Travs' Crismatt halts drilling with 13 K's

Mariners right-hander effective against top Dodgers prospects

Nabil Crismatt, a Spring Training invitee for the Mariners this year, is 34-33 in eight Minor League seasons. (Mark Wagner/Arkansas Travelers)

By Duane Cross / MiLB.com | May 10, 2019 1:23 AM

For Nabil Crismatt, bouncing back from disappointment was a matter of getting his emotions in check.

In his third Texas League start since being reassigned from Triple-A, the right-handed Seattle prospect tied his career high with 13 strikeouts while scattering three hits over six scoreless innings as Double-A Arkansas clipped Tulsa, 4-1, at Dickey-Stephens Park.

Video: Crismatt gets his 13th K for Arkansas

"When he was sent down, it was kind of a blow," Arkansas pitching coach Pete Woodworth said. "It took a couple days to get his feet back under him, but he's done a great job of coming to terms.

"We sat down, went over some things that he needed to do to be successful, a checklist of things. Kudos to him. Tonight, he checked them all."

Crismatt (1-1) struck out at least two batters in each frame and fanned the side in the second inning. He retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced. Zach Reks was awarded first on catcher's interference by Joseph Odom with two outs in the sixth.


Gameday box score


The 24-year-old, who originally signed as a free agent with the Mets in 2012, was especially effective against the Dodgers' top prospects. No. 1 Keibert Ruiz struck out once, third-ranked Gavin Lux whiffed three times. No. 10 DJ Peters, No. 19 Omar Estevez and No. 26 Cristian Santana each were punched out twice.

Lux, who entered the game with homers in four straight games, went 0-for-4, including an eight-inning flyout against Travelers lefty Matt Tenuta.

"We opened the season against Tulsa, and Mitch [Canham, the Travelers manager] and I have coached against these guys the last four years," Woodworth noted. "There are a lot of familiar faces over there. It's amazing the job our pitchers have done.

"We know [Tulsa's] strength and we know our strength. Every team has one. It's just a matter of attacking that strength and gaining confidence. ... Now, you get confidence against guys like Lux, Peters, Ruiz. When you have confidence to attack their strength, you can be successful."

Crismatt last struck out 13 for Class A Advanced St. Lucie in a complete-game 3-2 loss on June 13, 2017.

In earning his first win of the season, the Barranquilla, Colombia, native threw 77 pitches -- 56 for strikes. He was reassigned from Tacoma after going 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA in three starts.

"He did a great job of getting ahead in the count and staying aggressive, it's that simple," Woodworth said. "When you're behind 1-2, 0-2, the chances of winning that at-bat are slim. Crismatt was on the offensive and he was getting ahead.

"Pitchers definitely learn the hard way. They learn quickly that 1-0, 2-0, 3-0 -- even in the big leagues -- it's tough to 'out-stuff' a hitter. Our organization the past four years has done a fantastic job of winning those counts."

Crismatt was ahead 0-1 on 13 batters, and eight ended with a punchout.

Woodworth said when or if the Spring Training invitee gets back to Tacoma is above his pay grade.

2019 MiLB include

"It's tough in Triple-A. Guys want to be in the big leagues, especially those in Tacoma, being so close [to Seattle]," said Woodworth, who pitched for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Rays in 2010. "For Crismatt, one of those boxes he has to keep checking is to be here in the moment, be in Arkansas and don't look forward, don't look at Tacoma.

"It is easy to drift away from being in the present. He has to keep developing here."

Seventh-ranked Mariners prospect Kyle Lewis went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored for the Travelers. Logan Taylor also had two singles, his fourth multi-hit effort in the last six games.

Tulsa's Jared Walker was 2-for-3 with a double and Santana added a solo home run.

Justin De Fratus (1-2) was tagged with the loss after yielding four runs on eight hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out three.

Closer Dan Altavilla allowed one hit and struck out one in 1 2/3 frames to earn his second save.

Duane Cross is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DuaneCrossMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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