Mariners Miranda Looks To Be Headed To The Bullpen


Due to Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto’s active off-season, particular when it came to reworking the rotation, it appears that the M’s September 2016 breakout star, Ariel Miranda is headed to the bullpen.

Despite Miranda’s 5-2 record and 3.54 ERA over eleven appearances in his first stretch of big league games, it looks as though the Mariners additions of Yovani Gallardo and Drew Smyly will push him into the bullpen.

According to

"“Dipoto said Ariel Miranda will be stretched out as a starter in the spring but would likely fill the second lefty spot in the bullpen if everyone stays healthy.”"

That seems fair considering that Miranda was brought onto the Mariners to play the role of a healthy rotation man. The Mariners had seen Felix Hernandez miss six weeks before Miranda was acquired, but then

The Mariners had seen Felix Hernandez miss six weeks before Miranda was acquired, but then Nathan Karns went down with back issues right before the trade deadline, leaving a spot open for Miranda to shine, and boy did he shine.

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It didn’t take long for Miranda to settle into the major league game, even though he had only played one game for the Baltimore Orioles at this level.

He did have plenty of experience in the Cuban National Series as well as having some reps in the minors with the Orioles, but none of that comes close to stepping on the mound to face big league talent.

Related Story: Miranda The Next Cuban Sensation?

In his first four starts and one relief appearance, Miranda never allowed more than three runs per outing.

There is a caveat for this statistic, however, and that is that the Cuban-born left-hander only pitched six or more innings once in all of those outings, but that shouldn’t completely diminish the fact that Miranda didn’t allow too many runs.

After a rough start to September in which he allowed a season-high four runs on three walks, five hits including two home runs, Miranda went on a tear that no one expected.

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In his final four outings, Miranda only allowed more than two runs once, and that day he only gave up three runs. Other than that, he was magnificent.

Highlighting that brilliance was a twenty-inning streak without allowing a single run. In that final stretch of the year, Miranda would boast an ERA of 1.91.

With numbers to end the year like that, it may seem unfair that Miranda won’t be in the starting rotation, at least, the odds are against him at the moment, but would it be so bad to have him in the bullpen?

If he can work out his home run troubles, he could be a very important asset to the bullpen. Last year Miranda allowed at least one home run in ten of his twelve outings, surrendering multiple dingers in three of those appearances.

So, minus the home runs allowed, if Miranda can put up figures like he did in September, he could provide lengthy middle-relief out of the pen. This would not only help struggling starters, but it could also be a huge weight lifted off the shoulders of his fellow pen-mates who are in need of rest.

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Everything is yet to be decided, but the Mariners seem to have a new plan for Miranda in 2017, and that looks like we might see him more regularly than every five days. But, if an unfortunate injury were to arise, the Mariners probably wouldn’t hesitate to insert him into the rotation for the time needed.