Drayer: Mariners OF Domingo Santana, Jake Fraley continue big springs
Mar 5, 2019, 4:36 PM
PEORIA, Ariz. – Two offseason acquisitions were the stars of the show in the Mariners’ 7-7 tie Tuesday with the Padres as outfielders Domingo Santana and Jake Fraley each hit home runs.
For Santana, who was acquired from the Brewers in a trade for Ben Gamel, it was his third of the spring. Fraley, who was part of the Mike Zunino deal with the Rays, started in center field and had a two-run double to go with his second homer.
“Jake Fraley has had an unbelievable spring,” Mariners manager Scott Servais after the game. “Obviously when you are new to an organization you want to give a strong impression and he has handled everything we have thrown at him. Taking that curveball down the line with a two-run double and then the long home run, pretty impressive – which is what we have seen all spring.”
#Mariners No. 14 prospect Jake Fraley, acquired from the #Rays in the Mike Zunino deal, hit 4 homers in 225 ABs for the @StoneCrabs last year. He now has 2 in 15 #SpringTraining ABs and is hitting .400. Gameday/watch live: https://t.co/8435qCRhsA pic.twitter.com/4rkPo5Rb0B
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 5, 2019
The 23-year-old Fraley is now 7 for 14 this spring after going 2 for 2 with three RBIs against San Diego, and he has not looked at all like a player who has not played above High-A before.
Santana added another moonshot of a home run to the damage he has done this spring. After a 2018 season of uncertainty where he lost playing time due to the Brewers acquiring eventual National League MVP Christian Yelich, he relishes the opportunity to once again be an everyday player.
“I was really excited about that,” Santana said, while candidly admitting he was out of his comfort zone last year feeling pressure to produce because of his limited at-bats. “Your whole career you have been playing every day and you prepare yourself to have a good season and you do (in 2017), and you think obviously you have a job and then that happened. Obviously it was very tough mentally but at the same time I am glad I went through it and I am better.”
— ROOT SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) March 5, 2019
On the pitching side, Mike Leake stumbled a bit, allowing back-to-back home runs in a three-run third inning. It was a “get your work in” type start, the second of the day by a starter as Félix Hernández had a somewhat similar outing in a B-game Tuesday morning against Korea’s KT Wiz.
“I thought he threw some pretty good curveballs early,” Servais said of Leake. “He got some pitches up, he gave up a few runs which is not great, but building up arm strength, keep moving ahead with him.”
Up next for the Mariners: their first night game of the spring, as they host the A’s in Peoria with Wade LeBlanc scheduled to start on at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday.
More from Shannon Drayer: Observations on Santana, Sheffield, Dunn