The Bullpen was beginning to look like a problem before we picked up Hong-Chih Kuo and Shawn Camp, these are very solid additions. Now all Mariner fans want to talk about is the offense and for good reason, it sucked last year, but if the Mariners are serious in making a push we need a good bullpen. We could have a very young inexperienced rotation (Hultzen, Paxton, Beaven, Furbush and Vasquez all have "a shot") so we need to rely on the bullpen even more.
I expect to use a 7 man bullpen with closer Brandon League leading the charge with the Camp and George Sherrill filling the setup role. Kuo should win a spot just because he's a lefty so that leaves three more spots. Shawn Kelley, Charlie Furbush, Aaron Heilman, Chance Ruffin, Scott Delabar and Tom Wilhelmsen are the guys who have a realistic shot. This is a very old group (with the exception of Ruffin) and thats good to have as a bullpen. I think Furbush is a lock for the long relief position as long as he isn't needed in the rotation. Then Wilhelmsen takes a spot because of his impressive 3.31 ERA last year. The last spot comes down to Kelley and Ruffin and I would make my case for Ruffin to add some youth and velocity to the 'pen. Ruffin came over in the in the Doug Fister deal and has a fastball in the mid nineties, some scouts even see him as a future closer.
These moves are great because they give us options and our bullpen can now deal with any injuries. I'd expect the bullpen to be very steady this year. Projected lineup coming up next! Please comment and subscribe.