Why is Mariners’ Logan Gilbert so dominant? Likely All-Star explains his technique

Jun 15, 2022, 10:46 AM
Mariners Logan Gilbert...
Logan Gilbert reacts against the Minnesota Twins at T-Mobile Park on June 14, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Logan Gilbert got the start for the Mariners on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Twins and as has been the case throughout the 2022 season, the young right-hander turned in another dominant outing.

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In this most recent start, Gilbert threw six scoreless innings as he got the win over the AL Central-leading Twins. It was Gilbert’s sixth quality start in a row.

Gilbert tallied six strikeouts while allowing just four hits and one walk against Minnesota. With his 13th start in the books, Gilbert’s season ERA is now 2.22 through 77 innings and he has a 7-2 record.

On Wednesday, the Mariners’ 2018 first-round pick joined The Mike Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM to discuss his most recent start, being a potential 2022 All-Star and more.

Gilbert knew he had good stuff during his pregame bullpen session Tuesday.

“I felt pretty good,” he said. “I think warming up in my bullpen, I felt like I had most of my pitches. And anytime I can use at least three different pitches and kind of mix it up, I feel pretty good about it.”

Gilbert is a four-pitch pitcher, relying mostly on an electric four-seam fastball while mixing in a hard slider, curveball and a changeup that he uses mostly against left-handed hitters.

The fastball was again on point for Gilbert on Tuesday, and he explained what having extra “life” with that pitch means for him.

“I think it helps everything else play up a little bit when I when I do have a fastball that feels good that night,” he said.

Gilbert explained what “pitch tunneling” means to Salk, and how that applies to his fastball and the rest of his arsenal.

“It’s just making sure everything comes out of the same window, the same (arm) slot and trying to make the hitter see the same thing as long as possible,” he said. “So if I can make everything look like a fastball until the last second, it gives me a better chance to hopefully have them take a bad swing at something that looks like a fastball that ends up being a slider or curveball.”

Having the good fastball like he had on Tuesday plays a big part in tunneling pitches.

“It’s trying to make sure all your pitches play together and they actually make other pitches work better, as well,” he said. “So if my slider is good, it makes my fastball better, and if my fastball is coming out really good then it makes my other pitches play off it as well.”

All-Star candidate

Simply put, Gilbert has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season.

Gilbert is eighth in MLB in wins above replacement for pitchers, ninth in ERA, eighth in innings pitched, fourth in wins and 16th in strikeouts.

As such, Gilbert appears on track to make his first All-Star game in just his second MLB season. His manager Scott Servais said as much after Tuesday’s win over Minnesota.

What does Gilbert think about potentially playing in the Midsummer Classic?

“Oh, that’d be huge,” Gilbert said. “That’d be awesome. It’s something I’ve always dreamed about as a kid. I try not to get too wrapped up in it, specially during the season. I’m just – it sounds clichĂ© but I’m just focused on the next day and the next start. That just keeps it simple in my mind. But if something like that did work out, it would be a huge honor. It’s something that I really care about and would love to do one day.”

Being around the best players in baseball is part of why Gilbert is interested in making the American League All-Star team.

“There’s a little bit of a fan in me that I look around the league and see some of these best guys and I’m constantly trying to learn from them and look up to some of the guys that have done it for so long,” Gilbert said. “So I think that would be really fun just to be around those guys and hopefully learn something.”

Team Chemistry

After Tuesday’s win, the Mariners are 28-34 on the year, which puts them 10 games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West standings and five games back of the Boston Red Sox for the AL’s third wild card spot.

It was clear during the Mariners’ 90-win season last year that there was great team chemistry and a lot of camaraderie. Is that the case this year as well?

“Honestly, I think it’s been great. Everybody, the chemistry is just unbelievable,” Gilbert said. “I think everybody really cares for the people next to them, even through some adversity. We’ve gone through a few injuries already with some some key guys that we’re hoping to have back soon, but I think everybody’s just pulling for the guys next to them and believing that this is possible, that we still have everything it takes to do what we need to do this season.”

Gilbert said the Mariners have “been fighting through the ups and downs” and he thinks the team has all the makings to go on a hot streak very soon.

“I think this team’s really good,” he said. “And honestly, I don’t think we’ve played our best baseball yet, and I think that just says something about who we are as a team that we have only up to go is what I feel like. There’s a lot of talent and a lot of good guys on this team, and I think we’re starting to hit our stride a little bit.”

Listen to the full conversation with Gilbert from The Mike Salk Show in the player below.

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