Game 89, Angels at Mariners

marc w · July 9, 2021 at 6:20 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Marco Gonzales vs. Alex Cobb, 7:10pm

Logan Gilbert’s absolute gem to help shut out the Yankees yesterday cements his status as the potential ace of the M’s next year. That’s good and bad, of course. Marco Gonzales’ poor year makes next year’s rotation a bit more of an unknown, particularly now that Justus Sheffield is on the IL and won’t throw for a while. Gonzales, Sheffield, Justin Dunn and James Paxton have all been on the IL; that’s 4 out of 6. And the two arms lined up as depth, Nick Margevicius and Ljay Newsome, are themselves both hurt.

But Gilbert’s emergence doesn’t just give them a warm body, an as-yet-unhurt innings-water. As we saw, he can be a shut-down pitcher whose fastball plays way up thanks to elite extension. His change has come on faster than I, for one, thought it would, and that’s helped him avoid platoon problems.

But the M’s have an interesting dilemma if/when Sheff comes back. Their record has them in the wild card hunt, and they can stretch the gap between themselves and Anaheim in this series. If they’re in a race, however weird that is given their offensive woes and attendant run differential issues, they may not be able to let Sheffield (and potentially Gonzales) figure things out. But letting Sheffield work on things is clearly the best plan for *next* year. I’ve been saying that this year counts too, and they need to actually try to win, but giving up on Sheffield seems like a bad outcome not only because the team hyped him up last year, but because they need innings in a go-for-it scenario, and they may need to fix offensive holes first.

1: Crawford, SS
2: Haniger, DH
3: Seager, 3B
4: France, 1B
5: Fraley, CF
6: Torrens, C
7: Long, LF
8: Moore, 2B
9: Bauers, RF
SP: Gonzales

The PTBNL in the Jake Bauers deal was revealed today: local overslot pitching prospect Damon Casetta-Stubbs. The Clark County hurler had a real up and down first few years as a pro, but shows flashes of serious bat-missing ability. Now 21, I suppose I get the M’s making him available, particularly given his troubling walk rates, but it still feels like a bit of a high price for a DFA. For Casetta-Stubbs, he’s going to a club with a great record of pitching development.


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