Mariners notebook: Bullpen arms already surprising Scott Servais

Feb 24, 2019, 10:48 AM
Mariners LHP Zac Rosscup struck out two in a perfect inning on Friday. (AP)...
Mariners LHP Zac Rosscup struck out two in a perfect inning on Friday. (AP)
(AP)

PEORIA, Ariz. – The Mariners hit the road Sunday afternoon to take on the Rockies at Salt River Fields, the only trip they will make to Scottsdale this spring with their abbreviated Cactus League schedule.

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An area of intrigue in camp has been the bullpen. What perhaps didn’t look terribly promising on paper has showed better in person early in camp, and while there are very few household names in the ranks of Mariners potential relievers, there is an interesting mix.

“The stuff,” Scott Servais answered when asked what has stood out. “We have got power – power arms, velocity. Whether it is Hunter Strickland, Cory Gearrin does it a little differently. Zac Rosscup can strike them out, Dan Altavilla has a good arm. Gerson Bautista yesterday had good stuff.”

As far as Servais is concerned, there appears to be a bullpen in there somewhere among the 22 relievers in camp.

“I like what I have seen. I think there is enough to put together a really solid bullpen, and along the way there is always a player you are not expecting – ‘Wow, where did this guy come from? He’s getting everyone out?'” Servais said. “A couple of years ago it was Nick Vincent. They come from everywhere. Bullpen guys will find weird times to kind of step up and figure it out. I wish there was a recipe for it, there is not. You’ve just got to give them opportunity and that’s what we are going to do.”

Lineup!

Dee Gordon, 2B
Mitch Haniger, RF
Jay Bruce, 1B
Kyle Seager, 3B
Ryon Healy, DH
Ichiro, LF
J.P. Crawford, SS
Jake Fraley, CF
José Lobatón, C

Wade LeBlanc, LHP

Wade LeBlanc will make his 2019 Cactus League debut with Justus Sheffield to follow. Other listed game pitchers include Erik Swanson, Tommy Milone, Matt Tenuta, Jack Anderson, Robin Leyer and minor league call-ups Nolan Hoffman, Zac Grotz and Joey Gerber.

Notes

• The Mariners have added two B games to their spring schedule to get additional work before leaving for Japan. B games are typically arranged between clubs and scheduled as needed later in the spring, so putting together early games can be a challenge. As fortune would have it, however, there are two teams from Korea’s KBO League currently working out at the Peoria facility, so the Mariners have a built in opponent. Seattle will play B games March 1 on Field 1 against the NC Dinos (former team of Eric Thames) and March 5 against the KT Wiz.

• It was a bit disappointing not getting to see top prospect Jarred Kelenic, who was up for Saturday’s game from minor league camp, take an at-bat against the Padres after entering the game in the ninth inning to play right field. At some point this spring he will get to take a few swings with the big league team, though, as will 18-year-old outfielder Julio Rodriguez, who seems to be itching to get out on the field. Julio has been at both big league games played in Peoria so far, sitting a few rows behind home plate in the first and staying for the complete nine innings for both.

• Outfield prospect Kyle Lewis’ dislocated pinkie is no longer taped up. I would expect to see him get some cage work in the next couple of days.

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Mariners notebook: Bullpen arms already surprising Scott Servais