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It’s rare rookies find confidence as quick as Mariners’ Logan Gilbert

Mariners rookie Logan Gilbert threw 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball last Sunday in Cleveland. (Getty)

Rookie Mariners starting pitcher Logan Gilbert is now six games into his big league career, and his last three outings have been night and day compared to his first three.

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Last Sunday, Gilbert put together his best start yet, holding Cleveland to a run on four hits and a walk over a season-best 6 2/3 innings, striking out six along the way. Before that he struck out seven Angels while holding them to two runs on just two hits over five innings (though he did issue four walks), which followed up a six-inning performance where the A’s managed just two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five times.

During 710 ESPN Seattle’s weekly Jerry Dipoto Show with the Mariners general manager on Thursday, guest host Mike Salk admitted to Dipoto that he had initially been concerned with Gilbert’s first three starts, which saw him run a 7.59 ERA and not record an out past the fourth inning.

Dipoto understood where Salk was coming from when it came to Seattle’s 2017 first-round draft pick.

“It’s funny you say (that), Mike – there is an expectation, especially with heralded young players when they get to the big leagues, that the day they step on the field they’re going to be the guy that everybody forecasts. It takes a little bit of time,” Dipoto said, pointing specifically to the example of shortstop J.P. Crawford. “It’s not that easy for everybody, and the fact that Logan was able to make the adjustments three starts into his major league career or thereabout, I think it’s reflective of how bright and prepared and talented he is, but it’s also something that’s not common with players as they transition to the big leagues.”

The Mariners know that from this season alone, as high-ranked prospects Jarred Kelenic and Taylor Trammell both had their struggles after being called up.

“We’ve thrown a number of guys into the deep end of the pool, and some of them swim a little quicker than others,” Dipoto said. “Logan appears to be swimming quicker than some others, and that’s a good thing for us. It gives us some stability.”

That stability could be big for the 35-36 Mariners as they attempt to push back through the .500 mark and haven’t seen their starting pitching turn into a true strength despite good campaigns to date by Yusei Kikuchi and Chris Flexen.

Dipoto said Gilbert needed to find his confidence after getting his promotion from Triple-A, and luckily it didn’t take him long.

“What we saw last Sunday was the same Logan Gilbert we’ve watched since he was drafted. Roughly the rest of his time in a Mariners uniform at any level has looked like it did on Sunday for the most part,” Dipoto said. “… He has the ability to combine dynamic stuff. I think you saw on Sunday that in addition to a mid/upper-90s fastball at times, you get what we think is an exceptional changeup and two breaking balls that can miss bats.

“His first couple of starts were just his series of getting through confidence issues. When you step into the league, you know you’re good, but you have to go out there and feel like you’re that same guy that you were in Double-A or Triple-A. And I think we’re now seeing that with Logan, and he’s taking control of it.”

You can hear the full Jerry Dipoto Show in the podcast at this link or in the player below, and catch a new edition live every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. during 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

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