*RIP to Tyler Skaggs (1991-2019). Roenis Elias has been one of the few bright spots to a depleted and awful Mariners bullpen. He has been a solid interim closer in the injury absence of Hunter Strickland with 10 saves so far.
His ERA in April was a microscopic 1.38 (2 ER in 13 IP) while as well as 2.45 this past month. Elias is no Edwin Diaz or Craig Kimbrel, but the man has grit. It was he who got the save in the Mariners wild 11-10 ugly win in Anaheim while in June. He went seven straight outings without an earned run.
It may be hard to believe but despite our atrocious bullpen, there’s one infamous stat we don’t hold and that’s blown saves. That distinct title instead belongs to the 2018 champs’ bullpen.
Yes, it was Barnes who allowed Denard’s game-winning double last year. It’s safe to say Dave Dombrowski and Barnes aren’t going out for any steak dinners of late with his almost 9.00 ERA last month. So Dave, maybe you need to try again with Roenis.
For fans of bizarre facts, this would be Roenis’s second stint with the Red Sox after his second stint as a Mariner. And he’s only played for those two teams in his career. After we sent Roenis to Boston, he was as good a pickup for them as Pablo Sandoval.
But he’s a more mature pitcher and has put in the closing hours. While it’s true that he’s more of a flyball pitcher than anything, the Red Sox are approaching a bullpen S.O.S right now.
The Red Sox haven’t gotten rid of JD or Mookie so clearly Dombrowski is contending for a repeat. Unless a huge collapse or more injuries occur, the AL East belongs to the Yanks. But unless the Red Sox want to slip further behind the Rays as well, Elias is your go-to pickup.
And Sox fans, aren’t you starving for a lefty?! According to your depth chart, every single active reliever is a righty. That means no one is there to put a little pressure on lefty batters.
Per MLB’s Jon Heyman, the team is “surveying the market” regarding bullpen. Every baseball fan knows the Red Sox and they won’t just throw in the towel while they still have breath in this wild card race. Wouldn’t you want to defend your title too?
And speaking of that market, who better a fit than a solid lefty veteran from the last place team? Elias’s stuff won’t be as filthy as Papelbon’s or Kimbrel’s but he is still really good and is a little familiar with your clubhouse.
So Mariners fans, who should we get? Well, Dave Dombrowski is smart and won’t break his prospect bank for a player still fresh in his arbitration process. He, therefore, won’t cost him much due to his one year, $910,000 contract. Yes, folks, that’s pocket change for an MLB GM.
Righty Colton Brewer should become a Mariner. Ironically his 4.08 ERA is one of the better ones for Boston. And more ironically, we couldn’t touch him earlier this year. In two T-Mobile appearances, he rocked a .125 opposing average with four strikeouts. Why then would Boston give him up? Because they need lefties and have plenty of talent in their system already. Plus, Colton is young and the M’s are going young.
Colton’s overall 2019 ERA is deceiving as he had a 0.73 ERA in June! Not to mention the speed on his cutter is 5.1 mph faster than the league average. In the recent London series with the Yanks, he was one of Boston’s few relief bright spots with no earned runs and three strikeouts in 0.2 IP each outing.
But a key highlight of Colton Brewer is his clutch moments this year. Earlier in the month against the powerhouse Twins, he stranded the tying run at third with just one out to preserve a 1-0 lead. Already on the ropes and down by four against the Rays, he induced an inning-ending double play to with the bases juiced. And in our slugfest March win against the Sox, he struck out Omar Narvaez with the bases loaded and two outs while down by just several.
Along with being a serial base-strander, Colton’s baseball savant scouting report described that his fastball/cutter “sits at 92-94 mph and reached 96 with tremendous natural life, missing bats and generating a lot of groundouts.”
That sounds tempting for a bullpen who has allowed a lot of high-scoring, home-run derby affairs this year. Even if Colton isn’t a true strikeout pitcher, he’ll still fool hitters.