SHANNON DRAYER

Seattle Mariners Notebook: Checking in on the pitchers

Mar 17, 2024, 6:01 PM | Updated: 6:05 pm

Seattle Mariners Logan Gilbert...

Logan Gilbert of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch during a 2023 game. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

It’s not quite the first chill of the air you feel in late summer – although it has been cool in Peoria the last few days – but there has been the unmistakable feel of a shift for the Seattle Mariners to bigger games on the near horizon. With just 11 days until the start of the season the preparation now is different.

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“It’s not as much of experimenting anymore,” said Logan Gilbert, who threw five innings Sunday of three-hit, seven-strikeout ball against a split-squad Diamondbacks team. “There’s a little bit of a place for that in spring training but now it is mostly about working ahead in counts, simulating how you are going to sequence guys in a game and making sure I can do that well.”

While it is not about experimenting, Gilbert said he threw quite a bit of the cutter he worked on in the offseason. He is still not sure if it is a pitch he will take into the regular season.

“I don’t know, I guess we will find out,” he said. “We threw a couple of sinkers too and broke a couple of bats on that. I think it helps the four-seam (fastball) play up. Right now it looks pretty good, I guess we have it if we want it.”

Sunday – Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Seattle Mariners 4: Box score

With one start remaining this spring training, Gilbert appears to be on track, having worked out mechanical issues early to get his location on his fastball and refining his secondary pitches late.

“I like where he’s at,” Mariners manager Scott Servais. “He’s in a great spot.”

Notes

• While Gilbert was pitching, this was happening.

Don’t be fooled, it is not all fun and games with Luis Castillo behind the scenes. Very quietly, he seems to have stepped forward in the leadership department with Bryce Miller and others saying he has helped them behind the scenes.

“He keeps it loose, very confident and sure of himself in a good way,” said Gilbert, who is often seen with Castillo around camp. “He’s one of the best teammates I’ve had.”

• The Mariners, who have enjoyed four straight games in Peoria at their spring home, hit the road Monday for a game against the Rangers in Surprise. They have not announced a starter for that game yet. It is Miller’s turn in the rotation, but typically in the final weeks of spring training teams look to keep starters away from division rivals or clubs they may face early. Miller will likely start a ‘B’ game instead.

• Third-year reliever Matt Brash continues to progress in his throwing program. According to Servais, the program is a bit different than most in how they are trying to increase the volume and intensity of his throws while he works his way back to the mound after dealing with elbow inflammation early in camp.

“Volume first, the number of throws he was making, now he’s getting to the point to increase the intensity,” explained Servais. “We are doing things I haven’t seen guys do on a rehab program before. We actually have the radar gun on him while he’s doing his throwing program, just to make sure the level of intensity is where it needs to be so he is fully confident it’s good before he gets on the mound.”

More on the Seattle Mariners

Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez details his offseason meeting with Servais
J.P. Crawford: Trade to Mariners ‘saved my career, saved my life’
Drayer: Why two young Mariners prospects are of particular interest
Jorge Polanco’s former Twins teammate: ‘You guys are gonna love him’
Seattle Mariners vets show they have the backs of top prospects

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