Despite General Manager Jerry Dipoto’s efforts to make the Mariner bullpen something that it was not last season, which is just an average or servicable bullpen, it still looks like it will be one of the major weaknesses of this team.
Ken Giles, who was the biggest signing for the bullpen, will not pitch this year. Keynan Middleton, the other major league signing for the bullpen, has allowed 8 earned runs in 4 innings this spring, and Rafael Montero, who the Mariners traded for, has pitched 3 innings and has allowed 4 earned runs.
Roenis Elias was looking fantastic and was most likely on a path to be put on the 40 man roster and maybe even the MLB roster, but he just had surgery and will miss some time. The Mariners also invested their Rule 5 draft selection in reliever Will Vest, who has been shaky this spring and if Spring Training ended tomorrow, I would say he would be sent back to his original team, the Tigers.
Of course, it is just spring and there have been some good performances out of the pen, but the bullpen is not looking great, especially the new arms on major league contracts. It will be better than last year’s pen, but I wouldn’t expect it to transform into one of the better bullpens in the American League.