While Trident Deck doesn’t currently have the capacity to recap every game, due to not staffing a bunch of single young-ish somethings with a lot of free time, we are going to try something new this year. We’ll post a series recap at the conclusion of every series just to talk about what went well, what went wrong, and what went weird.
Look, no one needs to be making sweeping conclusions about the season four games in, but you didn’t come to Trident Deck to see charts detailing Paul Sewald’s spin rate in two strike counts in his one appearance, either. I’m sure there’s another blog that can do that just fine. We’ll try to land somewhere in the middle.
Robbie Ray did what staff aces do, though maybe a little less cleanly than he’d like, but that’s part of the RR experience. There are going to be starts like that, but it was good to see him grind through it and remain effective. Logan Gilbert overcame a rocky start during which some bozo on Twitter thought maybe he needed to come out of the game, and locked it down. The ceiling seems to be moving higher for Gilbert, and it’s exciting. As for Marco Gonzales and Chris Flexen, let’s uhhh…let’s wait and see. Yeah let’s go with that. But really, Marco didn’t seem to be fooling anyone or locating particularly well which is “not what you want,” as they say in the biz. It’s only one start and I don’t think Marco is ready to turn into a pumpkin just yet. But maybe the Mariners should start getting a plan in place for when The Pumpkining occurs. I’m less concerned about Flexen, even though he’s certainly a regression candidate. Long term I think you’re hopefully looking at a 4-5 starter with 3 upside on a hot streak. That’ll play.
While the offense definitely left some things to be desired as far as actually doing what offenses are supposed to do (score), we still saw some nice things. Ty France will likely have another very good season, and Mitch Haniger might have installed another upgrade in the offseason. While the results aren’t showing yet in all categories, the team’s marquee acquisition Jesse Winker is putting up refreshingly competent plate appearances, and can be counted on to continue doing that all season long. His approach is not one that Mariners fans have had the chance to enjoy all that often. In the early going, he’s got five walks and no strikeouts! My analytics machine says “that good.” Some other positives:
– Big Dumper looks much more comfortable at the plate in the early early going
– Julio looks primed to wreak absolute havoc. Some of that havoc might be trucking his teammates in the outfield, but you take the bad with the good.
– Adam Frazier will be very acceptable, even if I continue forgetting he’s on the team or what he looks like
Areas for concern on offense:
– Mr. Good Vibes may have fallen into a black hole he can’t get out of, and no one knows what the vibes are like inside a black hole, except for Matthew McConaughey. To be fair, Suarez did get absolutely Marine Layered by Target Field this weekend and had a double as well. Worst case scenario, you took a flyer on a salary dump and it didn’t pan out. Apologies to John Stanton’s wallet.
– Jarred Kelenic has a tendency to tweak, and press when things aren’t going well. I think he always will, to some degree. Some guys are just like that, and sometimes that’s what makes them great. Speaking of great, our sweet baby boy getting guidance from Mark McGwire is, well, great. I love that he has someone who’s invested in his success, and I believe it will pay off for Jarred, and not just in the circumference of his biceps.
As for the bullpen? Well, it’s a bullpen. Way too early to say anything at all other than “Muñoz spicy!” It would be nearly impossible for this group to duplicate the dominance of the 2021 pile, but hopefully the regression isn’t too steep and the offense starts picking up the slack.
Getting the heck out of Minnesota with a split is something you should take pretty much every time. Byron Buxton, please do not haunt my dreams. I beg. Jhoan Duran, your haunting of my dreams is inevitable. You are terror incarnate.
Next up, the Mariners head down to the city that never sleeps: that’s right, Chicago. They’ll take on the whited sox in a three game set and I’ll see you on the other side, Sailor.