There is nothing more unpredictable in baseball than a bullpen. You can be a stud in the bullpen one year, and the next year be out of a job. You could be a consistently awful starting pitcher, and then switch to the bullpen and be one of the best relievers of all-time (see Wade Davis). So, when it comes to projecting the bullpen, it’s really completely based on the trend of the pitcher that has been observed over time. But more so than any other position, a reliever is unpredictable.
The Mariners projected relievers are fairly young this year, raising some concerns of how their seasons will play out.
Relievers have always intrigued me. It’s fairly common for a reliever to be extremely effective one year and then pitch terribly the next year and not be effective. So, what do I mean by this?
Take Joe Borowski for example.
In 2007, Joe Borowski led the league in saves with 45, despite having an ERA which was 5.07.
Now, I’m sure you all remember Fernando Rodney. Some people loved him, some people hated him as a Mariner. But, although Rodney pitched much better than Borowski did, there were rumblings that his first year with the Mariners, despite the 48 saves, wasn’t one that could be replicated.
Sure enough, midway through his second year on the Mariners, Rodney was traded as he was struggling the whole years, and his mistakes that he made the year before, finally caught up to him.
Are there any Joe Borowski’s or Fernando Rodney’s on this year’s Mariners? Who is going to break out and be the star of the bullpen? Are Dipoto’s acquisitions going to contribute? Keep reading to find out who my picks are!