After performing well in Spring Training and tossing 8 scoreless innings so far at Triple-A Tacoma this season, rumors have swirled about Penn Murfee potentially joining the Seattle Mariners’ bullpen fray. A former 33rd-round pick out of Santa Clara, Murfee’s dream came true on Thursday, when he was finally called up to the big leagues to replace a struggling Yohan Ramirez.
Murfee’s first action came quick; he was sent in from the ‘pen in a mop-up role while the Mariners were trailing 8-3 to the Marlins on Friday night. While the situation wasn’t “high-leverage”, Murfee’s two scoreless innings ended up keeping the Mariners within striking range, as the offense put up three runs in the top of the ninth before eventually succumbing to an 8-6 defeat.
In contrast to several fellow Mariners relievers, Penn Murfee does not rely on an overpowering fastball for success; his fastball velocity averaged 90mph on Friday night, and he mixed in more breaking balls than fastballs during the course of his outing. He struck out two and avoided any walks, so it’s certainly possible Murfee will be called upon again in a situation where the Mariners are primarily looking to keep an opponent from expanding their lead.
Unfortunately for Seattle, that opportunity could come again in their current series in Miami; the Marlins have held the Mariners at bay over the past few days, and they have a dominant pitcher in Sandy Alcantara set to take the bump on Sunday. However, Mariners fans shan’t fear – Seattle will have its own ace in American League ERA-leader Logan Gilbert taking the hill in an attempt to reel in the Fish.