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Series Preview #46: Diamondbacks @ Mariners

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The Return of Ketel Marte to Seattle

The 76-64 Seattle Mariners just swept a 3 game series last week from the MLB worst Arizona Diamondbacks. (45-95). Seattle dropped 2 of 3 in Houston after leaving Chase field and sit 2.5 games back of the Yankees for the AL Wild Card and 5.5 games back of the Astros in the NL West. The D-backs meanwhile have reclaimed the #1 position in the 2022 draft, being one game worse than the 45-94 Baltimore Orioles in the loss column. The D-backs aren’t messing around in going after that #1 draft pick, losing 10 of their last 11.

It’s kind of a good news bad news scenario in the drive to give younger players more playing time. The good news is over their last 12 games, the “under 30” crowd have garnered 73% of the plate appearances. The bad news is most of them aren’t hitting. Pavin Smith and Andrew Young are just a little below the league average position player during the last couple of weeks. But Varsho, VanMeter, Ellis, McCarthy, and Rojas have all been slumping. Somewhat ironically perhaps, veterans David Peralta and Nick Ahmed have been the most productive. Upping that trade value !

LAST 12 GAMES HITTING

Here is one more view. Year to date batting for the players currently on the 40 man roster. This makes for a cleaner view than looking at the team page at BR or FG as so many players are no longer with the organization

KETEL MARTE is returning to Seattle for the first time since being traded to the Diamondbacks. They may hardly recognize him. He completely transformed his body since leaving Seattle and has become one of the best hitters in the game.

BULLPEN

The D-backs have used an astonishing 13 different relief pitchers just in the last 12 games. Of those, Tyler Clippard is now on the Covid-IL and Caleb Smith’s suspension appeal is still pending, and if he loses that appeal will have to start serving a 10 game suspension right away. Taylor Clarke was just optioned out to Reno a few days ago. It’s not a pretty picture, but then it hasn’t been all season.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

As of this writing on Thursday night the Mariners have not yet posted their starters for this series. I will be driving all day Friday, so unless they post them very early morning, I won’t be able to update this preview until Friday evening.

The Diamondbacks will run out Madison Bumgarner, Humberto Castellanos, and Tyler Gilbert

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 10TH, 7:10 P.M. ARIZONA TIME

Madison Bumgarner Game Log : A streak of 3 bad outings in a row has pushed Bumgarner’s season ERA back up to 4.52 in 123 IP. His most recent start came September 3rd against these very same Mariners, who tagged him for 5 runs in 6 innings of work. Madbum struggled with his command, walking 5 batters and giving up two homers. He was complaining about the balls being too slick and not being able to get a grip.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11TH, 6:10 P.M. ARIZONA TIME

Humberto Castellanos Game Log : 3.65 ERA in 25 IP. Humberto made 7 relief appearances before getting 3 starts spread out over 8 weeks. His most recent start was September 4th also against the Mariners, and he got hit hard, giving up 5 runs in 3 23 IP, on 7 hits, 1 walk and 1 Homer.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH, 1:10 P.M. ARIZONA TIME

Tyler Gilbert Game Log : 3.12 ERA in 35 IP. Gilbert has made 4 starts since his No-Hitter in his first ever major league start. The results have been mixed, but he pitched well in his last start against the Mariners, going 7 innings and allowing just 3 runs while needing just 91 pitches. That was the game the bullpen allowed 7 runs in the top of the 11th.

The Mariners, who despite being 11 games above their pythagorean won-loss record, are a much better team than the D-backs to begin with. They may have an even bigger advantage this series having just faced all three of these starters last week.