The Seattle Mariners signed Keynan Middleton to a one-year deal that was worth a little under one million dollars in the offseason. We viewed it as a high reward / low risk type of deal and there were some Mariners fans who questioned the signing.
The Oregon native was back in the PNW and made his Mariners debut on April 2nd, and didn’t allow a run. However, in his second outing against the White Sox, he allowed four runs in 1.2 innings of work. Fans quickly questioned whether Keynan Middleton was a good signing and he was laughed at on social media.
Keynan Middleton told Seattle Mariners fans he was different
During the offseason, Keynan Middleton told fans “Seattle has never had a dawg like me in the pen” on Instagram. I think most fans liked his energy and confidence but as you could imagine, after his painful second outing of the season, fans turned that social media post into comedy.
But after his horrendous outing on April 6th, he actually didn’t allow a single run until May 4th, the day he hurt his right bicep. Seattle Mariners fans, including myself, quickly changed our outlook on Middleton who was laughed at during the first week of baseball.
After returning from the injured list on May 21, the 27-year-old has not allowed a single run and has looked very good. Middleton’s ERA is now at 2.60 and has saved four games. He has been well known for his control issues, but he’s done a good job of limiting base runners one way or the other. Middleton’s WHIP is at 0.81 and opponents are hitting .109 against him.
With the absence of Kendall Graveman, Keynan has done a great job of being a reliable arm out of the pen especially since Rafael Montero continues to struggle.
Not only has Keynan Middleton become a reliable arm and somewhat of a fan favorite especially amongst the Twitter audience, but Middleton has also brought a lot of energy and excitement. You can expect a lot of emotion after a strong inning by the hard-throwing reliever and I love it!
The Seattle Mariners bullpen has been one of the strong suits of this year’s team, and Keynan Middleton’s been a huge part of it. Thanks, Jerry Dipoto!