Mariners notebook: Things could be interesting with bullpen flexibility
PEORIA, Ariz. – Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto mentioned it in the offseason, and then manager Scott Servais brought it up Tuesday. With the roster flexibility that the Mariners have, they could be making moves with their pitching staff before each series based on matchups.
Servais said it was a consideration in determining whether Seattle will start the season with seven or eight pitchers in the bullpen. What about as the season progresses? We could see some movement based on upcoming lineups, but if all goes well, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence.
“You like to get guys settled in and feel comfortable and good about where they are at,” Servais said. “It doesn’t always work out that way. Somebody will stub their toe or you have an injury issue or somebody is a little soggy and you want to flip them out of give them some time to recuperate. All those things will play into it. We were very active last year, maybe for very different reasons; we had to be. This year we just have more options.”
The Mariners have been on the other side of this. Last year the Red Sox brought in an extra lefty for their series against them. The M’s should face less of this with a more balanced lineup, though. How they choose to handle the competition could be a little different, however. Options are a good thing to have.
Lineup vs Dodgers
Jarrod Dyson, LF
Ben Gamel, RF
Kyle Seager, 3B
Danny Valencia, 1B
Daniel Vogelbach, DH
Carlos Ruiz, C
Leonys Martin, CF
Mike Freeman, 2B
Shawn O’Malley, SS
Chris Heston, P
Others scheduled to pitch: Micah Owings, Casey Fien, Jonathan Aro, Christian Bergman and Jean Machi.
• Scott Servais gave the Mariners a little break Wednesday morning with a “show and go” day. There was a team meeting and cage work, but other than Tony Zych’s live BP, no work on the field. “We have a tough weekend coming up ahead of us,” he said. “Split squad both days, games on the road, we come back on Saturday it’s 95 degrees here. You start to see it on our guys a bit. I thought we’d back off today, give them a refresher day. Those guys are playing a lot, especially our utility/middle infield guys are out there quite a bit. We just thought it would be a good day to do it.”
• The Mariners’ 2017 commercials (and blooper reel) were released this morning. Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager, Leonys Martin, Felix Hernandez and others are featured in the spots, which can be seen here.
• If you are not on Twitter, and you should be, you missed an epic battle between the Mariners and A’s accounts. The A’s started it.
• The Cactus League Report returns to the Salty Senorita tonight. Guests on the two-hour show will include first base coach Casey Candaele, first baseman Daniel Vogelbach, utility infielder Tyler Motter, and pitchers Dillon Overton and Chris Heston. The show will run from 7-9 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle. Stop by if you can!