One Billion Bullpen Candidates

Our final spring training preview group is the relief pitchers, and there is a huge group of possible Rainiers relievers.

The Mariners bullpen figures to include right-handers Edwin Diaz, Evan Scribner, Nick Vincent and Steve Cishek (if healthy by opening day). Lefthander Marc Rzepczynski will likely be joined by another southpaw – maybe Ariel Miranda, if the Mariners don’t want him starting games.

That’s six relievers, and there will be a seventh – so that’s going to be a competition. Dan Altavilla pitched well as a rookie at the end of last season, he figures to make a push for the big league club.

Here are some names of potential Tacoma relief pitchers, in no particular order:

RHP Ryan Weber – made MLB debut with Atlanta last year.

LHP Dean Kiekhefer – has been very effective against left-handed batters in Triple-A.

RHP Peter Tago – hard thrower trying to improve command.

LHP Nick Hagadone – former major leaguer from Sumner who has not pitched in two years due to arm woes; reportedly healthy now.

SHP Pat Venditte – the switch-pitcher is still in the mix.

RHP Jonathan Aro – was very good at times for Tacoma last year before getting hurt.

LHP Zac Curtis – former Diamondbacks reliever holds a spot on the M’s 40-man roster

RHP Casey Fien – ex-Twins reliever was signed as a free agent, has an option remaining.

LHP Paul Fry – improved in second half of Rainiers 2016 season, which was his first at the Triple-A level.

RHP Tony Zych – if healthy can help the major league team.

LHP James Pazos – made major league debut with Yankees last year; acquired in a trade.

RHP Shae Simmons – Hard thrower has legit chance to make Mariners roster; we’ll take him if he doesn’t.

RHP Emilio Pagan – should return to Tacoma after promising Triple-A debut last year.

RHP Guido Knudsen – mid-season acquisition finished last year at Double-A but has plenty of Triple-A and a bit of MLB experience.

RHP Matt Anderson – a 3.65 ERA with 56-16 strikeout-to-walk ratio in Double-A last year looks pretty good.

LHP Brandon Sisk – 31-year-old was recently re-signed; he helped Double-A Jackson down the stretch last year.

RHP Josh Judy – former Indians reliever was recently signed out of the independent Atlantic League.

As you can see, that is a ton of relievers – and I may have missed a name or two. Pat Listach ain’t going with an 18-man bullpen, so we’ll have to wait and see how this shakes out during spring training.



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