Mariners Minors: Early Fall League Update Part One
By Adam Levi
The Mariners organization is once again participating in the Arizona Fall League. This time around, the Mariners have chosen four pitching prospects to continue to hone their skills in the shortened autumn season. After two games played, here is how those players are doing.
The Mariners may not be in the playoffs and the weather may be getting colder, but the M’s top pitching prospects are hoping to heat up the Arizona Fall League.
The four players that have been elected to take part in the thirty-seven game season will represent the Peoria Javelinas.
Two games into the season, the Javelinas have played tightly contested match-ups, eventually tying in both games. Unfortunately, a large reason the Javelinas aren’t winning is because of poor early performances by the Mariners pitching prospects.
Here is where each player stands heading into tonight’s third game.
The Mariners have sent four pitchers to the fall league this years. Headlined by the team’s number five prospect, Luiz Gohara, the M’s have also chosen Dylan Unsworth of AA Jackson, Emilio Pagan of AAA Tacoma and Thyago Vieira of A Bakersfield to join the Javelinas roster.
On opening day this past Tuesday, Gohara and Pagan were roughed up. Coming in midway through the game, they each had a chance to maintain the Javelinas lead, but failed.
It should be noted, in the shortened seasons, pitchers are rotated in and out much like an All-Star game. This gives every pitcher on the roster a chance to showcase their ability.
Gohara had his first licks in the fifth and sixth to shutdown the Salt River Rafters. And, even though he struck out five men over 1.2 innings, he didn’t do himself, or the Javelinas any other favors. He would give up two runs on three hits and walk a batter.
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That’s not the way a man who went 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA over thirteen games in the minors this past year should star the AFL season.
Pagan would come in to replace Gohara, but things would be even more disastrous for him. The Javelinas were holding a 4-2 lead when Pagan took the mound in the sixth. When the seventh rolled around, Pagan imploded. He allowed four runs on three hits and added a walk to his stat line. The lead was gone, and the Javelinas were now down 6-4.
This was uncharacteristic for Pagan as well who had great numbers in 2016. In total he went 5-3 with a 2.49 ERA.
The Javelinas would go on to tie the ballgame 7-7 in eleven innings. The other two pitching prospects didn’t get the chance to take the mound on Tuesday, but one of them would highlight in Wednesday’s game.
Last night the Javelinas would be in another thriller that would go late into the night. Only Thyago Vieira would step into the ballgame to represent the Mariners pitching prospects. He would fare better than the other two men the night before, but would still be underwhelming.
In the seventh and eighth innings, Vieira would strike out two batters, but would give up the same amount of hits.
Then, with a 7-6 lead in the eighth, Vieira allowed a stolen base. With the runner on first attempting to steal second, the player at third watched the play unfold and waited for his chance to take home. It was heads up base running that the Javelinas couldn’t stop. Vieira and his teammates let the lead slip away as the runner would cross home plate.
The game would finish 7-7 for the second straight night. The Javelinas now sit in last place in the AZL West Division with a record of 0-0-2.
Next: Mariners Miranda The Next Cuban Pitching Star?
Hopefully within the next thirty-five games the Mariners pitching prospects will have better showings. So far, three of their four top promising pitchers haven’t had a pleasant start to the fall league. More importantly, if these types of outings keep reoccurring, how will it effect their standing with the club?