What stands out to Ryne Stanek about Mariners’ bullpen success

Jun 3, 2024, 8:03 PM

Seattle Mariners Ryne Stanek Twins 2024...

Ryne Stanek of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Twins on May 7. (David Berding/Getty Images)

(David Berding/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners have developed a reputation over the past few years for acquiring lesser-known relievers and transforming them into valuable bullpen pieces.

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It’s resulted in Seattle consistently sporting one of the league’s best bullpens, despite having largely a rotating cast of arms from year to year. In each of the past three seasons, the Mariners’ bullpen has finished in the top eight of the majors in both ERA and WHIP, according to Fangraphs.

This season, Seattle’s bullpen has been hit hard by injuries. Hard-throwing reliever Matt Brash is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Gregory Santos, another high-leverage reliever, is out until at least July with a lat strain. Tayler Saucedo missed three weeks with a hyperextended knee and Gabe Speier is now in the 15-day injured list with a rotator cuff strain.

And yet, the Mariners’ bullpen is once again among the best in the league. They rank third in the majors with a 1.14 bullpen WHIP and ninth with a 3.62 bullpen ERA. Talented closer Andrés Muñoz is no doubt a big part of that, but lesser-known names such as Austin Voth and Trent Thornton have also played key roles.

What’s the secret to Seattle’s continued bullpen success? Veteran reliever Ryne Stanek, who signed with the Mariners in March after spending the previous three seasons with the Houston Astros, gave some insight during an appearance on Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob last week.

“The general philosophy here is just so attack-forward that, regardless of who you are or what you do, you’re attacking at all times,” Stanek said. “You’re trying to impose your plan on somebody, as opposed to having to try to think of plan A, and then divert to plan B, and then maybe plan C. No, it’s like, ‘We’re gonna go after plan A, and until you beat that plan, we’re gonna keep going plan A.’ It’s a relentless plan.”

Stanek termed it as being “incredibly stubborn” – in a good way. He explained that one bad result shouldn’t discourage a pitcher from trusting what he excels at and focusing on that.

“I think some people get scared off of being stubborn because of one bad result,” Stanek said. “You can’t get scared off of something on just one bad thing happening. There’s too many games and too many opportunities to (let) a negative result affect the rest of your season (and cause you to) avoid a pitch or avoid a location or whatever the situation may be.”

Listen to the full conversation with Ryne Stanek at this link or in the audio player near the middle of this story. Tune in to Wyman and Bob weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

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