Blowers: Sailors Cal Raleigh sees results due to a difference

The Seattle Mariners are seeing positive developments from several young homegrown players this season and Cal Raleigh is among those on that list.

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The 25-year-old receiver, hitting the button, started the season slowly, which was worrying as even his first taste of the big league was tough in 2021. But since he’s back from a short stint with Triple-A Tacoma In early May, the 2018 Round 3 MLB Draft pick most resembled the player he was during a rapid rise through the minors.

In his last 27 games, Raleigh has scored seven home runs, five doubles, nine walks and 17 RBI for Seattle. And while his .227 average and .303-based percentage at the same time isn’t necessarily something to write home about, his .523 slugging and .826 OPS are. And it’s definitely all a lot better than the .065 / .194 / .161 slash line and .356 OPS he had in the previous 14 games.

What was the difference for Raleigh? That’s the question that was put to Mariners analyst Mike Blowers of ROOT Sports Wednesday during his weekly conversation with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob. For Blowers, a former MLB third baseman who had 23 homers and 96 RBI for the M’s in 1996, it’s about “being on time” against big league fastballs.

“I think the first thing for any hitter is that you have to be on time and you have to be on time for the heater. It’s especially true in today’s game with the speed these guys are dealing with, ”Blowers said. “And I think for Cal, he’s gotten to a point where he first had to get there in time for the fastball, and he understood that. That is, lower your foot a little earlier, have your hands in the position you are ready to shoot in, and then make a decision immediately because how much time you have is next to nothing. And then when you shoot, trust me.

Blowers explained the effect a simple thing can have on a hitter.

“I think once you make these adjustments and you get some positive results, and he definitely saw that, suddenly you start taking advantage of other things: the hanging ball breaking, the bad change. When big league pitchers make their field where they want, it’s difficult for any hitter to do well, but I think more than anything else for him to be punctual with the quick ball. “

Blowers said he saw Raleigh swing in Tuesday’s 8-2 Mariners win in Oakland which was a good sign even though he didn’t put the ball in play.

“He had a swing last night on a fastball that was 95 or 96 mph in the inside corner, but it was over the top of the zone,” Blowers recalled. “He hit two strikes, was protecting the plate and said foul – I think he did it to me (in the transmission booth). And for me this was good. He was like, OK, he’s on time because he wouldn’t normally get to that court. And I know he didn’t hit it (in play), but he kept himself alive on a pitch that was on the edge to move it to the end (the pot look). And when you start seeing things like that, when the pitcher throws a pitch and you’re able to catch a piece of it – especially a legitimate quick ball on top of the zone – it just lets me know I’m in a good spot. “

Raleigh is in line-up for the Mariners Wednesday night as they continue their streak against the Oakland A’s at Seattle Sports. The pre-match show begins at 5:30 pm, with the first tone set for 6:40 pm. For information on how to stream Mariners matches on the Seattle Sports app or SeattleSports.com, click here.

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