The Mariners played their third game of the Spring against the Chicago Cubs yesterday. It was the first televised Mariners game this Spring and it was a fun one to watch. Prospects Jarred Kelenic and Taylor Trammell homered but there is much more to break down as well.
The Mariners starting lineup
Dylan Moore 2B
D-Moore led off the game and had two at-bats. The utility man didn’t have his best day. He went 0 for 3 at the plate, and made a couple of defensive miscues at second.
In the top of the third inning, Donnie Walton fielded a double-play ball. Moore got a clean transfer but was unable to make an accurate throw to first base.
Kyle Lewis CF
Lewis also had a quiet day at the plate and went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts and a walk in his first at-bat. Kyle struck out swinging on three pitches against Brandon Workman in the top of the fourth.
His last at-bat in the top of the fifth was a lot better though. He worked a full count and fouled off several pitches back to the net. In the end, he was called looking on a high curveball which was pretty high in my opinion.
Ty France 3B
The more I watch Ty, the more I like him. France finished the day 1 for 2. His hist came in the fourth inning against Brandon Workman.
France belted a line drive into left-center field and slid into second with a double. The former Padres infielder is interesting because you’d expect him to hit for power because of his body type, but that’s not him. This hit is the perfect representation of who France is, and it will be a big part of the 2021 season.
Jose Marmolejos 1B
Marmo also had a quiet game and finished 0 for 2, but did manage to score in the fourth inning. Jose grounded out to second baseman in the shift in his first at-bat.
Then in the fourth, the lefty should have been the second out of the inning but Javier Baez threw the ball into the dirt so Marmo ended up on second base. Ty France was also on second base so he scored, making the game 1-4 in the favor of the Cubs.
Jose ended up scoring later in the inning because Jarred Kelenic hit one over the fence.
Cal Raleigh C
The Mariners catching prospect had a solid game at the plate (with the bat I should clarify). He batted 1 for 3 and hit a double in his third at-bat during the sixth inning.
Raleigh also struck out swinging and popped out to Javier Baez barely out of the infield. Cal did have a great at-bat in the second inning although he struck out. He worked a full count and got a tough cutter on the inside corner that he swung over.
On defense, I was rathered impressed with Cal. It was the first time I saw him on TV and I know the organization has been focused on improving his defense. Although there was a passed ball (it was blockable), his receiving/framing looked pretty good.
As a former catcher who focused a lot on pitch receiving and framing, especially in regards to the “new school” of catching, I was very encouraged by what Raleigh was doing during the game. He did an incredible job working bottom to up and catching the ball while moving towards the strike zone.
Jarred Kelenic DH
Kelenic had an uneventful first at-bat, but he peaked the attention of Mariners fans in his second at-bat. In the second inning, Kelenic stepped up to the plate while getting rave reviews from the broadcasters but all he did was swing at the first pitch and ground out.
But when his second at-bat came around, he hit a two-run tank off of Brandon Workman. At first, I honestly thought it was just a deep fly ball because it seemed like he slightly got under it, but he sure proved me wrong.
Jake Fraley RF
Jake Fraley got the start in right field and wasn’t impressive on the offensive side. He put together two decent at-bats, but he struck out both times.
Although he struggled offensively, he did show off his defensive prowess. In the bottom of the first inning, Javier Baez hit a bloop single into right field. Javy tried to push it into a double but Fraley threw a laser to second base to throw him out
And then in the bottom of the second inning, Anthony Rizzo hit a shot to right field but Fraley did an amazing job to track it down and make an athletic catch.
And wait, there is more (sort of). In the bottom of the fourth inning, Fraley gets a ball to his left and makes a diving attempt to make a play. This time, he was unable to corral it and it looked like it came off the heel of his glove. Still, Jake jumped up quickly and made a strong throw to second base to make it a very close play (the runner was safe).
This Spring is crucial for Jake so it will be interesting to see if he can impress with his bat, which he hasn’t done so far.
Taylor Trammell LF
Trammell is an intriguing prospect but has sort of been overlooked due to the Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez hype. Yesterday, Trammell made a name for himself with an even bigger home run than Kelenic. He finished the game 1 for 2.
Taylor also facetimed the ESPN broadcasting group and it was a very fun conversation to listen to. This Trammell kid continues to grow on me.
Donnie Walton SS
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Lastly, Donnie Walton was the nine hitter in the lineup and played shortstop. Walton finished 1 for 2 with a single and stole a base. Walton is another player with a lot to prove this Spring as a former prospect.
Walton doesn’t have any plus tools, but he’s a well-rounded player. You could consider him as one of those scrappy baseball players.
The second Mariners lineup
There weren’t any big names in the second rotation of players like the past couple of games. But there were some nice offensive performances from the second team.
Jack Reinheimer came in the clutch and hit a two-run home run to tie the game in the ninth inning. Jose Godoy got a hit and an important RBI. Eric Filia also got a base hit and scored.
The Mariners pitching
Ljay Newsome started the game and I don’t think his stats tell the whole story. I thought he actually pitched pretty well, despite giving up four hits, and two runs.
He got Anthony Rizzo to ground out to start the game, gave up a weak double down the first baseline to Willson Contreras, got Kris Bryant to pop out, and then gave up a two-run home run to Joc Pederson. Ljay also allowed a bloop single to Baez which led to an out, thanks to Jake Fraley.
So, besides the 3-2 two-seam fastball he left up in the zone to Joc, he just ran into a little bad luck.
The bottom of the second inning is a better indication of how Newsome actually pitched. He forced a weak ground out to second base, struck out Cameron Maybin, walked a batter, allowed a hit, and Jake Fraley made the leaping catch to end the inning.
In addition, Ljay’s four-seam fastball looked pretty fast. He was able to blow away Cameron Maybin with two strikes.
His two-seam fastball also had some great life to it and was effective when he could locate it. Like I said, his numbers might not look appealing but I think his outing was better than the front page says.
As far as the rest of the pitchers, the scoreline should give you a sense of what happened. The Cubs also joined the home run fest and hit three home runs as well. One from Pederson, Rizzo and Hermosillo.
Almost every pitcher gave up a run except for two: Aaron Fletcher and Darren McCaughan. Both threw a scoreless and hitless inning but I was particularly keen on Fletcher’s outing.
Fletcher has the potential to be a top-tier lefty specialist in the MLB, but he just isn’t there yet. His 2021 debut is promising and I am hoping that he can build on it.
Overall, it was good to see the Mariners hitting the ball again since it was a cold day for the bats last game. Clearly pitching needs to improve but luckily it wasn’t our top-tier pitchers getting beat up. The Mariners plays the Rockies today at 12:10 which should be another exciting game. Justus Sheffield is supposed to take the mound against Colorado.