Mariners Ink LHP Joe Beimel to Minor League Deal


Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reported on Thursday afternoon that the Mariners have agreed to terms with veteran southpaw Joe Beimel on a minor league deal. Beimel took his physical Thursday at the Mariners spring training facility in Peoria, AZ. Beimel reached out to fans on Instagram to share the news of his return to Seattle.

The Texas Rangers signed Joe Beimel on March 6, but released him less than three weeks later. Beimel was awful during his brief time in a Rangers’ uniform. The St. Mary’s, PA product allowed 11 earned runs on 14 hits across 3.0 innings pitched. He struck out 1 hitter, and issued 2 walks. Opponents hit .591 against him, and clubbed 3 home runs off the veteran lefty. However, Mariners’ fans have a much more positive recollection of Beimel after he flourished in the Emerald City last season.

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Joe Beimel had an impressive debut season with the Mariners in 2014, going 3-1 and posting an ERA of 2.20. Beimel allowed a career low 7.8 hits per 9 innings last season. Beimel tallied 5.0 strikeouts per 9 innings, which was right on par with his career average. He demonstrated improved command in 2014, allowing just 2.8 walks per 9 innings, the second lowest mark of his career. The 37-year-old southpaw’s strikeout to walk ratio was 1.79 with the Mariners. Beimel excelled at keeping the opposition off base, allowing a career low 1.178 walks or hits per inning.

Joe Beimel is excited to have the chance to pitch at Safeco Field in 2015, and so are the fans. However, there does not appear to be an immediate spot for Beimel in the Mariners’ bullpen. It has been a highly contested battle this spring to become the second left-hander in the ‘pen. Tyler Olson is the last man standing, and he is expected to be on the Opening Day roster.

Feb 26, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Tyler Olson poses for a portrait during photo day at Peoria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Olson entered spring training as a relative unknown to M’s fans, having never pitched above Double-A. The 25-year-old has been phenomenal this spring. Olson has yet to allow an earned run over his first 12.2 innings this spring. He has struck out 15 hitters, and yielded 0 walks in Cactus League play. Opponents are hitting just .178 against Olson in spring training.

The former 7th round selection out of Gonzaga started 2014 with the High Desert Mavericks of the California League. Olson flourished, going 2-1, and registering a 3.13 ERA across five starts. His performance with the Mavericks warranted a promotion to the Jackson Generals of the Southern League. Olson’s transition to Double-A was a smooth one, and he finished the season with a record of 10-7 and an ERA of 3.52 across 22 starts. He has great command of all his pitches, and held the opposition to just 1.8 walks per 9 innings. He did a great job limiting the long ball, allowing just 8 home runs in 148.1 innings of work last season. Olson posted an impressive 4.0 strikeout to walk ratio during his time with the Generals.

While Tyler Olson is not known as a power lefty, he does an effective job hitting his spots and mixing speeds. He held left-handed hitters to a .206 batting average in 2014.

It remains to be seen what Beimel has left in the tank, however he should provide the M’s with solid depth. Beimel is expected to begin the season with the Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League. If all goes according to plan with Tyler Olson, we will likely not see much of Beimel in a Mariners’ uniform. I personally think the upside with Olson is much greater than Beimel, and I hope the Spokane, WA product runs with this opportunity.

Next: Mariners Trade RHP Erasmo Ramirez to Tampa Bay

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