5 Possible Replacements for Mariners’ Closer Fernando Rodney

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Aug 10, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher

Tom Wilhelmsen

(54) pitches to the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Bartender

Tom Wilhelmsen is one of the most versatile relievers in the M’s bullpen. He has experience closing games, and he has the ability to function as the long man in the ‘pen. The Bartender has struggled in the early going this season, posting a 6.75 ERA across 2.2 innings, but his 1.85 FIP suggests his ERA is misleading. Wilhelmsen has struck out 3 hitters this year, and walked only 1. He is currently on the 15-day disabled list with elbow soreness, but it sounds like he will be activated immediately after his 15 days are up.

The 31-year-old has plenty of experience as a closer, having held the role for much of the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Last year the Bartender was a jack-of-all-trades for the M’s, and put together his best season as a pro. Wilhelmsen went 3-2, and posted a 2.27 ERA across 79.1 innings. He struck out 8.2 hitters per 9 innings, and walked 4.1. The powerful right-hander’s 3.0 strikeout to walk ratio tied a career high.

I think Tom Wilhelmsen is a viable candidate, however I doubt Lloyd will anoint the Bartender to be the Mariners’ closer in 2015. His versatility is far too valuable for Seattle to use him purely as a 9th inning man.

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