I am going to look at the Mariners 40-man roster; let you who should stay and should go. Also I believe the Tacoma Rainiers roster needs a turnover from last season. I am sure there will be those who will move up from Double-A Arkansas.
Dan Altavilla: 2018 turned out mainly to be a loss year because of injuries to his right elbow. He pitched in 22 games with an era of 2.61 era and 23 strikeouts. He would be so valuable as the setup man in the sixth or seventh inning. Also could pitch the 8th if Alex Colome need a rest. He can pitch more than one inning if necessary as well. He was recalled on Oct. 1.
Shawn Armstrong the Mariners acquired last December from the Cleveland Indians. He pitched most of the year for the Tacoma Rainiers where he was the primary closer. He pitched in 49 games with 15 saves in 17 opportunities and an era of 1.77 while walking 26 and striking out batters. The Mariners selected his contract on August 28. He pitched in 14 games for the Mariners mainly being the first guy coming out of the pen in the fifth or sixth inning. A good role for him next season. He had an era of 1.23 and striking out 15 batters.
Chasen Bradford: started the season at Tacoma however was recalled on April 9. After pitching in different circumstances he started becoming one of the first pitchers out of the bullpen. He had a good season for the Mariners. In August he was sent a couple times to Tacoma because the Mariners needed to have a pitcher brought up because of use by a long reliever. He pitched in 46 games with an era of 3.69. Going into August his era was under three but I believe having to go down to Tacoma it hurt his performance. Again he should be in competition for the first pitcher to bring into the game. He is valuable because he can pitcher a couple innings if necessary.
Alex Colome: a big pickup by the Mariners in May from the Tampa Bay Rays. He became the Mariners 8th inning setup man ahead of Edwin Diaz. With the Rays he had been their closer so the Mariners can use him if necessary in the role as well. He pitched in 47 games with 30 holds. First half of the season it was an amazing and important spot to be in because of so many one-run games. He helped get Diaz to have 57 saves. He should be back next season in the same role.
Ryan Cook: a veteran reliever who spent a lot of the season with Tacoma however when the Mariners needed him he was recalled. He was used in the spot Bradford was in when he came up in April where he was pitching in different spots. A lot of times he came in when the Mariners were already behind in games. He hadn’t been in the major leagues since 2015 because of injuries. For the Mariners he pitched in 19 games but had a high era of 5.29. I am not sure he will be back next season. If the Mariners need a spot to be open when acquiring another player he could be one of the first to go. He could play at Tacoma if a spot is open but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is released as well.
Edwin Diaz: not more you can say about this guy. Not only the most valuable pitcher on the Mariners staff he likely will be named Fireman of the year for his 57 saves tying the second highest in major league history. Long as he doesn’t get injured he should become even better than last year if that is possible.
Zake Duke: picked up at trading deadline as left handed specialist however he wasn’t what the Mariners had hoped for. In 27 games with a 5.52 era; expected to be a free agent. I hope the Mariners don’t re-sign him. Look elsewhere for a new lefty for the bullpen.
Roenis Elias: required him in May. Began his time in Tacoma however did pitch in 23 games for the Mariners including starting 4 games. Most of his relief pitching was in long relief. Manager Servais hopes to put him in a better role in 2019. I hope he is able to pitch as a left handed specialist who can go against righties as well. He should get more opportunity to show what he has.
Matt Festa: spent most of the year in double A Arkansas. He was named Mariners minor league reliever of the year. The Mariners brought him up a couple times during the season before the September call up. The Mariners will give him a shot to make the bullpen next season. He is another young reliever who can throw around 100 miles per hour. Instead of going with veteran reliever who may not have much left I do hope he is in the Mariners bullpen next year.
Marco Gonzales: one of the two surprised pitchers in the Mariners starting rotation. He had a record of 13-9 in his first full season in the major leagues. It will be nice if he can add a couple more victories or more next season.
Justin Grimm: pitched in Tacoma after Mariners signed him to a minor league contract when he was released by the Kansas City Royals. Mariners selected him in September when rosters expand. Pitched in only five games. Could be invited to spring training. Stay tuned.
Felix Hernandez: former ace of the Mariners not the pitcher he had been. In August he was sent to the bullpen but pitched in relief only once before going back into the rotation because of injury to Paxton. Felix has one year left on his contract though it will cost the Mariners $25 million they might release him if he doesn’t have a good spring training. The Mariners are hoping he can reinvent himself. Certainly help the Mariners to make the playoffs next season.
Casey Lawrence: a long reliever spent some of the season in Tacoma. Pitched in only eleven games with an era of 7.33. Need the roster spot the Mariners could release him before spring training. I would look elsewhere to find a pitcher for long relief and depth to the bullpen.
