With all the talk about the kids--Rodriguez, Brash and Kirby--at this year's camp, let us take some time to remind ourselves that last year's Mariner rookies are not exactly old news. 25-year old Cal Raleigh might be a victim of a roster crunch to start the season, but he's 35 pounds lighter and ready to take his next step forward. 22-year old Jarred Kelenic hit just .181 last season. It shouldn't surprise anyone if he improved his average 80+ points in his sophomore year. And then there's 24-year old Logan Gilbert, who, of the three, was the most impactful of 2021's Mariners rookies.
Over a strikeout per inning... Just 28 walks allowed over 119+ innings... 1.173 WHIP... .241 batting average against... And the 6'6" righthander won more than he lost, while pitching his best down the stretch for a playoff contending team (In 5 of his 6 September outings, he allowed two runs or fewer).
Two areas Gilbert needs to improve upon, and that he's been working on throughout the offseason...
1) A PUTAWAY PITCH
Gilbert must have led the league in foul balls aloud with 2 strikes in the count. Don't know if there's a statistic which proves that. Really don't want to look it up. Let's just say it felt like an issue. And Logan agrees. "I think my breaking pitch is a little sharper and tighter now," he told Chuck & Buck Monday. "Part of that has to do with the grip, and part of it is throwing it like a fastball. Last year I had it really manipulated from the get-go. In my mind, I was throwing something completely different, trying to make the ball do all kinds of different things, but I find some of the best action on your breaking pitches is throwing it just like a fastball and having a good finish at the end."
2) BULLDOG MENTALITY
Gilbert is a silent storm. Competitiveness rages beneath the hood, though you could never tell it by his calm exterior. So, in looking to add a sharper edge to his demeanor, he's been asking about legends. "I talked with Dan Wilson the other day about Randy Johnson," said Gilbert. "Dan was telling me about his mindset, and how crazy he was out on the mound. Just going right after guys. That's my end-goal mindset, of being something like that."
Logan Gilbert has the potential to be special, and a couple adjustments to grip and mentality could take him where he wants to go, where we all want to see him go.
hear the entire Logan Gilbert interview HERE!