RHP AUSTIN ADAMS
Austin Adams’ inclusion on this roster shouldn’t come as a surprise, but perhaps his placement in the late inning reliever grouping over guys like Steve Cishek and Nick Vincent may seem kinda odd at first given that he’s only thrown 31 innings in a Mariners uniform and is currently rehabbing from a torn ACL. But hooboy, were those 31 innings a lot of fun.
Adams didn’t have a great track record in his time with the Nationals, the team that eventually traded him to the Mariners for left-handed pitcher Nick Wells and cash, so there wasn’t a whole lot of excitement generated by this move amongst the general public. But as some of our previous additions to this bullpen have proved, Mariners fans should probably pay more attention when Jerry Dipoto takes a flyer on a reliever.
The Mariners were able to convince Adams to tap into his slider more consistently and it paid huge dividends, leading to a 14.91 K/9 in 2019. Additionally, Adams generates a ton of movement on his two primary pitches, placing 10th amongst all MLB pitchers in fastball spin rate, and 24th in slider spin rate last year.
While the Mariners’ organization boasts a ton of big arms throughout their system, perhaps none have a higher ceiling than Adams does despite his recent injury. Upon his return to game action, expect Adams to immediately push for a high-leverage role in the M’s current bullpen and eventually establish himself as their next full-time closer, which is why we’ve landed him here in such a key role on our All-Dipoto Acquisition roster.
RHP ÁLEX COLOMÉ
Perhaps Dipoto’s best midseason trade as the Mariners’ general manager thus far, he acquired outfielder Denard Span and right-handed reliever Álex Colomé to pair with eventual Reliever of the Year Edwin Díaz from the Tampa Bay Rays in May 2018. Colomé, of course, was the prize of the deal, being the center of trade rumors for quite some time and finally landing in the Emerald City to create one of the best one-two punches of any bullpen in the league.
Colomé was as advertised for the Mariners, overall posting a 2.53 ERA with a 9.52 K/9 in 46.1 innings pitched. He didn’t allow a run in 19 straight appearances from the start of July to mid August, and did so again for another 10 straight appearances to finish the 2018 season.
If the Mariners carried a lead into the eighth inning that year, a notch in the win column was all but certain. It was nearly an impossible feat to do any sort of damage against the tandem of Colomé and Díaz, which brings us to our final addition to the bullpen.