Mariners claim hard throwing reliever off of waivers

The Seattle Mariners have claimed hard-throwing right-handed reliever, Domingo Tapia, off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox.

The Mariners have claimed 29-year-old rookie reliever Domingo Tapia off of waivers after he was removed from the Red Sox 40 man roster. The move puts the Mariners 40 man roster at 34 meaning that they can sign, activate, or draft in the Rule 5 draft, 6 more players to be eligible for the major league roster.

Tapia made his big league debut with the Red Sox last year and had an impressive stat line, albeit it was just in 4.1 innings pitched in 5 games. He allowed 4 hits, one of them a home run, and that home run was the only earned run that he let up. This gave Tapia a 2.08 ERA for his small amount of work in the short season. However, Tapia did have a 5.73 FIP (Fielding independent pitching) which was not ideal considering the standard for FIP is to have the stat be the same or lower than your ERA.

Tapia also has a very interesting Baseball Savant page that reveals why Jerry Dipoto loves him so much. Dipoto has loved hard-throwing righties who have a slider and has his bullpen almost exclusively at this model and all of his recent claims and trades have tended to follow this model as well.

Tapia threw 80 pitches last year 79% of them were fastballs (four-seamer and sinker) and both averaged a velocity of right around 99. His other 19% of pitches were sliders, and then he threw his changeup just once all year.

Tapia will compete for a spot in the bullpen this year but it will be a tough competition as the Mariners are expected to sign a few bullpen arms and already have a few young arms that they certainly want on the roster at the start of the 2021 season.