Today was a remarkably busy Wednesday in Mariners baseball. First off, if you missed it, there were a few transactions.
Servais confirms Andrew Moore will start tomorrow vs Tigers. Yovani Gallardo moving to bullpen role. Gaviglio will start Saturday.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) June 21, 2017
The Mariners brought up Andrew Moore to provide a spark where Yovani Gallardo has struggled, and seem to hope Gallardo's stuff will play up in the bullpen. It is possible, certainly. What it will definitely do cause him to play for fewer innings, which I am not going to complain about. Christian Bergman was sent down to make space on the 25-man while Tacoma's Tyler Cloyd was DFA'd to make room on the 40-man. The rotation now sits as Paxton/Moore/Hernandez/Gaviglio/Miranda. For more on Moore, Kate and I went in depth on him today here, while the future options for the rotation as a whole were investigated by Jake here. Other moves were also made, including the incredibly speedy return of Jean Segura.
Segura activated off DL and will lead off tonight. Gamel hitting second.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) June 21, 2017
Tyler Smith optioned to Tacoma.
Segura will hit leadoff and Ben Gamel will hit second. Scott Servais noted this will be the orientation for now vs. RHPs, with Gamel flipping with Mitch Haniger when facing LHPs. Looking way ahead, the Mariners also secured their new top pitching prospect, RHP Sam Carlson, to a signing bonus worth $2 million.
2nd-rder Sam Carlson signs w/@Mariners for $2 mil (pick 55=$1,206,900). Minnesota HS RHP, one of best combos of stuff & polish in @MLBDraft.— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 21, 2017
All of that is prelude to what on paper looks like the most exciting game of the series. The Mariners put out James Paxton following a couple shaky outings. He has said his struggles have been mechanical, not physical. Looking at the release point data I haven't seen anything dramatically different, but hopefully there's something more that he can sort out. Opposing him is Justin Verlander, the long-time foil of Felix Hernandez, who has seen his resurgence last year evaporate into mediocrity this season, as his walk rate sits at a career-high 11.6% and his ability to get batters to chase out of the zone has dropped four percent from 2016 to an O-Swing of just 30.3%, roughly league-average. The lineup is perhaps the first time the nine best players at each position have taken the field together for the Mariners. It's one game, but tonight is a good night to win a series.
|DETROIT TIGERS||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Ian Kinsler - 2B||Jean Segura - SS|
|Nick Castellanos - 3B||Ben Gamel - LF|
|Miguel Cabrera - 1B||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|J.D. Martinez - RF||Nelson Cruz - DH|
|Justin Upton - LF||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|John Hicks - DH||Danny Valencia - 1B|
|Mikie Mahtook - CF||Mitch Haniger - RF|
|James McCann - C||Jarrod Dyson - CF|
|Jose Iglesias - SS||Mike Zunino - C|
|Justin Verlander - RHP||James Paxton - LHP|
Game Time: 7:10 PM PT
Radio: 710 AM ESPN Seattle, 750 AM KXTG Portland, 1040 AM TSN Vancouver B.C.