Logan Gilbert provides look at Mariners’ confidence, excitement for 2022
While there was a ton of hype surrounding the rookie season of top Mariners outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic, it was another 2018 first-round pick, right-handed pitcher Logan Gilbert, who was Seattle’s most consistent rookie in 2021.
Kelenic finished the year strong after a very rocky start to his MLB career, but aside from a tough month of August, Gilbert was a critical part of the Mariners’ success and 90-win season in 2021 despite his youth.
Gilbert and Kelenic made their debuts in the same May 23 game, and in 24 starts for the M’s, the big right-hander went 6-5 with a 4.68 ERA over 119 1/3 innings. He struck out 128 while walking just 28, and his fielding independent pitching was 3.73. He also had a 2.70 ERA in his final six starts and averaged over five innings each time he took the ball.
Gilbert took some time out of his offseason to join 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy on Monday afternoon, and he talked about his rookie season and the excitement surrounding the Mariners heading into 2022.
“Especially with how we ended, we had a great season,” Gilbert said. ” … I feel like a lot of us are already ready to get back out there and start the next one.”
The Mariners played meaningful baseball into the season’s final day but came up just short of ending the longest current playoff drought in North American major league sports. But with the way the Mariners finished, Gilbert thinks that drought should be ending very, very soon.
“Everybody’s just so excited. Honestly, I think we saw a glimpse of it last year, especially with where we finished and how we ended the season,” he said. “And people are starting to notice that. I think we have what it takes and we’re right on the edge of the playoffs, and I think it’s only going to get better in the years to come especially with some more of the big guys coming up from the minors. So I’m really excited about the future and think we have a really good shot to do this thing.”
Someone who played a major part in the Mariners’ 2021 success was right fielder Mitch Haniger, who at times carried the team on his back, especially in the final month of the year. After the season ended, Haniger penned an impassioned article in the Players’ Tribune where he stated that while the team may have fallen short, 2021 was just the start of something special in Seattle.
Gilbert said he read Haniger’s article and wasn’t surprised at all by what the one-time All-Star wrote.
“That’s just who Mitch is and who he’s been as long as I’ve been around him from what I can tell. He’s just a leader. That’s who he is. He’s the kind of guy you want on your team, and you want to follow honestly,” Gilbert said.
More importantly, though, Gilbert thinks Haniger is 100% correct in what he wrote.
“I think he hit the nail on the head. It was perfect, everything he said,” Gilbert said. “I think that’s the attitude that a lot of us have in the locker room. So it’s gonna be exciting to go into next season and really fight for this thing and make a run.”
And after getting his rookie season out of the way, Gilbert now has a more clear understanding of how good the Mariners are and can be going forward, just like Haniger wrote.
“I didn’t know a lot of what it’s like in MLB, so I had to experience it this first season to see,” he said. “And, of course, there are so many good teams out there and so many good players. But now that I have a little bit of experience, I can kind of look around and then look at our clubhouse and say what Mitch said is right – we do have the pieces, we do have to the team that it seems like it takes to get to the playoffs and win a lot of games in the playoffs. So I’m right there with him. I agree with everything he said.”
Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.