45 days until Mariners Opening Day! Previewing #45 Domingo Tapia
In October the Mariners claimed the hard-throwing reliever, Domingo Tapia, off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox. He was either assigned or chose the number 45, so with 45 days until Opening Day let’s break down what might happen with Tapia this season.
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 which was not ideal considering the standard for FIP is to have the stat be the same or lower than your ERA.
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.
So how will Domingo Tapia fit into the Mariners bullpen?
The scary thing for Tapia is that he might not even fit in at all. While his pitch profile is a fit for what Dipoto likes (Hard fastball and a slider), he may never pitch in a game for the Mariners. With the recent signings of James Paxton and Ken Giles that still have not yet been officially announced while I am writing this on the evening of 2/15, Tapia could be Designated for Assignment to make room on the 40 man roster for Paxton and Giles.
With the 40 man roster full Tapia, along with the likes of Robert Dugger and Casey Sadler, will be waiting anxiously to see who is DFA’d to make room for the two. If he is not cut, however, the 29-year-old Tapia has a chance to compete for a bullpen spot and could make some appearances in the late innings of close games if his near 100 mph fastball is working.