Passan: Mariners’ flaws ‘getting lesser and lesser as season goes on’

Aug 17, 2022, 11:56 AM | Updated: 12:01 pm
Sam Haggerty, Mitch Haniger and Julio Rodriguez celebrate a 6-2 win against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 15, 2022. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

During his weekly visit with The Mike Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM, ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan was asked Wednesday morning how to tell if a team is good, especially as it pertains to the Mariners, who entered the day holding the top wild card spot in the American League.

Blowers on Mariners: Luis Castillo’s stuff, scuffling Ty France, rotation

“I think it’s easier to figure out what what a great team looks like than what a good team looks like,” Passan told Mike Salk. “I think there are five potentially great teams in Major League Baseball right now, and those are the Dodgers, the Mets, the Braves, the Yankees and the Astros. Everybody else, to me, is on that border line of ‘are they good?’ or ‘are they not?’ because they’re all teams with flaws.”

So where does that leave the Mariners?

“The Mariners’ flaws, to me, are getting lesser and lesser as the season goes on,” Passan said.

“What I see a good team as is a well-rounded team that doesn’t have any demonstrable weaknesses,” he later added. “And if you look at the Mariners right now, I think that their bullpen is pretty strong, I think that their starting rotation with Luis Castillo in it has gotten pretty strong, and I think their lineup, getting some of the guys back who they’ve been missing for so long is not strong, but is strong enough. So yes, I would say that the Seattle Mariners are a good team.”

Passan pointed to the Mariners entering Wednesday as five games above .500 on the road and seven games above .500 in division games as two other reasons to show they’re a good team. Additionally, Seattle overcame some early adversity that Passan finds notable.

“I look at the fact that they got absolutely punched in the face earlier this year and didn’t let it derail them,” he said, referring to Seattle sitting at 10 games under .500 at one point in mid-June. “There are little soft factors that come into determining whether a team is good, and I don’t know – to me, the Mariners check those boxes.”

Luis Castillo

Passan brought up Castillo, the Mariners’ prized trade deadline addition, when talking about the team’s rotation. Just how good is the 29-year-old right-hander?

“He’s really good. And here’s the thing, you’re getting Luis Castillo at his best right now,” he said. “Which is to say Luis Castillo the last couple years – and I know that the COVID season isn’t necessarily a good one to judge by – but throughout his career, Luis Castillo has not come into spring in the best of shape or with his arm where it needs to be. And sometimes that takes a month, sometimes it takes a little longer than that. But when he gets going, man, it’s nasty.”

Passan noted that Castillo has worked deep into games and carried a heavy workload in his three Mariners starts, which bodes well for the team going forward.

“One thing I appreciate about him, he wants to be out there and he wants the ball,” Passan said. “And the fact that he’s averaged (around) 110 pitches in his three outings for the Mariners to this point, like, that’s a dude you want at the front of your rotation in October.”

Listen to the full second hour of Wednesday’s Mike Salk Show at this link or in the player below.

Mariners have new weapon for late-inning chaos: a deeper bench

Brock and Salk podcast

Date Starting Pitcher
Monday, March 20 @ 1:10 pm Brewers' Brandon Woodruff RHP vs. Mariners' Logan Gilbert RHP

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Logan Gilbert...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Gilbert shines; updates on dings and dents

Logan Gilbert had his best outing of the spring, while the bumps and bruises of Mariners camp are starting to pile up. Shannon Drayer has the details.
22 hours ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Brent Stecker

Mariners Spring Training: Aaron Goldsmith breaks down 3 M’s standouts

Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith shared his observations on Jarred Kelenic, Robbie Ray and Cooper Hummel with Bump and Stacy.
22 hours ago
Mariners Robbie Ray...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Kelenic catches up to deGrom, Ray impresses again

Shannon Drayer details why the Mariners Radio Network team called an audible Sunday and what they saw from the M's against Jacob deGrom in Surprise.
2 days ago
Mariners Padres Fernando Tatís Jr....
Brent Stecker

Could Mariners be eventual trade match for Padres’ Fernando Tatís Jr?

MLB Network's Greg Amsinger explained on Seattle Sports' Wyman and Bob why he thinks the Mariners could be a fit for a Fernando Tatís Jr. trade.
2 days ago
Mariners George Kirby...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners’ George Kirby bringing confidence, ease into 2nd season

George Kirby was perhaps the best rookie pitcher in the AL last season, and the Mariners starter is working on building off that performance.
2 days ago
Mariners Cooper Hummel...
Brandon Gustafson

Dipoto: Value of Hummel to the Mariners, Gilbert’s splitter ‘a real thing’

Jerry Dipoto explained the value of the Mariners keeping Cooper Hummel as a third catcher and his early thoughts on Logan Gilbert's splitter.
3 days ago
Passan: Mariners’ flaws ‘getting lesser and lesser as season goes on’