Mariners notebook: Servais a fan of expanded rosters, until game time
You would think that Mariners manager Scott Servais is a fan of expanded rosters. After having to manage with a taxed bullpen numerous times this season, the extra arms should be a relief. And while the additional players do help, if Servais had it his way, managers would manage rosters of 25 the entire season.
“The game just changes in September,” he said Thursday afternoon. “And it shouldn’t change. You play a certain way for five months and the last month you play differently? It’s just not right. I think going forward something should be addressed.”
The biggest issue is the seemingly unlimited supply of bullpen arms. With a 25-man roster, a manager may have to roll the dice on when to bring in a lefty. After rosters expand, some teams like the Giants, who currently have six lefties in the pen, could go left-right-left-right through entire innings. For a hitter, that changes things drastically late in games.
“I hate September,” Robinson Cano said in an on-field interview last week. “They can call up everyone, bring a lot of guys. While it is good to see the young guys who are coming up, it’s hard because you see a lot of guys you have never seen before in the season.”
Needless to say, endless pitching changes can make for seemingly endless games at times in September, as well. There is a simple solution, however.
“I like having the extra players, I just think you should determine a 25-man roster before the game starts and play the game,” Servais said.
Makes sense. Young players can still come up and get exposure, extra arms are still available and replacements can give regulars a day off. With the number of rules changes we have seen in the game in recent years it wouldn’t be surprising to see something happen with September rosters soon.
Miranda takes a big step
Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre was very happy with what he saw from Ariel Miranda on Wednesday night. Miranda has been a work in progress since arriving in Seattle, but Stottlemyre says there is a lot to work with.
“He’s got a little deception, he’s got a pretty good fastball – that’s going to be his pitch – but he’s got pretty good aptitude. For a guy that may not have a lot of experience here at this level, he’s taken it and embraced some things and put it into action quickly. He’s a great guy to work with and he started to put some things together last night.”
Miranda throws a fastball, changeup and split change, and he has been working on a slider, which made an appearance in the fifth and sixth innings against the Rangers. Stottlemyre was happy to see him use the pitch and use it at the appropriate time in the game.
“I don’t want him to get into a spot where he is getting beat with his third or fourth best pitch,” he said, “and I think he is getting a good understanding that he has three other pretty good weapons, but I am going to show some spin. I’m going to show some shape to it and it is going to mean something in some at-bats.”
• Tom Wilhelmsen threw a simulated inning Thursday afternoon and all went well. He most likely will be activated from the disabled list Friday.
• The Everett AquaSox saw their playoff game against Spokane rained out Wednesday night and because of conflict with high school football on Friday night, Game 2 of their series with the Indians will be played at Safeco Field. Tickets for the game Friday at 7:15 p.m. will be available at the Safeco Field box office for $12.