Notes: Gerber's debut; Graveman update

August 6th, 2020

SEATTLE -- It would be the easy pun to label as a baby, given his last name. But it’s also an apt description of his baseball experience, since the 23-year-old had pitched just 22 2/3 innings at the Double-A level in the Minors last year before making his MLB debut Tuesday for the Mariners.

So, of course, the second batter he faced was Albert Pujols, who has 2,831 games and 20 seasons of Major League experience under his belt. But Gerber retired Pujols as well as Brian Goodwin and Tommy La Stella in a 1-2-3 sixth inning in Seattle’s 5-3 loss to the Angels and was left with the memory of his young lifetime.

“It was really cool to look back and see I got Pujols out, because he’s a [future] Hall of Fame player,” Gerber said. “When you’re a kid, I was playing with him on Backyard Baseball. I’m 10 years old and he’s on my team in a video game. So to face him in real life is pretty cool.”

Gerber, an eighth-round Draft pick out of Illinois in 2018, is one of the more promising young power arms coming up in the Mariners’ system, and manager Scott Servais said he could fill an immediate role in the middle of the rebuilding bullpen.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander was at the club’s alternate training site in Tacoma, Wash., before getting added to the 30-man roster on Tuesday and acknowledged getting off to a slow start at Summer Camp after spending the down time in Minnesota throwing against a tree in his parent’s backyard and playing catch with a friend.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity,” he said. “I’m just excited to be playing baseball again.”

Graveman to miss more than one start
Servais said right-handed starter is still undergoing tests on his neck problem and “we’re getting a little closer to figuring it out.”

Graveman was placed on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday with the initial hope was he might return shortly, but that thought appears to be changing.

“He’s going to be out some time,” Servais said. “This is going to be more than one start.”

Left-handed reliever Nick Margevicius will take Graveman’s spot on Saturday against the Rockies, and while he’s pitched only five innings over three outings, Servais hopes Margevicius can go four innings or so.

Margevicius, 24, came up through the Minors as a starter and posted a 6.79 ERA in 17 outings (including 12 starts) last year for the Padres after jumping from Double-A to the big leagues.

Moore making up for lost time
Utility man has been one of the early-season standouts for Seattle and is getting more and more playing time in the outfield after getting off to a hot start at the plate. Moore missed most of Summer Camp after testing positive for COVID-19, but he was asymptomatic and didn’t waste any time getting back in the swing of things once he was cleared to return.

“Just hard work,” said Moore. “I knew I was prepared before I had to sit those couple weeks. So coming off of that, I knew I just had to do a little bit of a rush version, but the same thing I normally would do to get ready for a season. And just being here, getting to the stadium finally and being around the guys really got me going. It’s fun to be around everybody. This is what I want to do.”

Servais said the 28-year-old is earning regular playing time in the corner-outfield spots.

“Every time I’ve put him in there, the quality of at-bats [are good], and I think he’s surprised people with as much power as he has,” Servais said. “He’s got a quick bat and is pretty strong and a real good athlete. When he’s producing, he will keep playing. That’s the way it goes right now. He sees an opportunity and he wants to grab it.”

Mariners have five in Pipeline’s updated Top 100
MLB Pipeline has updated its Top 100 Prospects list -- inserting players from the recent June Draft -- and the Mariners have five players in that group now, with first-round Draft pick right-hander Emerson Hancock debuting at No. 39.

Jarred Kelenic ranks No. 12, with fellow outfielder Julio Rodriguez at No. 19.

Hancock, drafted out of Georgia with the sixth overall selection, was inserted just above 2018 first-round pick right-hander Logan Gilbert, who is at No. 44. First baseman Evan White -- currently in the Majors -- is the other Mariners prospect in the top 100 at No. 62.