If only it were 2018, I could make some snarky comment about that “even-year magic”, but it’s 2017 and today was just another great Mariner win over the Giants.
Vogelbach Optioned to Tacoma
Undoubtedly the biggest highlight of the day was the Mariners moving projected Opening Day starter Daniel Vogelbach to AAA Tacoma. Vogelbach hadn’t been excelling this Spring, but his performance was still slightly better, statistically speaking, than that of Danny Valencia, who now gets the full-time role at first base. Slightly is a key word, however, Vogelbach has 57 at-bats this Spring to Valencia’s 50, and has seven more strikeouts than Valencia does. Vogelbach had been struggling of late, going 1-24 with 10 strikeouts over the last 10 games.
He’ll likely go through a similar process that Mike Zunino has gone through over the last few seasons, something manager Scott Servais mentioned to MLB.com’s Greg Johns: “This is very similar to what we did last year with Mike Zunino and James Paxton…We will take the appropriate time and care to make sure that when (Vogelbach) comes to the big leagues, he’s polished enough in the areas that are important.”
While this move is likely frustrating for Vogelbach, seeing the improved performance from Zunino over the last few years, this Spring in particular, is promising. Vogelbach will be back, don’t worry, kids.
Felix is Still Good at Pitching
The world seems to spite me all the time. Like ALL the time. A prime example is the fact that I’ve mentioned multiple times that Felix is on the decline in his career. Then, he comes out and pitches six shutout innings with five strikeouts, only giving up one hit. He may still be bouncing back to who he was before 2016, but he’s still the King, and we should all be happy about that.
Motter Has it in the Bag
With Vogelbach’s move to AAA and O’Malley’s recent appendectomy, Taylor Motter is almost a sure thing for the utility infield/utility everything spot nearing Opening Day. He’s shown great versatility this Spring, including more reps at first base as of late, and showed great production at the plate. He drove in two runs today in the win.
O’Malley is projected to be out for 10 to 14 days, and even after that he might take a bit to be back at 100%. Motter has done more than impress us this Spring, he’s definitely earned it.
Along with Motter’s RBIs, Kyle Seager drove in a run and Ben Gamel hit his third jack of the Spring, but his hair still isn’t as good as Motter’s.
The M’s play a double-header tomorrow, Iwakuma gets the start against Kansas City in Peoria, while Ariel Miranda leads the squad against the Angels.