SEATTLE MARINERS

Dipoto: Mariners seeing ‘best version’ of Castillo, Gilbert looking to find his balance

Aug 19, 2022, 1:48 PM | Updated: 1:53 pm

Mariners Logan Gilbert...

Logan Gilbert pitches against the New York Yankees at T-Mobile Park on August 08, 2022. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

It was made clear at the MLB Trade Deadline that the Mariners will be leaning heavy on their pitching as they aim to end baseball’s longest active playoff drought.

Fann: Mariners’ path to playoffs — A look at wild card competition

Seattle, which currently holds the No. 1 Wild Card spot in the American League, shipped off four prospects for All-Star right-hander Luis Castillo. He is now anchoring a starting rotation that includes 2021 AL Cy Young Award Winner Robbie Ray, second-year righty Logan Gilbert, veteran southpaw Marco Gonzales and rookie George Kirby.

As the Mariners head into the final stretch of the 2022 season, the performance of that rotation will be very key to the team’s playoff hopes.

During his weekly chat with Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Mike Salk Show, Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto discussed the start of Castillo’s M’s career, as well as the recent performance of Gilbert.

With Castillo, Dipoto said simply that the ace pitcher is “really good” and has actually flown under the radar despite being a two-time All-Star with elite stuff.

“I mentioned when we acquired him that we thought we were acquiring him at the right time. He is right now at the at the pinnacle of what he does,” Dipoto told Mike Salk. “His command, the pitch quality, the consistency and the size of his menu. The pitch menu has grown. He’s added a four-seamer, he’s throwing his slider more frequently and to better locations. We’re seeing the best version of Luis Castillo, and there’s no reason why this can’t continue moving forward. He is super talented, he’s a great guy, and I think he’s just realizing how good he is and can be.”

Castillo’s Mariners tenure started in a notable way as he started at Yankee Stadium and worked into the seventh inning. It was also the second time he’d faced New York in three starts. That performance showed a lot about what kind of player the Mariners got at the deadline.

“The resolve that he showed, particularly after we picked them up in Yankee Stadium, pitching against what was then the best team record-wise in our league, and for the second time in about 10 days or 15 days, it was fairly impressive. And to be able to go do that on your first day on your new job and have all eyes trained on you and realize that there are big expectations – and that is from the fans, it’s from the manager, it’s from the front office, it’s from your teammates – and to go out and deliver. That’s what the big boys do,” Dipoto said. “He delivered and continues to.”

While Castillo has been stellar in three starts for the Mariners, Gilbert, who was the AL Pitcher of the Month in April and looked like he was on his way to the All-Star Game, has struggled since the All-Star Break, posting a 6.59 ERA in five starts while allowing five home runs.

Dipoto mentioned Gilbert had a poor August last year in his rookie campaign before bouncing back with a strong finish to the season.

“I think Logan’s just trying to find his balance. All in all, he’s having a fantastic season,” he said. “Last year, he got off to a slow-ish start and then he found his groove, and then he slumped a bit in August, and then we saw him really turn on the jets in September. And I think that rhythm, he’s trying to find how to balance his workload – the actual innings he’s throwing on the mound – with his practice load, what he’s doing to prepare.”

Dipoto has repeatedly said Gilbert is an incredibly thoughtful pitcher who prepares better than anyone in the game.

“His attentiveness to anything from the opponent he’s facing to the way his body is moving to his conditioning and preparedness to get out on the mound, he does it as diligently and thoroughly as anyone I’ve ever been around. And that’s taxing,” Dipoto said. “I think what we’re seeing is that as you get into the dog days, it takes a little time to get your second wind, and I’m certain that we’ll see it here just like we did turn towards the tail end of the last year.”

To hear the full Jerry Dipoto Show, find the podcast here or in the player below.

Why the AL wild card-leading Mariners have become tough to beat

Brock and Salk podcast

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Sunny
High 72° | Low 53°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Guardians today at 3:40pm

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners first baseman Tyler Locklear...

Zac Hereth

A new dilemma Mariners face after Ty France’s return

Seattle Mariners now have two first basemen -- Ty France and Tyler Locklear -- they need to find ways to get in the lineup.

21 minutes ago

Seattle Mariners Julio Rojas 2024 White Sox...

Cameron Van Til

Could Mariners win World Series with current roster?

Could the Seattle Mariners win it all with their current roster? ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan gives his take.

2 hours ago

Houston Astros Justin Verlander...

Jay Cohen

AL West Check-In: Astros place Justin Verlander on 15-day IL

Aging Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander is heading back to the injured list with lingering neck discomfort.

14 hours ago

Seattle Mariners players celebrate...

The Associated Press

Mariners hold off late push, top Guardians 8-5 in first-place battle

The Seattle Mariners clubbed three home runs and kept rolling with an 8-5 victory over the Cleveland Guardians.

15 hours ago

Seattle Mariners catcher Mitch Garver...

Shannon Drayer

Mariners Insider: An unexpected move that may pay off for all involved

The decision to have Mitch Garver move into the backup catcher role is paying dividends for the veteran and other Seattle Mariners.

15 hours ago

Seattle Mariners OF Luke Raley...

Zac Hereth

Watch: Mariners’ Luke Raley hits HR, snags web gem in Ohio homecoming

Seattle Mariners outfielder Luke Raley hits a solo home run and provides a defensive gem near his hometown against the Cleveland Guardians.

16 hours ago

Dipoto: Mariners seeing ‘best version’ of Castillo, Gilbert looking to find his balance