Sailor’s Notebook: Prospects Fighting for a Rotation Spot Take Center Stage

While it’s sometimes possible to accomplish more by staying at the Mariners Spring Training Complex rather than “traveling” to a spring road game, there’s absolutely no excuse not to go. in Mesa, Arizona to watch Game Minus-9. .

Drayer: New M’s RHP, Sergio Romo, doesn’t hesitate to share his experience

The veterans travel and two competitors for the still-open fifth spot in the rotation are set to pitch in the 1:05 p.m. game against the Oakland A’s, which will air live on Seattle Sports 710 AM. That’s about as good as it gets for a road spring game.

Matt Brash, MLB Pipeline Overall Prospect No. 98 and No. 6 prospect M, will get the start with George Kirby (No. 32 overall and No. 3) to follow, reversing the order of their first appearance six days ago against the Diamondbacks. That day, every pitcher faced major league hitters for the first time. The results are a little different.

“I wish both of them were a little more comfortable,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Sunday morning. “I thought both threw the ball well last time. Brash’s results were a bit better than George’s, but they (have) both got to see what the second outing looks like.

The presence and composure of the 24-year-old Kirby will be interesting as he showed a little too much frustration on the hill when a few calls went undecided. It’s far from a major concern, but reputation with referees is important and you don’t want to see frustration affect performance. Servais was happy to see a few of the 2019 MLB first-round draft pick’s teammates tell him about the post-debut episode.

“The composure is a big thing – and the presence of the mound,” he said. “It will happen, so learn from it. He knows. He’s super competitive and I don’t want to take that away from him, but being able to handle that without showing so much emotion will probably help him down the road.

Brash, a 2019 Padres fourth-round pick who turns 24 in May, will look to build a smooth first outing. While he emerged unscathed from his two innings, what we didn’t see was much of his third pitch, the change, which he only pitched once. Had it been a normal spring and he was looking at six outings instead of three, chances are the ground would have been worked in his first two appearances. The fact that he didn’t throw it didn’t worry Servais.

“I think both should come out and show their best stuff,” he said. “They are both competing for a job.”

While Kirby and Brash have garnered attention in the battle for fifth place, Justus Sheffield, Levi Stoudt and Nick Margevicius are also up for grabs. The Mariners could very well choose to give young Triple-A pitchers time before calling them up. What do they have to gain with more time in the minors?

“Experience”, says Servais. “Exposure to major league hitters. Guys do not go hunting, the number of throws increases faster. The 3-4-5 in a Triple-A formation usually has major league experience, which is different from the Double-A. It’s a little different.

It’s an interesting decision to make, and it’s not just about the players themselves. Unlike 2021, this Mariners season won’t be all about youth player experience. The balance of the impact of player development on the team in terms of wins and losses comes into play with a team that has much higher expectations than a year ago. Is it better for a young pitcher to gain experience against major leagues via the 3-4-5 he might face in a Triple-A formation, or to learn on the job in games that matter? ? Can this player contribute while learning? It’s all part of the decision.

Either way, Brash and Kirby aren’t far behind.

“I think both have a chance to be top-tier starters,” Servais said. “I can’t wait to see those guys there. They’re fun to watch pitch.

Did I mention a range?

Line up!

(Or maybe, Lineup?)

Adam Frazier, 2B
Ty France, 1B
Jesse Winker, LF
Mitch Haniger, DH
Eugenio Suarez, 3B
Jarred Kelenic, FC
Julio Rodriguez, RF
Luis Torrens, C.
J. P. Crawford, SS

Matt Brash, PS

Notes from sailors

• Relievers Ryan Buchter (LHP), Wyatt Mills, Anthony Misiewicz (LHP) and Erik Swanson are also scheduled or listed as available to pitch on Sunday for the Mariners.

• The probable next ones have not yet been announced, but it seems that Robbie Ray will start on Monday against the Rangers, then Logan Gilbert on Tuesday against the Royals and Marco Gonzales on Wednesday against the Cubs.

• Ask and you shall receive. Quite often, the previous year’s No. 1 pick gets the chance to make a swing or two in a Cactus League game, and it looks like 19-year-old receiver Harry Ford could get that opportunity next week. . The 12th overall selection in the 2021 MLB Draft straight out of high school by the Ms, Ford was seen by major league coaches in the minor league minicamp while big league players were still locked out, and he only impressed.

“Remedial high school is the slowest position to develop,” Servais said. “These three years at university really help you accelerate your development and your ability to move through a system. With Harry, he’s wired a little differently. He is doing well, he asks great questions, he is attentive. He has a very good throwing arm, he learns the nuances, but since I meet him, he is super athletic. I really see him staying behind the plate. He’s a really exciting player. »

With big league camps starting and running late, teams will lose the bulk of their late-inning substitutions this year, as most minor league teams will break camp before them and head to their affiliate cities. . This will open up opportunities for Ford and others starting next Wednesday.

• If you were surprised to learn that Jesse Winker hit the wall with a first baseman’s glove before practice yesterday, you weren’t alone.

“It was news for me,” Servais said. “I think he likes hanging out with (Mariners coach) Perry Hill.”

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