Mariners Talk: A revealing look at M’s pitching staff, prospects and strategy with bullpen coach Brian DeLunas

Nov 19, 2019, 4:35 PM

This week on the Mariners Talk “vodcast,” Boy Howdy and I took full advantage of the luxury of time we are afforded in the offseason and brought Mariners coaching staff member Brian DeLunas in to the 710 ESPN Seattle studios to talk all things pitching.

Former M’s player Kristopher Negrón joins Seattle’s front office

DeLunas, who will return to his original role of bullpen coach next year after serving as the organization’s director of pitching development and strategies in 2019, is one of my favorite go-tos for interviews during the season. The Mariners organization has had a huge shift in the past few years in how it handles pitching, and DeLunas helped paint the picture of the things that I couldn’t see.

What happens in a bullpen session? How are the newer technologies being utilized both at the MLB and minor league levels? What goes into pitching development in the minors? These questions are all addressed in part 1 of the video.

Other topics covered in part 1:

• Definition, examples and utilization of a number of terms including spin rate, angles, axis, shape.

• How pitchers and pitches are evaluated.

• How pitching technology is utilized at different levels.

• How biomechanics factor into how the Mariners work with pitchers and why the conventional approach to pitch selection is not always the best way to go.

Part 2 of the video will come your way next week. Topics you can expect in that video include:

• Player plans, why every pitcher in the organization has one and why it is important.

• How a prospect’s stuff shows he’s ready for the big leagues, what the biggest challenge is when he gets there and who can help them get through it.

• A breakdown of Justus Sheffield and what he needs to do to reach the potential DeLunas believes he has.

• Where is Marco Gonzales in his development?

• What to make of Yusei Kikuchi’s first year and the lessons that were learned.

• What the Mariners have in their top three picks from the 2019 draft, all of whom are starting pitchers.

DeLunas has been an incredible resource the last two years in understanding the changes that we are seeing both and in the organization and in the game as a whole with pitching. This conversation is very similar to one that we would have in-season, and I hope it takes you a little bit inside the game.

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