of those spots if he doesn’t beat out Justin Dunn or Ljay Newsome for the 6th starter position. Keynan Middleton, Rafael Montero, Kendall Graveman, Anthony Misiewicz, Joey Gerber, and Casey Sadler are good bets to grab seven of the eight bullpen jobs. Though he’s not on the 40-man, Elias would have a good shot at the 8th job (due to his left handedness), but we’ll need to see what’s wrong with him. Domingo Tapia sounded impressive early on, but is dealing with an injury of his own. Yohan Ramirez’s spring was delayed by a Covid-19 diagnosis, but he’s been cleared to return. I’d thought that Rule 5 pick Will Vest would be carried almost automatically, but Vest’s results have been atrocious enough that it’s conceivable he’d get returned to Detroit. Former Rule 5 pick Brandon Brennan may need to start in Tacoma, too, but he could pretty easily slide in for someone (Gerber/Sadler?). The odd man out, at least potentially, is Erik Swanson, who’s undeniably talented, but has struggled mightily in the big leagues. Swanson has two options remaining, so he could yo-yo between Seattle and Tacoma this summer.

1: Haniger, RF
2: Torrens, DH
3: Seager, 3B
4: Lewis, CF
5: White, 1B
6: Murphy, C
7: Haggerty, SS
8: Rodriguez, LF
9: Walton, 2B
SP: Margevicius

With Shed Long’s shin still not healed, there’s certainly no competition at 2B – it’s Dylan Moore’s job. Donovan Walton and Sam Haggerty are in a minor battle for the utility infielder, but it seems like it’s Haggerty’s job to lose.

Luis Castillo of the Reds emerged as a minor star in 2019, and seemed to take another step forward in the shortened 2020 season. He averages nearly 98 with his fastball, but his signature pitch – one he threw about 30% of the time last year – is a great change-up. Batters swing at it over 60% of the time, and come up empty on 40% of those swings. Castillo will yield the occasional long ball, though he cut his HR rate markedly last year; not sure if that’s just luck, or if leaning into his change-up more helped him avoid fly balls. He’s got a GB rate approaching 60%.

Despite the great change, he’s run normal platoon splits. Lefties have hit him pretty well. It’s not that they’re any better against that cambio, though – it’s that they feast on his four-seam and sinking fastballs.


One Response to “Cactus League Nights: Reds at Mariners”

  1. Stevemotivateir on March 13th, 2021 8:06 am

    I wasn’t able to catch the game yesterday, but I was curious how White looked. He had a sacrifice fly and no strike outs, but he has quietly been having a bad spring. I don’t know if it’s process, or something else, but nobody’s really talking about it.

    They should be.

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