According to sources close to Trident Deck, before the Mariners began playing intra-squad practice games the pitching staff had a meeting in which the coaches told them to “go easy on ‘em,” referring to the young hitters they’d be going up against. “Look, they’re kids, ok? Taijuan, they don’t need you buzzing their tower and then buckling them with a nasty curveball. What they need is a confidence booster. There’s a lot of hype to live up to, and they need to know they’re worth it. They’ll have plenty of time to face a challenge later. Right now they need you to groove a few fastballs.”
Based on some of the results we’re seeing so far for young position players like Kyle Lewis and Jarred Kelenic, it’s not hard to conclude that the pitchers have done just that.
One starting pitcher who spoke anonymously had this to say: “Yeah, I mean, I don’t love it, but I get it. The hype is real on these guys. The last thing we need is for them to fall on their face in some practice games, and have all these fans lose confidence in their ability to save the franchise.”
As this pitcher was walking away, he stopped, looked back and quietly said “…I could absolutely dust any one of these little babies. You know that, right? You know that.”