Looking At Mariners Bullpen

The Seattle Mariners 2017 bullpen probably won’t look a lot difference than the one that ended the 2016 season. The one spot that will change is having at least one left handed reliever that is different and another that ended the season in the Mariners rotation.

The Mariners traded Vidal Nuno who spent all last season in the Mariners’ bullpen to the Los Angeles Dodgers for catcher Carlos Ruiz. The thing about Nuno he was not a left handed specialist in the same mold of Charlie Furbush who was out all season with injury for the Mariners. In fact Furbush is no longer on the Mariners roster and won’t pitch again this coming season. Nuno was primarily a long reliever though he wasn’t used in that spot much of last season either. So now Jerry Dipoto decided he needed a left handed specialist so he went out and signed free agent Marc Rzepczynski. He likely is the pitcher to fill that spot though the team did sign a few others or have other’s competing but mostly for depth. I expect that a couple of those guys will start in triple A Tacoma. The other left handed reliever to be the bullpen most likely will be Ariel Maranda who started the off-season as the second left handed in the starting rotation along with James Paxton however a couple trades put him more likely in the bullpen but will add depth to the rotation as well.

Outside of the left handed relievers doesn’t leave much in the bullpen for a new comer to make the squad though Dipoto did add more depth. Going into the season Edwin Diaz is expected to be the closer. The Mariners do have other guys that throw the ball hard like Diaz competing for at least one spot in the bullpen. Dan Altavilla who came up in August will be one of those candidates. He does have options so he could be sent down without any problem if necessary. Another one competing is Tony Zych who missed almost all last season. Also the Mariners traded for Shae Simmons who the Mariners traded for with the Atlanta Braves.

Besides Diaz the other guys that will most likely be in the bullpen are Steve Cishek the closer at the beginning of last season is expected to pitch the eighth inning and possibly close when Diaz isn’t available, however, he may start the season on the disable list because off-season surgery. Nick Vincent is another one who will pitch either the seventh or eighth inning. Evan Scribner who was out most of the season except September when he had an outstanding time could be the first guy out of the bullpen in the sixth or seventh especially with runners on base. It was what he did very well in September. If those guys all make the bullpen out of spring training that leaves one spot open along with another having Cishek on the disabled list. That will leave several guys to battle for those spots. Dan Altavilla should be the leading candidate however he does have options to go back down to the minor leagues. Someone would have to have an outstanding spring to bump him or he has a poor spring. This will leave several down in the minor leagues to be ready when and if necessary.

Next time look at the infield and the catchers. Of course it will depend what other transactions that Jerry Dipoto may make.

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