Mariners’ SP Logan Gilbert pitched a career-high six innings against Oakland on Monday. (Getty)
After a long period of apparently nothing going well, the Mariners are now one of baseball’s hottest teams, winning seven of their last 10 games, including five series wins on Tuesday.
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The team’s most recent victory was an exciting 6-5 walkout against the Oakland Athletics which saw a career day for one of Seattle’s best young players.
As he does every Tuesday, Mariners manager Scott Servais joined Jake and Stacy from 710 ESPN Seattle as well as The initiate of the sailors Shannon Drayer for the latest Scott Servais Show, where he spoke about his team’s hot play as well as some notable updates from his roster.
Logan Gilbert’s best start
It wasn’t until his fourth MLB start for Logan Gilbert to move past the fourth inning, but he had a great outing against the As on Monday.
Not only did Gilbert reach a career high in six innings, but he allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk while tying his season-long strikeout record with five. He was also much better and more consistent with his side offerings than he has ever been since his call.
Locked in Logan. 🔒 pic.twitter.com/6aQyo9RIGb
– Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) June 1, 2021
Servais believed Gilbert had really improved as the game progressed on Monday.
“I thought Logan was exceptional yesterday and it really meant the last two innings for me that he played,” said Servais. “He had a tough round at the start of the game and was able to pull through. But I thought the last two runs (he had) a ton of confidence, was totally under control.
Something that stood out with Gilbert was the strength with which he ended the outing. In his final quarter, Gilbert needed just seven shots to register a 1-2-3 inning, scoring another strikeout along the way.
“He seems like one of those guys where he probably knew that the sixth run was going to be his last run yesterday, so he sees the finish line and he’s chasing it,” Servais said. “He’s not trying to hope to get out of this. He steps on the pedal and really hammers on it knowing, “I’m going to give my team six innings of hard throwing,” and he did yesterday.
So, Servais’ overall assessment of Gilbert’s fourth career start? Pretty good.
“It was a huge step forward for him and he’s a guy I’m really excited to see as the season progresses,” he said. “He will continue to learn and improve each time. “
Kelenic is making an impact despite what the numbers say
The Mariners’ top prospect made his 18th MLB game on Monday, and it’s safe to say that the start of his big-league career didn’t go the way he or the team envisioned – at least in regarding his performance at home plate.
Coming in Tuesday, Kelenic is down .118 / .211 / .235 with two homers, six RBIs, 17 strikeouts and seven walks in 76 appearances at home.
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On Monday, Kelenic went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts, but he also worked two walks and scored one run.
Discussing Kelenic’s performance in Monday’s game, Servais said he believed Kelenic put together quality hitters throughout the game, as evidenced by both walks. He also said that in Kelenic’s ninth inning batting final he fought well and it took a near-perfect pitch to pull it off.
“It happens,” Servais said.
Despite the tough start at home for the player many believe to be the face of the Mariners sooner rather than later, Servais is all-in on Kelenic’s play going forward, mainly because of what he brings to the table when it is not in the drummer box.
“Jarred, he brings so much to the ball game,” Servais said. “I think everyone’s caught up in what they’re doing in the batter’s box or what the batting average looks like. But if you watched the game yesterday, he made a really good play in left field on a ball over his head to save a there, he stole a base, he was moving for a second base volley when (Kyle) Lewis hit a double and he scored on that ball easily, which is not easy to do. This kid can really move on the basics. It’s more than a bat and that’s what we’re starting to see play out.
While some may be clamoring for Kelenic to have a little more free time or even downgraded to the miners rank to get it right, Kelenic will actually take on a bigger role for the Mariners starting Tuesday. Starting center fielder Kyle Lewis suffered what Servais called a “very small meniscus tear” to his right knee while jumping for a ball in the outfield on Monday. Lewis was taken out of the game shortly thereafter and on Tuesday the Mariners placed the 2020 AHL Rookie of the Year on the 10-day injured list. Servais said it is not clear at this point how long Lewis will be out and if he needs surgery.
With Lewis out for the foreseeable future, Kelenic will move from left field to center field, while rookie outfielder Taylor Trammell has been recalled from Triple-A. Trammell and Jake Fraley, who just left IL, are options to play in left field.
Servais is delighted to see Kelenic in this new daily role.
“Realize that Kyle Lewis is going to be out for a while and Jarred Kelenic is going to play in the middle for us and he’s going to do a great job there,” he said. “He can really play defense. There’s a lot going on in his game and the bat is going to come. There is no doubt in my mind.
Servais has made it clear that young players fight early in their careers more often than they start hot, and he believes Kelenic will “get him started” here very soon.
“I have a ton of confidence in him, we really believe in him and he will play center tonight,” Servais said.
The Mariners are trying something different Tuesday with Kelenic in the lineup, however. He will be hitting sixth for the first time, leaving the leadership position he had held until now since joining the Mr.
Ty France back and swing it
Earlier this year, the Mariners were carried offensively by three players – Mitch Haniger, Kyle Seager and Ty France.
Haniger is still the Mariners’ best and most consistent hitter and Seager was solid in 2021, but France started out hot before getting hit on the wrist by a pitch, getting cold for a few weeks and eventually landing on the list of wounded. Now France is back and healthy and reduced by 0.345 / 0.387 / 0.414 with six RBIs in eight games since his return.
TY IT UP 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/q2fsBVqbnZ
– Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) May 31, 2021
“Ty can really swing the bat,” Servais said. “He got a little crazy before he fell and partly because of the injury.”
France were hit in the forearm earlier this year and Servais said some of the swelling affected his hand and “created other problems” for the infielder.
“Maybe it required him to do some things in the batter’s box that he usually doesn’t and swing on pitches he doesn’t swing and obviously he wasn’t getting the results.” he wanted, ”Servais said.
Servais praised France for trying to overcome the injury, but ultimately France has only been away for the required 10 days and has been on fire since returning.
“He’s back and feels perfectly healthy and I think he did a good job (defensively) on first base substituting there as well,” he said. “It’s great to have him in our roster. We certainly need him. He’s clutch, he’s got the ability to drive in races and we need these guys.
Listen to the full Scott Servais Show at this link or in the player below.
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