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Logan Gilbert named AL Pitcher of the Month

After a rookie year filled with some ups and downs, Logan Gilbert has settled in nicely at the top of the Mariners rotation

Kansas City Royals v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

For the first time since 2017, the Seattle Mariners have an AL Pitcher of the Month. Of course it is Logan Gilbert, who was absolutely sterling this month.

To summarize, here’s what Logan Gilbert did in April:

  • 3-0 record;
  • 1 earned run for an ERA of 0.40;
  • lowest ERA in the AL and lowest single-month ERA in Mariners history (min. 20 IP);
  • K-BB% of 22.2% (K% of 26%, BB% under 5%);
  • Opponent average of just .188; he ranks in the 80th percentile in baseball in limiting barrels.

Gilbert’s rookie campaign wasn’t unsuccessful by any means, but his ERA/FIP from 2021 are a little more pedestrian, back-end starterish than the sterling effort he’s put forth so far this season. Part of that is no doubt due to experience gained with pitching at the game’s highest level, but he’s also made specific improvements with his secondary pitches, as Mikey wrote about in Gilbert’s 40 in 40, and as John outlined regarding his changeup the other day. The changeup, specifically, is a new fun instrument in Gilbert’s arsenal that helps him attack lefties better, and it currently has the highest whiff percentage of all his pitches, at 25%. As Gilbert’s comfort with his arsenal grows, he’s finding new ways to get batters out, and that is very bad news for opposing hitters, and very good news for Mariners fans.

Because he was so effective in April, Gilbert only recorded 1.2 innings defined as “high leverage” work, but in those high-leverage spots he was even better, striking out half the batters he saw and stranding every runner.

Logan Gilbert is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet in person, but on the mound he becomes someone totally different, an alter ego nicknamed “Walter” (“W” + “alter”). Walter came out in force in these high-leverage spots; this one isn’t from April, but we also saw a glimpse of a pumped-up Gilbert in yesterday’s game:

But the numbers alone don’t fully capture Gilbert’s value to the Mariners. With the team slumping on a four-game loss streak and a red-hot Marlins team on the longest win streak in the NL, the Mariners needed a win badly to salvage a game out of the series and head to Houston on a positive note. A “stopper” in baseball is a pitcher who is able to stop a losing skid by turning in a shutdown effort and go deep into games, thereby saving the bullpen. Gilbert is still working on the second part of that—he needs to be more effective with his pitches in inducing whiffs and putting batters away quickly—but more and more, he’s looking like a reliable bet to put the team in a position to win. That’s a heady ask of a young pitcher, but it’s seeming like Logan Gilbert (and Walter) is up to the task.