BROCK AND SALK

Former Mariners pitcher highlights two unsung heroes of pitching staff

Jun 15, 2024, 9:35 AM

Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh Pete Woodworth...

Seattle Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh and pitching coach Pete Woodworth. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

A few things define the run of success the Seattle Mariners have been on since the 2021 season.

Of course, you’ve got Chaos Ball, which has been especially present this week. Just ask the Chicago White Sox. But atop the list, you have to focus on Seattle’s pitching – both a deep rotation and a bullpen that seems to churn out new, dominant arms with each season.

Casey Sadler is someone who has a particularly insightful view on the pitching side of things having been one of those aforementioned arms. He joined the M’s in 2020 and turned in one of the best seasons by a reliever in team history in 2021, allowing just three earned runs over 42 appearances for a minuscule 0.67 ERA. In a conversation with Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk this week, he highlighted a pair of unsung heroes for the M’s pitching staff that he worked with during his time with the team.

To start, catcher Cal Raleigh, whose contributions to the team go beyond his late-inning heroics at the plate.

“I really, really enjoyed throwing to Cal,” Sadler said. “He has a way of navigating a baseball game that is well beyond his years. He’s very mature, he’s very good at studying, he’s very good at understanding what each pitcher does.”

The son of a college baseball coach, Raleigh seems to have an innate ability to call pitches and run a pitching staff. But he also clearly puts in a ton of work.

“I don’t know if I’ve had a chance to really kind of talk to him personally about what I do or how I pitch or this or that, and he just seems to know,” Sadler continued. “I think that it comes back to doing his homework, it comes back to talking with the pitching coaches, it comes back to watching video or, you know, whatever he does to get ready. He’s really fun to watch back there.”

The other person Sadler had some good insight on is pitching coach Pete Woodworth, who is in his fifth year in the role.

“For me at least, he was more of that kind of like kick in the butt,” Sadler said. “Like, ‘Hey, this isn’t you, figure it out” type of thing. … Something that Pete does really well is righting the ship. He’s very good at finding out what makes a specific pitcher tick and how he can use that to take a mound visit, or kind of get into a bullpen session. Maybe that person just needs you to sit back and not say anything, or maybe that particular pitcher needs you to dive in and say, ‘OK, these are the things that we saw in your last outing and they aren’t what you normally do. Let’s fix them right now.’ And so I think he’s very good at reading the situation.”

Sadler spoke about much more during the wide-ranging conversation, including his comeback bid and future in and out of the game. Listen in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More on the Seattle Mariners

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