Every Friday, we dive into the top headlines surrounding the hometown team and highlight the homer of the week. This "Headlines and Homers" edition includes another rookie joining the rotation, the latest on J.P. Crawford, and the biggest blast of the week.
Hancock makes a mark in debut
Emerson Hancock, the Mariners' first-round pick from the 2020 MLB Draft, became the third rookie starting pitcher to make his MLB debut this season. The number six overall pick joined fellow rookies Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo in a stellar rotation that looks primed for a deep run.
The 24-year-old fired five innings of one-run ball using a heavy arms-side running fastball, his slider, and occasional changeup to keep a potent San Diego Padres lineup off balance. Hancock is lined up to start next Tuesday in Kansas City.
Crawford could see time off this weekend
It's easy to make the case of J.P. Crawford being the Mariners' most valuable player this season. After an offseason spent bulking up and working on swing changes with Driveline, the unofficial captain is in the AL Top 10 in on-base percentage and walks. He's also surpassed his previous career high, launching his 10th homer this week. Unfortunately, he collided with Eugenio Suarez on a slow roller and took a shot to the jaw.
The team is running the 26-year-old through concussion protocol, and he could sit this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles. In related news, utilityman Sam Haggerty was pulled from the Tacoma Rainiers' lineup last night. You can do the math.
Remarkable pitching development
In the past two-plus years, we've seen the Mariners add Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Bryce Miller, Bryan Woo, and now Emerson Hancock to the big-league rotation. MLB Insider Jeff Passan joined Seattle Sports 710-morning show Brock and Salk, highlighting the Mariners' penchant for developing young arms.
"They have essentially developed a full rotation internally," Passan said. "That is a ridiculous thing to do over the course of two years."- Jeff Passan, MLB Insider
Odds are the team goes to a six-man rotation when Woo returns on August 20th, which will help keep these young guns fresh for what looks like an exciting stretch run.
Homer of the Week
Seattle's backstop, Cal Raleigh, has one of those swings that tells the fans when the ball is gone. Maybe it's the helicopter finish or his ability to deliver when the stakes are high, but Raleigh's longball swing is something else. Well, it was on display on Wednesday in a 1-1 game, and let's say he delivered, again.
The 26-year-old Raleigh earns the "Homer of the Week" award for the third time this season. Here's hoping the Big Dumper stays hot as the Mariners kick off a pivotal three-game set with the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles tonight.