Rainiers Relief

Today we take a look at the possible Rainiers relief pitchers for 2011. We did the starting pitchers last week – scroll down if you missed it.

Once again, we start with Seattle. In recent years, the Mariners have carried 12 pitchers – five starters, and seven relievers. We’ll assume that they will continue down that road.

Mariners Bullpen

  1. David Aardsma (out until late April)
  2. Brandon League
  3. Garrett Olson (out of options, so he figures to make it)
  4. (open)
  5. (open)
  6. (open)
  7. (open)

Golly, that’s a lot of open bullpen slots! That’s why the Mariners have been signing relief pitchers to minor league contracts all winter long, and inviting them to spring training.

Non-Roster Relievers Invited To Camp

  • Manny Delcarmen
  • Chris Ray
  • Denny Bautista
  • Justin Miller
  • Royce Ring
  • Chris Smith
  • Chris Seddon
  • Jamey Wright

But wait, there’s more. The M’s also have younger players who are on the 40-man roster who will compete for major league bullpen spots:

Relief Prospects In The Mix For Seattle

  • Dan Cortes
  • Josh Lueke
  • Cesar Jimenez (out of options)
  • Jose Flores (Rule 5 selection – unlikely to join Tacoma)
  • Edward Paredes

At this point, trying to determine which of the above players will be on Tacoma’s opening day roster is a fool’s errand. In fact, I’m only willing to commit to one Tacoma reliever right now:

Tacoma Bullpen

  1. Scott Patterson
  2. through 7. –  TBD

Finally, we cannot forget about the guys who did well at Class-AA and are candidates for promotion to Triple-A:

  • Josh Fields – former first-round pick
  • Nick Hill – military lefty
  • Mumba Rivera – always a candidate; throws hard
  • Robert Rohrbaugh – co-mayor of Jackson, TN (with Johan Limonta)

It’s a mess right now. We’ll get some clarity by… I don’t know, late March or so?

Next up, a much easier position: catchers.

Spring training links:

  • The News Tribune has come out swinging with big features this week. Yesterday we had Ryan Divish’s magnum opus on Eric Wedge (link in yesterday’s blog), and today Larry LaRue has one on Josh Luekein which he asks all the questions, and lets the reader decide.
  • Speaking of Divish, he decided that Valentine’s Day is a clear #2 to the start of spring training. Comment withheld (too easy).
  • In last week’s run-down of the Mariners and Rainiers starting pitching candidates, I suggested that counting on Erik Bedard to hold down a spot was illogical. Well, he’s had four successful bullpen sessions already.
  • One of the 2010 Rainiers who left as a free agent is pitcher Ryan Feierabend. Larry Stone of the Seattle Times opened his tour of Florida spring training camps at the Phillies compound, and he talked to Feierabend at length. Some good stuff here, along with photos of the Phillies Big Four (the real reason Stone opened his tour with the Phillies).
  • Steve Kelly has a column about potential Rainiers starting pitcher Nate Robertson. Robertson is a strong candidate to make the Mariners, but if he doesn’t, we’ll happily take him.
  • More from the Seattle Times, a story about David Aardsma’s hip injury, and who might be the closer while “The D.A.” is out.
  • From the Everett Herald, Kirby Arnold has some colorful tidbits, including sage advice about where not to stand when you are a baseball journalist.
  • Good news! Rob Neyer doesn’t think that the Mariners will lose 101 games again this year.
  • For the stat-minded, here is an interesting post about the 2010 Rainiers from Mariner Central.
  • A blog that is new to me called “The Outfield Grass” did a Q&A with Josh Lueke. Check it out.
  • I want to send a shout-out to my fellow astronauts. I will be orbiting with you on March 25.
  • In Las Vegas, you can’t tell the stadium proposals without a scorecard. Sadly, only one of the proposals includes a Triple-A ballpark.

The poor folks who follow my personal twitter account know that I’m a rather enthusiastic (OK, annoying) follower of my alma mater’s sports programs. I try to keep that off this blog, but I must link to the Cal Baseball Reinstatement Rap. I feel OK doing this here – Peter Gammons linked to it, so it must be allowed. On that subject, it’s absolutely ridiculous that a major university is eliminating a baseball program that is over 100 years old, won the first College World Series, and is currently nationally ranked – and a program that churns out high draft choices every year. College baseball isn’t even fully scholarshipped – schools are limited to 11.7 scholarships for a 30-man roster. Team travel is costly, for sure, but I’m having trouble coming up with additional large expenses (aluminum bats, fans return foul balls, and at Cal they don’t have to pay an electricity bill for stadium lights, since they have none). I won’t even comment on the list of obscure sports programs they are keeping – other than to say that the baseball program is preparing and sending students into professional careers. How many of the so-called “Olympic sports” are doing that?

One Response to Rainiers Relief

  1. M Durkin says:

    Mike, Can you comment on Scott Patterson? He seemed to have good numbers last year at Tacoma and in the winter leagues. Why doesn’t he receive more consideration?

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