Mariners’ Logan Gilbert details how his pitches could look different

Feb 28, 2024, 10:56 AM | Updated: 3:57 pm

The offseason is a time for tinkering, and the Seattle Mariners have an admitted “notorious” tinkerer in their starting rotation in Logan Gilbert.

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Gilbert, 26, is entering his fourth MLB season and has been a great and reliable pitcher for the Mariners since making his debut in early 2021.

Gilbert joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Monday and dove into what he got up to this offseason and much more.

“I was messing around a little bit with a cutter and two-seam (fastball),” Gilbert said. “I moved on the rubber a little bit, and I’m not sure if that’s going to stick yet, but I was playing around with that.”

Gilbert said he’s practiced moving to the third base side of the rubber in part because he had more success against lefties than righties in 2023, which isn’t very common. Additionally, hitters did more damage against his four-seam fastball last season than in his first two years.

“However, my off-speed (pitch) was a lot better. So if you remember from like ’21, that completely flipped,” he said. “So now I’m trying to pair up the good off-speed with the fastball that I had in ’21 or kind of supplement that with a cutter and two-seam, which can get guys off of the four-seam and then also that can help perform better against righties. And I think if I move to the third base side, there might be a little deception or like a better horizontal angle coming in where I’m not really behind a righty but kind of from that angle, and then a two-seam can get (inside) and a cutter might get off the barrel.”

When diving into his numbers and data from last season, the reverse splits stood out, as did how his fastball lost spin compared to previous seasons.

“I went into the video, the super slo-mo with my fingers, how it’s coming off the ball. There were little differences from a couple years ago, but it’s really hard to recreate,” he said. “So then I was kind of at a standstill, and then I talked to the coaches and that’s kind of how we landed on where we’re at right now.”

Gilbert has made it no secret that he uses data and analytics to hone his craft. So how does he, as Brock and Salk put it, not get “paralyzed by the data?”

“That’s been a problem for me at times more so years ago,” he said. “I’m not saying I’m perfect now, but I kind of learned how to deal with it.”

Gilbert said he’s worked with mental skills coaches, which has helped him a lot when he’s in games.

“I’ve kind of just gotten to a point where I do my drills, I can think about what I want to think about if I’m trying to accomplish something movement-wise. But for whatever reason when I get on the mound, I just shut my brain off even to the point that I don’t like calling my game or even shaking (off pitches) really at all,” he said. “It’s just whatever the catcher puts down. They know me better than me probably. So I just completely shut my brain off and go, ‘I’m not thinking about anything.’ If anything, I can feel what I’m doing in real time if I need to make an adjustment, but I’m not thinking about where’s my arm (and things like that).”

While he’s not a mental skills coach, Luis Castillo, the Mariners’ All-Star starting pitcher, has also helped Gilbert a lot with the mental side of baseball.

“When we talked about the paralysis and all that stuff, he actually has helped me a lot there because I’ll still revisit that overanalysis at times throughout the year,” Gilbert said. “Once or twice a year, I’ll throw a bullpen and he tells me the same thing. He’s like, ‘Don’t think, don’t change, don’t try.’ He tells me the same thing every time, and that’s what he does and it works. And he can see when my gears are kind of turning and he’ll tell me that every time he says, ‘You think too much, you try too much,’ and ‘don’t change.'”

Listen to Brock and Salk’s full interview with Logan Gilbert at this link or in the video player near the top of this story.

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