Mariners Notebook: Gilbert and the pitchers win day 2 of intrasquad action
It no doubt was not how he envisioned his T-Mobile Park debut in a game would be for the Mariners, but on Saturday afternoon, Logan Gilbert was going to get the most out of his intrasquad opportunity.
“I take everything very seriously in trying to treat it like a game,” he said following his 2-inning start. “Even bullpens and things like that in between because of how limited we are with actual times out there on the mound, I want it to be as game-like as possible.”
That doesn’t mean the former first rounder didn’t appreciate the setting. As game-like as Gilbert tried to treat the situation, it was impossible not to notice the city skyline behind him or the giant Mariners Vision video screen over his left shoulder.
“It was awesome,” he said. “It was good being out there. It was pretty cool being on the mound for the first time.”
A Jarred Kelenic smirk before his at bat in the second inning was about the only other distraction from his work. Gilbert’s first pitch came in at 96 mph to Sam Haggerty perhaps betraying a little extra adrenaline in his first Summer Camp appearance. Four pitches later, Haggerty was headed back to the dugout, strikeout victim No. 1 of four for Gilbert, who was pleased with what he saw from his slider in particular.
Gilbert was charged with the only run – a Donovan Walton double that plated Kelenic on board on a walk – scored in the 5 inning game which featured mostly young players. The standouts limited to the pitching side with Brandon Williamson, the Mariners second-round pick in 2019, showing the ability to get through when he didn’t have his best curveball, Dan Altavilla throwing 99 mph fastballs and striking out three in his inning and Anthony Misiewicz with a couple of strikeouts in his inning.
As will be the case in many of these intrasquad games both here and in Tacoma when the taxi squad reports there was learning as well, most notably for Noelvi Marte the Mariners 18-year-old prized prospect at shortstop who got a good look at a Major League breaking ball as he struck out on three pitches from Matt Magill.
On a down note it appears there was an injury as Gerson Bautista called for the trainer two pitches after he hit 101 mph on a fastball to Jose Marmolejos. He briefly pointed to his elbow and was removed from the game. We should learn more about his status on Sunday.
• Servais gave most of his vets a break sitting them out of Saturday’s game. In spring training players are often eased into games and given a good opportunity to get their legs under them. With less than 2 weeks before Opening Day they don’t have that luxury now so after today we should see regulars in the lineup more consistently.
• Marco Gonzales will be one of the starters in Sunday’s short intrasquad game scheduled to be just 3 innings. On Monday the team has a 7 inning game planned.
• The Mariners plan to stream Monday through Friday intrasquad games on their YouTube channel.
• Kyle Lewis at the plate has been an early highlight of Summer Camp. Lewis in center field on Friday was perhaps a bit of a surprise as he has played mostly the corners since the knee injury. According to Servais, this is something we could see more of and not just because Mallex Smith is not yet in camp.
“I think we can use him quite a bit out there,” he said. “How he’s moving around, he just seems so much lighter on his feet. He can run, you typically don’t see guys that size play center field but there’s been a few. I don’t know if he stays there for the length of his career but you will see him some this year. I’m not sure you will see him every day but you certainly will see a good chunk of his playing time come in centerfield, right field.”
• With the morning workouts not open to the media we have not been able to see Julio Rodriguez the last two days, but by all reports he is doing well.
“He looks good,” said Servais. “Took good rounds of BP, no issues there. It should be probably three to four days before you see him in games.”