Breaking down the Mariners: Will the bullpen be the difference?


With pitchers and catchers reporting this week and the full squad beginning spring training next week for the Seattle Mariners, we’re taking a closer look at the team in a three-part series. This final piece breaks down the bullpen.

The Mariners saw first-hand last season how important relief pitching can be in the modern MLB, as their starting pitchers dealt with an onslaught of injuries and put more work on the bullpen than they were prepared for.

Seattle wasn’t about to let its bullpen be caught unprepared this season.

Breaking down the Mariners: Lineup | Rotation

General manager Jerry Dipoto focused on adding not just depth but also a key set-up man to improve the bridge to closer Edwin Diaz. The Mariners know they’re not bringing the American League’s most stacked starting rotation into 2018, but they have a shot at having some of the best relief pitching in the league – or at the very least, a bullpen that can take on more innings to keep the pressure off the rotation.

Here’s an in-depth look at the construction of Seattle’s bullpen.

Closer

Edwin Diaz, who will turn 24 next month, has the stuff it takes to be a dominant major league closer. He spent the entire month of July 2017 showing that, piling up eight saves in nine chances and maintaining a 1.98 ERA on his way to winning the AL’s Reliever of the Month award. The Mariners could stand to see more consistency out of the right-handed flamethrower, though, as he is still prone to bouts of wildness and unraveling on the mound, so much so that he had to take a break from closing after a rough patch at one point in the first half of season. Diaz is still very much learning the ins and outs of being a relief …read more

Source:: MyNorthwest.com – Sports

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