Cactus League Nights – Angels at Mariners

marc w · March 17, 2021 at 5:45 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Flexen vs. Jose Quintana, 6:40pm Root Sports,

The M’s face off with the Angels tonight under the lights in Peoria, with Chris Flexen on the hill. It’s on ROOT and, so we can see how well Flexen’s command is going. Given his walk problems in his brief MLB career and then his great control in the KBO, I was a bit worried about 3 walks and one plunked batsman in just 5 IP, but then I remembered that 5 innings don’t mean much, and 5 spring innings mean less. It’s funny – he pitched 7 IP for the Mets in previous spring trainings and never walked anyone. So yeah, small sample spring stats…not too reliable.

The M’s jumped all over Kansas City yesterday, in a game highlighted by a solid Justus Sheffield start and a gorgeous HR from Julio Rodriguez. The news wasn’t all rosy, as we learned that Roenis Elias needs TJ surgery, so that’s essentially it for him. The news is better on Jarred Kelenic, who’s recovered quickly enough to play in tonight’s game.

The Angels added free agent veteran Jose Quintana to help stabilize their rotation. The lefty was a model of consistency with the White Sox, notching an ERA between 3.20 and 3.51 from 2013-2016 and making 32 starts every year. After moving to the North side and the Cubs, he was still able to make his starts, but HR trouble and higher walks hurt his effectiveness. No single skill collapsed, and his K rate went up (it does help to face pitchers), but he just wasn’t the same.

For a somewhat boring pitcher (he threw 92 in his heyday, he throws 92 now), Quintana’s 2021 will be fascinating to watch. As we know and love, the Angels pitching development has been terrible in recent years. Perhaps Griffin Canning will change that, but most of their pitchers have needed to be developed elsewhere, and even then, they’ve been beset by injuries. It makes sense to get a steady vet while they try to diagnose what’s gone wrong with their player development, but Quintana could use some development himself. This could go horribly wrong, the way Julio Teheran’s 2020 went in Anaheim, or Quintana could bounce back, as a kind of proof-of-concept for their revamped pitching instruction crew.

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

The order’s a bit messed up, but that’s your opening day line-up right there.


One Response to “Cactus League Nights – Angels at Mariners”

  1. Stevemotivateir on March 18th, 2021 8:20 pm

    Good to see White having some good PAs the last few games. Not in the lineup tonight, but that’s OK.

    On the other hand, Dunn came off the rails pretty quick and he didn’t have to face Posey, Belt, or Dickerson.

    Easy to see him starting the season in the minors and eventually transitioning into a relief role.

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