The Mariners Bullpen
This is where the roster construction gets a bit interesting. The team could go multiple ways in building the bullpen. Do they put a pitcher like Dunn in the bullpen so he can cover multiple innings if needed? Do they load up on multi-inning relievers to ease the burden on the rotation? What about a couple of spot starters in case the starting rotation gets taxed early in the season?
Relief Pitchers (9):
The delay to the start of the season helped Adams a ton. If the season would have opened on time, Adams would have started the season on the injured list, but with the delay he’s in line to make the team out of camp.
Brennan and Magill were solid last year for the Mariners and Hirano and Edwards were brought in as free agents so they are all obviously on the team.
Swanson found a home in the bullpen last year and fits the need for a multi-inning reliever that could be very useful in this shortened season.
Guilbeau shows promise as a left-handed reliever, and again I debated Cortes here instead but figured he’d be on the “taxi” squad if needed.
I was really torn on Ramirez. I see him very similarly to Gerson Bautista (who also was under consideration), but in the end his Rule 5 status won out. I don’t think the Mariners want to lose Ramirez, so he will open camp on the roster.
The hardest decision was Altavilla, who is out of options and has to make the club or be outrighted from the 40-man roster. Altavilla has always had potential but has struggled to put it together for extended periods of time.
My gut said Sam Delaplane should be in this spot, but my head said that the Mariners probably don’t want to expose Altavilla to waivers as he’d probably get snapped up by a rebuilding club, which is what the Mariners are, so they might as well keep him to start the season and see if he can get it figured out.
So there you have it, 15 pitchers projected for the team’s Opening Day roster. Things could change and I assume there will be plenty of movement between the roster and the taxi squad.