Logan Gilbert made his way to the mound for the first time this Spring, starting Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians. We all had high expectations for Logan this year, but it seems like he may be ready to surpass those.
Last year, Gilbert averaged 95.3 on his 4-seamer and 83.4 on his slider. The velocity on the 4-seamer was up a little bit in his start, and he would sit in that 95-96 range, touching on 98. The big change, and the one that had fans going crazy, was the increased velocity on his slider.
You might think he added a couple of MPH to his slider. You know, getting it to 86 or so. Nope, you would be off by quite a bit. He was touching 90-91 on his slider! That’s an incredible increase, and it’ll be fun to see if he can hold that deeper into starts throughout the year.
Logan Gilbert looks ready to push for All-Star status in 2022 for the Mariners
Last year, Gilbert had 71 of his 128 K’s from his fastball. In the game against the Guardians, he finished with six strikeouts, but only one of them came from the heater. That is more impressive to me than the velo increase. If he can have a solid three-pitch mix in 2022, or at least be more threatening with either the change or the curve, he’s going to become an incredibly dangerous pitcher.
Gilbert wasn’t the only one that stood out in the Mariners win. Abraham Toro continued his hot start by ripping a triple and is sitting at .500 this Spring. He scored the first run of the game for the Mariners on a Tom Murphy single, which was his first hit of the Spring so far.
Newly acquired Billy Hamilton came in late in the game in place of Haniger and immediately made an impact. In his first at-bat with the Mariners, he knocked in a couple of runs with a two-run double in the 8th innings. Then, some kid named Julio stayed hot, going 1-1 and increasing his slash line to .364/.417/.727.
Justus Sheffield also got his first taste of ball this Spring. He came in to throw the 4th and 5th innings for the M’s and looked great while doing it. He gave up just one hit while striking out two, and it is great news for Sheff as he looks to possibly make that 5th rotation spot, or at least a lefty long-relief role out of the bullpen.
It was a great day all around for the Mariners, and Logan Gilbert stands out as the biggest winner of the day. If he can bring stuff like that to a full 2022 season, we are all in for a fantastic year.