After an up and down season for the rebuilding Seattle Mariners, there are some New Year’s resolutions for the fans and the players.
2020 was a season that gave us a lot of hope as Seattle Mariners fans since the team showed some promise for the future and captured three different player awards. Now as we head into 2021, there are some New Year’s resolutions for us, the fans, and the players on the field as well.
First, let’s get into the biggest New Year’s resolution for the Mariners which GM Jerry Dipoto has already tried to address, and is a reasonable goal for the Seattle bullpen in 2021.
A bullpen ERA of less than 4.50
Last season the Mariners bullpen was abysmal. Aside from the lone bright spot Yohan Ramirez and prospects Joey Gerber and Anthony Misiewicz who were both ok, no one had more than 10 outings in relief and had an ERA below 5.80. However, a good sign of relief (pun intended) is that Jerry Dipoto has made various trades and signings to help the bullpen recover in 2021.
Seattle ranked 28th in the MLB for bullpen ERA in 2020, with only the Rockies and historically bad Phillies bullpens ranking worse. The Mariners also come in at 22nd in the league in losses in relief with 13, meaning that 13 times in just 60 games the Mariners bullpen had the chance to keep a game tied or keep the lead for Seattle and they lost it. Seattle’s bullpen also only had 11 saves and had 8 blown saves.
If the Mariners can improve from their bullpen ERA of 5.92 in 2020 to below 4.50 (which is right around the league average and median), it would be a huge win and would lead to many more wins, and yes, maybe even playoffs. 12 of the 15 teams that had bullpen ERA’s >4.50 made the expanded playoff field last season and while we don’t know how many teams will make the playoffs in 2021, it is clear that bullpen ERA is an important factor in getting in since in 2019 9 of the 10 teams in the playoffs had sub 4.50 bullpen ERA’s.