Look At Current Bullpen For Mariners

When we look at the forty man roster you can see that Jerry Dipoto general manager of the Mariners will need to add some pitchers to compete for the bullpen. Not only are they limited with bullpen pitchers right now most of the guys have little experience. So here is a look at who the Mariners show on the roster. 

When we look at the forty man roster you can see that Jerry Dipoto general manager of the Mariners will need to add some pitchers to compete for the bullpen. Not only are they limited with bullpen pitchers right now most of the guys have little experience. So here is a look at who the Mariners show on the roster. 

I will list the bullpen pitchers in alphabet order along with what they did last year. 

Ruben Alaniz: primarily pitched at Durham in the Tampa Bay organization. Could have an outside shot to make the Mariners. He pitched in 20 games with an era of 4.00. He did strike out 35 batters in 27 innings and only gave up one home run. Most likely he will start the season Tacoma. He has had experience as a starting pitcher so likely would be a long reliever if he makes the roster.

Dan Altavilla: a familiar face to the Mariners. He started last season in Seattle however did have injuries keeping his pitching to a limit. 2018 was his third year spending some time in the bullpen he pitched in 22 games with an era of 2.61. He has a fastball known to get up to the high 90s and peak at 100 mph. If he is able to stay healthy he could be the Mariners setup man in the seventh or eighth inning. Also could close in the 9th inning as well. 

Shawn Armstrong: he spent most of last year in Tacoma as the team’s closer. The Mariners could use him in multiple roles this year. He had some previous major league experience with the Cleveland Indians. The Mariners recalled Armstrong in September where he often was the first pitcher out of the bullpen. The Mariners could use him in that role this coming season as well as other times. Like Altavilla, the Mariners could use him as the closer at times too.

Gerson Bautista: he came in the trade where the Mariners traded Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. He is one of the prospects the Mariners picked up. He likely will be invited to training camp but will probably start the season in AA or AAA. He is one of the relievers the Mariners will have as depth this coming season. He is 23 years old so his future is a year or two away. 

Chasen Bradford: he had a solid first half of the season but didn’t pitch as well in the second half as he went up and down between Seattle and Tacoma. He could again be the first pitcher out of the bullpen or pitch later in the game as well. He isn’t known as a fastball pitcher either. He is a solid reliever though. He could pitch more than an inning if needed to be called upon. Since he has more experience than many of the candidates at this point he has a pretty good chance of making the ball club. 

Brandon Brennan: so far a minor league pitcher who was a starter when he began his career but switched to the bullpen in 2016. He is another pitcher likely start in Tacoma as depth in case of injuries. 

Roenis Elias: the Mariners brought back in a trade last May with the Boston Red Sox. He spent most of last year in the Mariner bullpen when he was brought up from Tacoma. He did start four games. The Mariners could use him as the fifth starter or be used in the bullpen. Right now he is the second lefty in the bullpen so the Mariners could use him in a variety of ways. 

Matt Festa: he was the Mariners minor league pitcher of the year spending most of his time in Double-A. Depending on how he does in spring training could begin in either Triple-A or in the Mariners’ bullpen. He could be one of the Mariners setup men or be the closer as well. In the long run, he could be the closer.

Zac Rosscup: the Mariners signed Rosscup as the lefty specialist out of the bullpen. He missed a lot of action because of injuries last year. He was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dipoto will look to sign another pitcher as a left specialist however Rosscup will get his chance anyway.

Nick Rumbelow: another pitcher having limited action in the minor leagues last year both in Double-A and Triple-A for the Mariners. Last time he was in the major leagues was 2015 with the Yankees. Just another guy the Mariners are taking a chance on and likely is used as depth. If he starts the season with the Mariners he will probably take one of the last spots in the bullpen, otherwise, he will be in Tacoma.

