When I think of the 2017 Mariners bullpen my brain redirects me to previous thoughts I’ve had about dumpster fires, train wrecks, and horrific meltdowns. With a league-worst 7.36 ERA in 34.1 innings of work, they are without a doubt, a large reason for the Mariners atrocious start. They have kissed leads goodbye in half of their losses this season. Not to mention April 9, 2017, a day that will forever live in Mariners infamy. So what’s the problem? Are there any positives? In this piece, we’ll look at the active pen, pitcher by pitcher and break it down.
While only having pitched 1.2 innings in one appearance for the team this year, this is a hopeful sign. Zero runs on three hits, with no walks and two strikeouts is a stellar line for a reliever. Though the sample size is small, Marshall may turn into a solid reliever down the line.
If coming out of spring training, you had said that Nick Vincent was the worst M’s reliever, I’d have agreed with you. He had a struggle-filled spring, and I for one heavily questioned his MLB-readiness this year. He had an ERA of 3.73 last year with a WHIP of 1.13.
Both are respectable numbers, but after surrendering 5 homers in 5.2 innings this spring, I had questions.
I sure hoped my questions would go away with the arrival of the regular season. Well, they didn’t, and here we sit now with Vincent’s ERA above 5.40 and the Mariners can ill-afford to have that in an already weak pen.
*Disclaimer* I was pleasantly surprised with his performance Saturday night in striking out the side of Rangers.
I apologize for back to back negatives, but there aren’t a whole lot of positives in this bullpen. Altavilla also has a 5.40 ERA. I want so badly for him to be good. A hard-throwing reliever like him would bolster the pen and help the team immensely. He just cannot consistently put it together and has become a liability.
“Scrabble” is a little bit of an odd case. In five appearances, he has a WHIP of 0.33 and has yet to allow a run. He can really only be used situationally, as he’s only pitched 3 innings. That said, any time batters come and go from the plate without runs scoring is good for the Mariners.
It legitimately bothers me that Scribner is still with the big league club. He had a flawless 2016 campaign, but that was his career anomaly. He has a 4.00 ERA in five seasons, and that number is not aided by the 13.50 mark he’s posted in 2017. Scribner has pitched in 4 games and gotten shelled. The M’s need him out and quickly.
The verdict remains semi-out on Pazos. He dominated in his first four appearances. Leading some, including myself, to think he was the real deal. He then collapsed in his fifth appearance, leading to a loss against Houston.
I still think he has the potential to be solid, but only time will really tell if his 3.86 ERA is an accurate depiction of his abilities.
Yes, you are correct in thinking that Zych has not yet pitched in 2017. He has been activated though, replacing
He has been activated, though, replacing Dillon Overton, whose first stint in the bigs ended after two appearances with an ERA of 20.25 and a 3.00 WHIP.
The Mariners and I both are hopeful that Zych will be the same pitcher as he was before the shoulder surgery. (2.81 ERA – 1.25 WHIP).
I won’t even waste my time putting down what his ERA and WHIP are this season; It’s just not worth it. He got shelled against Los Angeles in the aforementioned April 9 game, but other than that it’s been business as usual for the Puerto Rican fireballer.
Plus, I wholeheartedly blame his collapse in LA on Servais.
You don’t bring your closer in to fix what Fien and Altavilla screwed up. You bring him in to shut down the game before anything happens. Bases loaded with no outs is not the time for Sugar.
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He will be fine. World Baseball Classic Diaz is the Diaz that the Mariners will get this year. That dominance doesn’t just evaporate in a couple of weeks.
World Baseball Classic Diaz is the Diaz that the Mariners will get this year. That dominance doesn’t just evaporate in a couple of weeks.
So Where Does This Leave The Mariners?
Honestly, there’s not a lot they can do. They can bring Jean Machi up from Tacoma. Cishek returns from the DL soon, and love him or hate him he can pitch the seventh real well.
The Mariners kind of have to play the waiting game, but Servais needs to know that when a game can be won, he has to put his foot on the throat. Every win is critical for Seattle right now. If Seattle has a lead of any size in the ninth and Diaz is available, Servais needs to put him in.
Scribner and Vincent need to have 100% clean uniforms at the end of games. The Mariners cannot risk letting games slip away because they want everyone to get their turn.
I think ultimately the bullpen will be fine, but the time between now and Cishek and Machi is incredibly important.
The Mariners cannot risk letting games slip away because they want everyone to get their turn.
The Mariners need to stay afloat during that time if they want to be alive come September.