Mike Leake: had a so-so 2018 season with 10-10 record. The only good thing going he was able to pitcher 31 games and he kept the Mariners in many of the games he didn’t get a decision on. It would be nice if he can pitch another 31 games this time four more game.
Wade LeBlanc: the other surprise pitcher in the rotation. The Mariners picked him up at the end of spring training after the New York Yankees released him. Started in relief before adding to the rotation. He was able to start 27 games going 9-5 with the lowest era among Mariners starters at 3.72. Depending on whether the Mariners picks up another starter or not he likely will be their fourth or fifth starter. The Mariners signed him to a two-year contract so we know he will have every chance to start next season.
Juan Nicasio: signed to a two-year contract during the off-season as a free agent. The Mariners were hoping he would be the setup reliever before closer Edwin Diaz. During the first half of the season he had up and downs in the role sometimes giving up leads that either cost Mariners games or put them in the spot where Diaz had to save one run games. Early June he was put on the disabled because of his right knee. In August he again was put on the disabled list this time for the season. Currently is on the 60 day disabled list after having to go through surgery. The Mariners are hoping he will be available next season to be the pitcher they hope he would be. This time though he will likely be pitching in sixth or seventh inning.
James Paxton: considered the Mariners ace. Only trouble he wasn’t able to make it through an injury free season having to go on the disabled list a couple times. Highlight was pitching a no-hitter against the Blue Jays in Toronto. He was able to start 28 games with a record of 11-6. It would be nice if the Mariners could win 4 or five more wins next year whether pitching 28 or more. Although the Mariners are not planning to rebuild they could do well by trading Paxton for a couple major league players plus top prospects. I am not saying this because I believe they should however it could help out at the same time. Remember two years ago when during the off-season they traded TaiJuan Walker for Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger. This would be the only way I would trade Paxton.
James Pazos: second year with the Mariners after being traded by the New York Yankees. He can not only be used against lefties but righties as well. If necessary he can pitch a couple innings as well. The Mariners used him in 60 games; he had an era of 2.88. Once again be pitching in the sixth thru the eighth inning. Should again be valuable member of the bullpen.
David Phelps: he was out all season. He had surgery to his right elbow he hurt at the end of last season. The Mariners were hoping Phelps be the setup reliever in the sixth or seventh inning in front of Nicasio. He will be a free agent however spent all season rehabbing in Seattle so they are hoping to sign him to a new contract. Being healthy he would be a good addition to the bullpen pitching in the sixth or seventh inning leading up to Colome and Diaz.
Max Povse: One of the Mariners top pitching prospects. He was out some of the season starting in only in 18 games between Tacoma triple A team and Arkansas double A. He has been in the minor leagues five years and is only 25 years old so I am sure the Mariners still giving a shot. He was activated to roster on October 1. Wouldn’t surprise me he starts the season at Tacoma and gives Mariners depth to bring up during 2019 if necessary
Erasmo Ramirez: he spent most of 2018 on the disabled list or rehabbing. He came up to the club in August to take Felix Hernandez’s spot in the rotation. He did have times he looked good however gave up runs early in the ball games. There is a good possibility the Mariners will release him before training camp. The only thing going for him is he can pitch starting and relieving however the Mariners are looking at adding depth in both department.
Nick Rumbelow: pitch well limited time in Tacoma however pitched poorly in his limited time in Seattle. I am not sure they will give him an opportunity with other pitchers ready to go in the bullpen. We will see won’t we.
Sam Tuivailala: Mariners traded for him close to the end of the trading deadline with the St. Louis. Unfortunately got hurt when running a base-runner back to third base. He is 25 years old so has a good future to be part of the bullpen. Probably won’t be ready to go at the beginning of the season hopefully though be able to go in the second half.
Nick Vincent: third season with the Mariners. His season didn’t look good as the following two season however his stats looked about the same. I think a lot depends when coming into the game. The Mariners were in a lot of one run games as well. He will have play his way onto the team I believe with several pitchers vying for the same spot. He is a veteran so could help him out.
Adam Warren: Here is another pitcher the Mariners picked up at the trading deadline. How the Mariners performed in the second half he probably pitched better than it looked. The main difference I see in his stats between being with the Yankees and his time in Seattle he pitched more frequently with the Mariners because the amount of games were about the same. So pitched two months with Seattle compared to four months in New York. In New York he pitched more than an inning while just under an inning with the Mariners. He had more than twice as many strikeouts in New York as well. Tells me he isn’t used to pitching so much. Expected to be a free agent so not sure he will be back with the Mariners.
Next post on the Mariners look at the 40-man roster or more with the position players.