Many Candidates For Rainiers Bullpen

This is the last installment of our pre-spring training look at who is battling to make the Rainiers opening day roster. When the project began six weeks ago, I made some pithy comment about how the last edition – the relievers – always ends up being just a list of a billion names.

That’s where we are today. Trying to predict who will be in the Triple-A bullpen is a fool’s errand, and I’m not going to try.

The biggest difficulty involves the pitchers who can both start and relieve – and there are always a lot of those. Take Forrest Snow, for example: he could start or relieve, and swing back-and-forth between roles. There are always several pitchers like this – the M’s even brought a few in from outside the organization, like Casey Coleman and Cody Martin.

So, here we go. A long list of pitchers who could end up in the Rainiers bullpen on opening day. The asterisk means he’s a left-hander.

Matt Anderson – posted a 3.90 ERA for Double-A Jackson last year; got promoted to Tacoma for final week of the season.

Jonathan Aro – acquired from Red Sox in Carson Smith trade; had 3.14 ERA for Pawtucket last season.

Charles Brewer – minor league free agent, usually a starter but could end up in a relief role.

Casey Coleman – former Iowa Cubs swing-man signed to a minor league deal.

Ryan Cook – major league reliever coming off rough 2015 season, does have one minor league option year left.

*Paul Fry – top reliever in farm system last year; 113 K’s in 80 IP between Advanced-A Bakersfield and Jackson. Fast mover?

Mayckol Guaipe – would be back for second season in Tacoma, had 2.87 ERA in 47 Rainiers games last year.

Ryne Harper – acquired from Braves in Jose Ramirez trade; has dominated Double-A for three years.

*Danny Hultzen – M’s hoping a move to bullpen will remove some stress from left shoulder.

*Kyle Hunter – three years at Double-A Jackson with a 2.59 ERA and has not yet appeared in a Triple-A game. What gives?

Andrew Kittredge – rubber-armed UW product appeared in 21 games for Tacoma last year, starting two.

Cody Martin – I’m told he’s going to camp as a starter, but he pitched in 21 games from the Atlanta Braves bullpen last year.

*Vidal Nuno – might make Mariners bullpen, might make Rainiers rotation, might make Rainiers bullpen… flip a three-sided coin.

Blake Parker – former Iowa relief ace is in camp on a minor league deal; has been terrific in the PCL when healthy.

Joel Peralta – 39-year-old major league veteran is in camp on a minor league deal, and he’s never been afraid to return to Triple-A and work his way back up.

*David Rollins – last year’s Rule 5 Guy now has three years of minor league options.

*Kraig Sitton – former Oregon State Beaver signed as a minor league free agent; had 2.97 ERA in Double-A for Rockies last year.

Forrest Snow – could start, could relieve, will definitely exchange dance moves with Rhubarb The Reindeer.

Tony Zych – seems like the M’s really want him to make the big league club, but he does have options remaining if he struggles in spring training.

There you go – one line on everyone who might be a Rainiers reliever on April 7th. Well, probably not everyone. I’m sure I missed a few.

Links:

Pitchers and catchers report on Friday!

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