Should Mariners Call Up Riley O'Brien to Help Bullpen?

Tampa Bay Rays v Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Seattle Mariners had a less than ideal road trip to say the least. The club is still right in the thick of playoff contention and still holds a Wild Card spot in the American League playoff picture. However, the pitching staff and the bullpen in particular was taxed during the road trip and the Mariners could use some reinforcements in the 'pen and Triple-A reliever Riley O'Brien certainly could provide some relif.

Riley O'Brien has been in Triple-A with the Tacoma Rainiers the entire 2023 season, and has been a member of the Seattle organization since he was claimed off of waivers from the Cincinnati Reds last year. He made one appearance with Seattle last year and pitched a scoreless inning in relief. This year the tall righty has a 2.50 ERA in just over 50 innings for the Rainiers. He has been one of the Rainiers most dependable high leverage relievers this season and has picked up 12 saves.

Here is a clip of a recent outing of O'Brien's to showcase his fastball and slider combination.

O'Brien's throws a nasty slider and a fastball out of the bullpen, and the slider is the real gem here. He can get ridiculous amounts of sweep on it because of the coil in his delivery and how far towards third base his arm is when he delivers the ball. He can also at times mix it up and throw the slider like more of a slurve or a curveball. His fastball sits in the mid 90s and is an average weapon for him.

The really impressive number for the 28-year-old is that he has been striking out over 36% of opposing batters. The negative to that is he is also is walking over 13% of batters he faces. Since July, O'Brien has pitched 22.1 innings and allowed just five earned runs. That is good for a 2.01 ERA. He has also struck out 37 of 88 batters and walked just six. O'Brien has also only allowed only one run since the beginning of August.

I believe Riley O'Brien can help the Mariners out of the bullpen in the final couple weeks of the season. He isn't likely to take over the closer role or a high leverage role but he could certainly be similar to Isaiah Campbell. His slider is nasty and he can get a good amount of swings and misses on it against right-handed batters.