SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners Notebook: Good developments with Gilbert, Urías

Mar 11, 2024, 6:14 PM | Updated: Mar 13, 2024, 11:11 am

Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais saw what he wanted to see Monday afternoon from Logan Gilbert’s three-inning outing against the San Diego Padres, even if Gilbert allowed four runs in the 13-3 loss.

San Diego Padres 13, Seattle Mariners 3: Box score

“I thought Logan’s stuff today was the best it has been all spring,” Servais said while noting the umpire didn’t help his pitcher out. “The fastball had a lot of life and the secondary pitches all had really good late movement to them – he was getting swing and miss on them. Some good signs there.”

While zeroes are always preferred and walks, regardless of the umpiring, don’t sit well with most, Gilbert got what he needed in the loss to the Padres.

“I got to everything today that I wanted to get to,” Gilbert said. “The game itself was mostly a couple of walks and a couple of bad pitches, but my pitches are pretty much where I want them to be at this point.”

The fastball showed a bit of extra velocity, which is a good sign he was synced up in his delivery – something that can be a challenge early in spring training for a long-levered pitcher like Gilbert. He also felt good about his secondary pitches.

“I don’t feel like I am searching for anything,” he said. “I feel pretty comfortable. The pitches themselves felt solid.”

That included a new pitch. While the word on Gilbert this winter was that he was in a place where additions weren’t needed after a previous offseason of big changes, this is Logan Gilbert we are talking about. He is going to tinker. It should be no surprise that an unfamiliar pitch made an appearance in the game, thrown a few times both early and late, most notably as the final pitch of his outing which resulted in a strikeout.

“It was a cutter,” he answered when asked about the pitch. “It’s new. The idea was my four-seamer got hit harder last year so I was trying to find a variation of the fastball to get off the barrel.”

Gilbert had tried to use a two-seamer for the same effect in ’23 but found the cutter was a more natural fit from his armslot. It was a pitch he was able to easily work into his early offseason build up when he was throwing only fastballs. Compared to adding a splitter and overhauling his slider prior to last season, this was a much, much simpler add as the grip is so close to his four-seam grip and the usage would be far less. It’s not a pitch he would use often and not a pitch under normal circumstances he would use to try and get a swing and miss. He’s got much better weapons for that, but he sees opportunities where the cutter could be of use.

“Right now I’m just trying to see what it is,” he said. “I see (using both the cutter and two-seamer) as smaller changes. I’m trying to give myself options to not get backed into a corner basically if I am behind the count or somebody is sitting fastball and I need to get off a barrel. Most of them have been pretty good.”

Seattle Mariners game report

The Mariners ran out the lineup against the Padres on Monday that most resembled what we could see opening day. Unfortunately, it was a rather lackluster game with J.P. Crawford providing most of the offense as he hit his first home run of the spring.

Of note defensively, however, Luis Urías finally had the opportunity to make a couple of plays at third base, most notably handling a slow roller and making the off-balance throw early in the game. He also had a double and an RBI single at the plate.

“Really excited. I think Luis Urías by far played the best game of his all spring,” said Servais. “He made a couple of nice plays defensively, he swung the bat well so he’s starting to get things going and I know he feels much better physically with his arm.”

It is worth noting that the Padres and Dodgers are ahead of other clubs in their readiness for the season, having started playing sooner to get ready for their opening series in South Korea. The two teams are scheduled to leave Arizona on Wednesday.

Roster moves

The Mariners made three roster moves following the loss to the Padres:

• Levi Stoudt optioned to Tacoma
• Trevor Kelley and Marcelo Perez re-assigned to minor league camp.

The camp roster is now at 51 players.

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