Monday, February 18, 2008

Set-Up Man Battle

Time for something new. I'm going to start going over position battles for the Mariners, that will be coming up this Spring. Today, or rather tonight, I'm going to start with the battle for the setup man for closer JJ Putz.

No more George Sherrill now that Mr. Bedard is in town. Brandon Morrow was the setup man for Putz last season. As a rookie, he posted a 4.12 ERA in 63.1 IP, giving up only 3 HR and striking out 66. His 50 BB were probably his worst stat, but considering he only had 16 innings of minor league expierence before impressing in Spring Training '07, and jumping to the MLB. He will be in the mix this Spring, although before Erik Bedard was acquired, he was going to be battling for the number five starter job. Manager John McLaren says that he will have Morrow battling for the setup spot, instead of going to AAA to further his transformation into a starter.

24 year old Mark Lowe has not been able to stay healthy for more than five minutes over the last couple seasons. If he is as healthy as we are led to believe, that he will likely be in the Mariners' bullpen. He will be some of Brandon Morrow's biggest compitition for the setup job. In 2007, Lowe only managed to be healthy enough to pitch in 12.2 innings. In 2006, when he was healthy, with the Mariners he had a 1.93 ERA and 20 K's in 18.2 IP. He only gave up one homerun and 9 BB. Not bad for some fresh meat. He also has proven that he can handle MLB batters. He'll be one to watch.
Righty Chris Reitsma has also had some injury problems in his tenure with the Mariners. yes it has only been one year, but he has only managed 23.2 innings in his first season with the Mariners. I'd say that Reitsma has the ability to be a decent reliever, but hasn't proved that yet. His 4.70 ERA in 609 IP for his MLB career isn't much. It's not nothing, but it's not much. He's an option, but I like the above better.

More of a longshot for this job, but Arthur Rhodes was brought in as competition, so it's only fair to include him in this. Because all of life is fair... Man this guy has been around. It doesn't look like Rhodes will be ready come Opening Day, and will likely start in the minors. He has a career ERA of 4.32 in 1011 IP. He's still an option.

Any ideas are always welcome, I'll be making an email adress for this blog. Anyone I missed for the setup job?


007 said...

I say Morrow all the way. Lowe looks good, but needs to prove that he is healthy first. Reitsma and Rhodes also need to prove that they are healthy in order to to establish themselves as decent major league quality relievers.

A question: what does a picture of jamie Burke really have to do with the setup man battle. I get the pitcher-catcher connection, but any other reason why?

Tyler C said...


You definitely know your stuff. Agree with everything, except, for Morrow all the way, because I wouldn't mind seeing Morrow grow into a starter, but he looks like a great option in the 8th inning.

As for your question, I'm not too sure why I picked that picture. The pitcher-catcher combo has a bit to do with it, but it's a Spring Training battle, and the picture's from Spring Training, so you can probably tie that loose thread together.