Mariners Make Roster Moves, Make Room For Fien
By Adam Levi
The Mariners have made a handful of roster moves partly to make room for the right-handed pitcher, Casey Fien, who was just signed today.
Not many pitchers picked in the 20th round (or higher) usually make that big of an impact on major league franchises. Occasionally, a John Smoltz or Andy Pettite will give hope to those who have fallen so far in the draft, but generally, they are forgotten.
The Mariners latest acquisition, Casey Fien, will probably be one of those guys lost in baseball’s abyss.
After being picked behind five hundred and ninety-one players, Fien was selected by the Detriot Tigers. In hindsight, the Tigers probably wish they wouldn’t have chosen him.
In his eleven games with the Tigers over two seasons, Fien had an ERA of 8.36 and an extremely high WHIP of 1.643. Not to mention his 10.9 hits per nine innings or more than one hit per inning.
After relocating to Minnesota to play for the Twins, and a year away from the big leagues to hone his skills in the minors, Fien returned and appeared to be a brand new man.
In his comeback to the show, Fien would become a reliable reliever in the Twins bullpen. Over the course of nearly two hundred and fifty games, the right-hander had a much more respectable ERA of 3.54.
He also struck out one hundred and ninety-seven men and gave up just thirty-nine walks. And that’s not even noting his dramatically lower WHIP of 1.073.
However, this modest stretch appears to have been an anomaly. This past season he started the year giving up runs in bunches. In his fourteen relief appearances, he surrendered multiple runs in nearly of third of them, three times giving up a trifecta of runs.
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His ERA of 7.90 helped contribute to the Twins atrocious bullpen ERA that would finish as an American League-worst of 4.63. He wouldn’t end 2016 in Minnesota though.
The Twins would put Fien on waivers due to his underwhelming showing on the mound. The Los Angeles Dodgers then decided to give him a shot, and it didn’t go so well.
Fien would improve on his stats with the Twins, but his ERA remained around 4.50 in LA, and he was also allowing a ton of home runs despite playing 23.1 frames. In that time, Fien dished up eight dingers to the opposition -that’s about a home run more than every three innings.
So, why did the Mariners pick him up? Probably because over his seven long years in the MLB, he walks a man just every 1.8 innings, which is very good, to say the least.
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Hopefully, he will continue to walk so few batters while giving up less home runs and ultimately keep his ERA where it was when he was in Minnesota. If he can do all that, which I know may seem unlikely, he will be a strong asset to the Mariners ever expanding bullpen.