While I was gone for five days to my nephew’s wedding in St. Louis the Seattle Mariners did not play very good ball. The only win was the game where Felix Hernandez outpitched Chris Sale 3-1. I did not hear or watch any of the games I just looked on line when I had the chance although it wasn’t much time for me.
What I amazed during the stretch which I guess I shouldn’t have been was how many transactions that Dipoto made. I am not sure why Wade LeBlanc was designated for assignment during that time. I know he was being used out of the bullpen instead of starting but what happens if one of the starters gets hurt. Also I don’t see the relievers brought in were much better than him. I am sure Dipoto was looking for someone to pitch in short relief compared to long relief. I hope though that LeBlanc will have a chance to comeback when the roster expands in a couple days. He may have to wait for a few days because of going through waivers. There is a possibility that someone will want to pick him up.
With Aoki being sent down for a few days it will be nice to see whether Shawn O’Malley can look like a regular player in left field. He could be a guy that plays regular but play several positions as well. The important thing is to see whether he can hit well in the lineup almost every day. Another one to see will be Heredia. Can he be one to platoon against left handed pitching or turn into an everyday player. He is athletic enough to play defensively late into games but his speed will help if he could do it on a regular basis. Important questions to happen or the Mariners will need to go out and get a corner outfielder. Another question is how soon Tyler O’Neil will be ready to play; would he best to start in a platoon situation or every day or start next season in triple-A.
We can hope questions can be answered for the Mariners while at the same time stay in the race. I expect the next ten games will go forward to answers these questions. The Mariners will need to go 6-4 or even during this stretch at least otherwise if they lose more games than win they will be out of the race. There are a total of thirty-one games remaining going into Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers for the season. Regardless of what happens we do know that the team is going in the right direction.
Pitching is still the big question going into these thirty-one games. How will the starters do and the relievers as well. Can the starters go at least six innings each time out? We see that Felix has rebounded back to his old self however Iwakuma will be able to bounce back after a few bad outings and will James Paxton be the third starter for the Mariners. Tuesday night we will have more answers concerning Paxton. We have to see whether TaiJuan Walker start pitching deep into games or struggle through only five innings. It is important that Miranda can pitch through six innings as well. Whatever answers the Mariners get I see that they will probably go out and get another starter during the off-season. We hope the pitcher will be better than Wade Miley who the Mariners got last off-season but traded to the Orioles. Right now the Mariners don’t look like they have any potential starters in triple-A. Any starters in the minors are probably not going to be ready until 2018 at least.
While I was gone the bullpen made some changes as well. The Mariners brought up another hard throwing right handed pitcher from double-A in Dan Altavilla. He throws around one hundred miles per hours as well like Edwin Diaz. The Mariners look like they will use him as a setup man to Diaz in the same way as Caminero. Both of these guys can be used in the eighth inning and possibly close when Diaz has pitched too many games in a row. Depending where he is used Steve Cishek could still pitch in the ninth inning in place of Diaz too. This does give some flexibility for the bullpen. The future does look bright for the bullpen right now but as we know that could change in a hurry. We just hope that neither Diaz nor Altavilla get into arm trouble. Anyway the future looks bright for the bullpen in the late innings. We can hope that the Mariners can find good pitchers to keep going in the sixth and seventh innings as well.
The Mariners will be facing Cole Hamels on Tuesday night so that will make it tough on the offense but we hope that Paxton can keep it close and the Mariners bullpen will give them a chance to win. So we can say Go M’s.