Thin bullpen getting thinner

Charlie Furbush
Lefty Charlie Furbush, recovering from a slight rotator cuff tear, is one of a long list of relievers who may not be ready for opening day. Today the M’s released right-hander Justin DeFratus.

Jerry Dipoto hoped he could do some bargain-basement shopping for some effective bullpen pieces to replace the 2015 version. He laid out some significant cash to acquire set-up man Joaquin Benoit and closer Steve Cishek. A lot of the other parts were acquired on the cheap.  Ryan Cook and Evan Scribner were targeted as bounce-back candidates.  Justin DeFratus had a lousy season with the Phillies and seen as a bargain pick-up. Jonathan Aro came over in the Wade Miley deal with little major league experience. Joel Peralta was looking for a spot after injuries in 2015.

Unfortunately there has been a parade of pitchers sidelined by injury and ineffectiveness. Cook is on the 60-day disabled list.  Scribner is not likely to make the opening day roster. Cishek hasn’t pitched since March 6th due to soreness. Lefty veteran Charlie Furbush looks like he won’t fully recover from his injury in time for the season opener. Today the Mariners released Justin DeFratus due to ineffectiveness.

The bounce-back gang is increasingly looking like a bit more like a flat tire. Though Peralta has pitched well, Aro and Mariner hopeful Tony Zych have struggled. With Vidal Nuno and David Rollins the only healthy lefties in camp, the M’s gave starter Mike Montgomery his first shot out of the bullpen today. Blake Parker and Maykol Guaipe may be right handed answers, but they don’t have major league track records.

The Mariners went in to spring training with the bullpen as a question mark.  With things not exactly turning out as planned you’d have to think that it’s two question marks and an exclamation point. Here’s hoping DiPoto has good luck fishing the catch and release pools as teams begin reducing their rosters.


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