Mariners' Gregory Santos shows encouraging signs of return in second live BP session

The flame-throwing reliever may be ready to come back to the bullpen soon, bringing a big addition to the recently struggling Mariners' bullpen
Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

It's been a long road for Gregory Santos. He has wallowed away on the 60-day IL since being acquired from the White Sox but has been diligently working towards making his debut with the Mariners. Prior to today's game against the White Sox, Santos pitched his second session of live BP against teammates Ryan Bliss and Victor Robles, throwing a total of 21 pitches.

Gregory Santos is looking healthy and close to re-joining the Mariners

When meeting with the press, manager Scott Servais didn't have much to say, simply remarking that "he looked good" and that if Santos still felt good tomorrow, a rehab start would be imminent. Servais was already very optimistic after seeing Santos throw live in Miami last week so today's work at home added onto his already high confidence.

Having Santos back in the bullpen would be a great addition for a burgeoning Mariners team that depends largely on its pitching staff for its success. Their combined ERA of 3.57 is eighth-best in MLB, but this is largely because of how outstanding the starting rotation has been. Seattle relievers have a combined ERA of 3.88, 15th in MLB, clear room for improvement.

While we've yet to see Santos in Seattle colors, his performance in 2023 should leave fans eagerly awaiting his arrival. He threw 66.1 innings to a 3.39 ERA and 9.0 K/9, boasting a league-leading 1.5% barrel rate. Opposing batters slugged a measly .203 against his slider while whiffing 37.5% of the time. Although his sinker didn't have the greatest results, its raw stuff is off the charts and has been characterized as a "bowling ball" at 98.8 mph.

It's no secret that Santos has got great stuff and could even be used in high leverage, accumulating five saves last year. More wipeout arms could enforce Seattle's existing strengths while allowing the front office to solely focus on acquiring more offense at this year's trade deadline.