Anthony Swarzak: veteran pitcher the Mariners picked up in the Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz trade. The lack of experience the Mariners have in the bullpen he could be the main setup reliever or the closer for that matter. Last year he was injured a good part of the year pitching in only 29 games in relief with an era of 6.15. The previous year 2017 he pitched solidly with the Chicago White Sox than the New York Mets in relief. He pitched in 70 games between both teams with 27 holds. If he pitches anything like that for the Mariners in 2019 I would not be surprised the Mariners trade him by the trading deadline for prospects. 

Sam Tuivailala: the Mariners picked Tuivailala in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals at the trading deadline. However, in August he was injured and he needed to have surgery in the off-season. Likely he won’t be ready for the opening of the season. He will find an important part of the Mariner bullpen when he returns. He is only 26 years old with two good solid seasons in the major leagues. I am sure Dipoto considers him  an important part of the bullpen in the years ahead.

Right now I only see four solid relievers with major league experience right now plus Tuivailala when he returns. Dipoto needs to look at picking up at least two pitchers with major league experience. Not just pitchers we would consider fringe but have someone that is capable. David Phelps who was out all last season hasn’t signed with anyone as a free agent so if he can be signed at a bargain price the Mariners could bring him back. This would be a kind of pitcher the Mariners could use. 

I am sure Dipoto is busy looking for someone to fit in the bullpen. I wouldn’t be surprised something happens real soon. Go M’s. 

I will list the bullpen pitchers in alphabet order along with what they did last year. 

Ruben Alaniz: primarily pitched at Durham in the Tampa Bay organization. Could have an outside shot to make the Mariners. He pitched in 20 games with an era of 4.00. He did strike out 35 batters in 27 innings and only gave up one home run. Most likely he will start the season Tacoma. He has had experience as a starting pitcher so likely would be a long reliever if he makes the roster.

Dan Altavilla: a familiar face to the Mariners. He started last season in Seattle however did have injuries keeping his pitching to a limit. 2018 was his third year spending some time in the bullpen he pitched in 22 games with an era of 2.61. He has a fastball known to get up to the high 90s and peak at 100 mph. If he is able to stay healthy he could be the Mariners setup man in the seventh or eighth inning. Also could close in the 9th inning as well. 

Shawn Armstrong: he spent most of last year in Tacoma as the team’s closer. The Mariners could use him in multiple roles this year. He had some previous major league experience with the Cleveland Indians. The Mariners recalled Armstrong in September where he often was the first pitcher out of the bullpen. The Mariners could use him in that role this coming season as well as other times. Like Altavilla, the Mariners could use him as the closer at times too.

Gerson Bautista: he came in the trade where the Mariners traded Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. He is one of the prospects the Mariners picked up. He likely will be invited to training camp but will probably start the season in AA or AAA. He is one of the relievers the Mariners will have as depth this coming season. He is 23 years old so his future is a year or two away. 

Chasen Bradford: he had a solid first half of the season but didn’t pitch as well in the second half as he went up and down between Seattle and Tacoma. He could again be the first pitcher out of the bullpen or pitch later in the game as well. He isn’t known as a fastball pitcher either. He is a solid reliever though. He could pitch more than an inning if needed to be called upon. Since he has more experience than many of the candidates at this point he has a pretty good chance of making the ball club. 

Brandon Brennan: so far a minor league pitcher who was a starter when he began his career but switched to the bullpen in 2016. He is another pitcher likely start in Tacoma as depth in case of injuries. 

Roenis Elias: the Mariners brought back in a trade last May with the Boston Red Sox. He spent most of last year in the Mariner bullpen when he was brought up from Tacoma. He did start four games. The Mariners could use him as the fifth starter or be used in the bullpen. Right now he is the second lefty in the bullpen so the Mariners could use him in a variety of ways. 

Matt Festa: he was the Mariners minor league pitcher of the year spending most of his time in Double-A. Depending on how he does in spring training could begin in either Triple-A or in the Mariners’ bullpen. He could be one of the Mariners setup men or be the closer as well. In the long run, he could be the closer.

Zac Rosscup: the Mariners signed Rosscup as the lefty specialist out of the bullpen. He missed a lot of action because of injuries last year. He was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dipoto will look to sign another pitcher as a left specialist however Rosscup will get his chance anyway.

