Down goes a short king. A tall drink of water emerges in his place. Using all 72 hours of their time allotted to activate a newly acquired player, the Mariners have finally activated former Orioles RHP Mike Wright Jr.. They acquired Wright earlier this week in exchange for low-minors INF Ryne Ogren. To make space for Wright they demoted last night’s piggy-back starter, top prospect LHP Justus Sheffield.
The 6’6 Wright Jr. is an enigmatic talent, with a 3rd round/top-100 pick pedigree. His upper-90s running fastball, inconsistent slider, and erratic command issues understandably draw Connor Sadzeck comparisons, but Seattle’s work with biomechanics in the past couple years has helped boost a few players’ command. Curiously, Wright’s velo has fluctuated between 92-99, pointing to mechanical inconsistencies. If Wright is the next in the line of mechanically improved pitchers here, Seattle will have another solid multi-inning reliever in their stable. If not, well, at least he’ll walk people more quickly than Cory Gearrin.
Sheffield looked about as expected in his Mariners debut. He flashed unhittable stuff, got several whiffs on his slider, and got himself into trouble with shaky command. There’s no real rush on Sheff to be in the bigs, but it’d be nice to see him start executing more consistently. He’ll continue refining those efforts in Tacoma.