Marc W has a tight argument right here, in which he posits that the M's see a hyper-Vincent in Shawn Armstrong. The (compelling) argument is:
- The two RP's throw similar pitches, with rising cutting action;
- Nick Vincent turned around his career by taking these cutters up-and-in on LHB's;
- the M's intend to teach this to Shawn Armstrong.
- Armstrong throws +3 MPH harder than Vincent, so there y'go.
See his site for the details and strike zone maps.
The Mainframe's sense of this: it could factor in; the Mariners could move Armstrong's cutter up-in within the LHB strike zone and benefit from it. However, the 'Frame's initial suspicion is that (1) this filthy power slider and (2) the presence of a 94 MPH cutball generally are what led to his career 12.99 K rate in the minor leagues. Armstrong sizzles his stuff and, from a performance perspective, obviously knows what to do with it.
Scott Servais' statement on Nick Vincent is that his success is based on deception, on an "invisible" release point; that's not to deny that Vincent does indeed "paint" relatively little on LHB's. Servais' understanding of the situation would undersell the comparison between the two pitchers -- not to deny the simple fact that their fastballs are shaped very similarly.
Most depth charts we've seen --- > have Armstrong on the 2018 roster, the 25-man, and with the M's juicy RP options that is saying a lot. Moving the cutball up-in on LHB's may prove to be a factor, though Armstrong may be just fine moving the same pitch around the zone on them.
In either case sell Armstrong a little longer, rather than a little shorter. He's a cool-looking RP at this point. There ain't that many relief pitchers who fanned 13 men per game over the course of 4 years of AAA. We sabermetricians pay more attention to how players perform, than to what experts say about them.