Nick Rumbelow: another pitcher having limited action in the minor leagues last year both in Double-A and Triple-A for the Mariners. Last time he was in the major leagues was 2015 with the Yankees. Just another guy the Mariners are taking a chance on and likely is used as depth. If he starts the season with the Mariners he will probably take one of the last spots in the bullpen, otherwise, he will be in Tacoma.

Anthony Swarzak: veteran pitcher the Mariners picked up in the Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz trade. The lack of experience the Mariners have in the bullpen he could be the main setup reliever or the closer for that matter. Last year he was injured a good part of the year pitching in only 29 games in relief with an era of 6.15. The previous year 2017 he pitched solidly with the Chicago White Sox than the New York Mets in relief. He pitched in 70 games between both teams with 27 holds. If he pitches anything like that for the Mariners in 2019 I would not be surprised the Mariners trade him by the trading deadline for prospects. 

Sam Tuivailala: the Mariners picked Tuivailala in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals at the trading deadline. However, in August he was injured and he needed to have surgery in the off-season. Likely he won’t be ready for the opening of the season. He will find an important part of the Mariner bullpen when he returns. He is only 26 years old with two good solid seasons in the major leagues. I am sure Dipoto considers him  an important part of the bullpen in the years ahead.

Right now I only see four solid relievers with major league experience right now plus Tuivailala when he returns. Dipoto needs to look at picking up at least two pitchers with major league experience. Not just pitchers we would consider fringe but have someone that is capable. David Phelps who was out all last season hasn’t signed with anyone as a free agent so if he can be signed at a bargain price the Mariners could bring him back. This would be a kind of pitcher the Mariners could use. 

I am sure Dipoto is busy looking for someone to fit in the bullpen. I wouldn’t be surprised something happens real soon. Go M’s. 

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Dipoto Signs Japanese Pitcher

When we think Jerry Dipoto is taking a break like everyone else we find out he isn’t. 

On Monday afternoon we hear reports the Mariners have signed Japanese left-handed 27-year-old starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi to a four-year contract. Actually, it is a 3-yr contract with an option by the player for a fourth year. It is more complicated because the Mariners can add on another 4 years after the three years to make it a total of seven years. 

As far as the contract has been reported the three years will be for $43 million plus $13 million for the option year. If the Mariners decided to add the additional four years on it will be $66 million additional. This sounds like a good deal for both sides. Things don’t work out for the Mariners like they thought would cost them only the $43 million however he does as well or better than expected the Mariners can keep him for at least the seven years. This would make him 34 years old when the contracts are over. 

The Mariners playing the A’s in Tokyo, Japan at the beginning of the season on  March 20 and 21 having Kikuchi starting in either the first or second game of the season they could recoup some of the money in the first year right away. This doesn’t count that Ichiro Suzuki could be on the roster at the beginning of next season as well. The Mariners can have two additional roster spots and likely Ichiro will take one of those spots even if he doesn’t play beyond the two games. Actually, he may not get into any action unless he is used as a pinch hitter. 

The Mariners will be in Seattle to take on the San Diego Padres on March 25 and 26 in exhibition games at T-Mobile Park before facing the World Champion Boston Red Sox in a four-game series from March 28 thru March 31 for opening season at home. We could see Yusei Kikuchi starting the first game then Marco Gonzales in the second game unless they decide to split the two up since they are both lefties. 

Other starting five pitchers when the season starts could be Mike Leake unless Dipoto decides to trade him, Wade LeBlanc, and Felix Hernandez. Right now not sure what the plans the Mariners have for Felix but he may be the fifth starter. At this point, it looks like the Mariners will have three lefties in the rotation. The Mariners could be adding someone else in the rotation as well like Roenis Elias or Justus Sheffield or Erik Swanson they picked up in the trade for James Paxton from the Yankees. I am sure Dipoto isn’t done when coming to the starting rotation.

The Mariners will need to shore up their bullpen as well. Right now not sure who the closer will be with the departure of Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets.