Joe Beimel has been with 7 teams in 7 seasons following his 3-year stint in the LA Dodgers’ ‘Pen from 2006-2008. But his year spent in Seattle with the Seattle Mariners has him dreaming of the Pacific Northwest again.
Maybe it’s because he was a part of the best bullpen in the Majors this season, one that posted a 2.59 ERA while logging 500 innings of work.
Maybe it’s because he had Tommy John Surgery, and after playing the entire 2013 season in Triple-A for some other team, the Mariners gave him a Minor League deal and gave him a real shot at the Majors in Spring Training.
As the Mariners second lefty-specialist along with Charlie Furbush, Joe Beimel did not disappoint in 2014. Out of the ‘Pen Beimel went 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 45 innings over the course of 56 appearances. He wasn’t a long reliever, but his outs were meaningful and he got the job done.
Sometimes, he wouldn’t even have to throw a pitch: in his first appearance for the Mariners this season, Joe Beimel picked off the runner at first base with 2-outs, and ended the inning and his first Major League appearance in 3 seasons without having to throw a pitch.
“I’ve let it be known I want to come back,” Beimel, now 37, said at season’s end. To which manager Lloyd McClendon later stated in an interview: “I’ve relayed my beliefs to the GM and how I feel and I’ve said I want him back, unequivocally.”
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McClendon’s ringing endorsement of Joe Beimel comes in large part to his stellar performance throughout the season in high-pressure situations. McClendon was Beimel’s first manager back in 2001 with the Pirates.
But with Joe Beimel there is a fun energy too. As my co-editor Dan quickly pointed out at the beginning of the season, Joe Beimel was rocking a Rafi-esque beard (if you don’t watch the League, you should) and had tattoos stringing up and down his arms. He’s been a goofy and relaxed character in the ‘Pen, just like everyone else for the 2o14 Mariners.
It’s easy to relax though when you’re on your A-game.
“This has been my favorite team that I’ve played on,” Beimel said.
So Mariners fans, should we keep him around?
I think we should, and seeing his age and the fact that he is a situational reliever, I can see the Mariners inking him to a 1-year/$2 million deal. He would be that second lefty with Furbush in the ‘Pen packed with power rightys like Tom Wilhelmsen, Fernando Rodney, Yoervis Medina, and a youngster who will likely succeed Rodney as the closer, Carson Smith.
Joe Beimel contributed to one of the most successful bullpens in decades in the Major Leagues. Let’s hope the Mariners, along with Beimel, can repeat it next season.