Bullpen candidates – The middle
The two main candidates for long relief will be Roenis Elias and Erasmo Ramirez. They will give depth to the starting rotation as well. Currently, Ramirez is in the rotation, however, there may not be a starting spot available for him 2019.
Danny Altavilla who started the season with the Mariners but has been on the disabled list the entire second half. He was pitching well, with a 2.61 era before getting hurt.
Shawn Armstrong, who the Mariners got in a trade with the Cleveland Indians last December, was with the Tacoma Rainiers all minor league season. He pitched in 49 games with an era of 1.77 and 15 saves. Since August 28, when the Mariners recalled him, he has appeared in nine games often as the first reliever out of the bullpen. So far he has a zero earn run average. Armstrong is making his case for a prominent place in the Mariners 2019 bullpen.
Juan Nicasio started the season as the eighth inning setup to Edwin Diaz before struggling, which forced the Mariners into picking up Alex Colome. The Mariners signed Nicasio during the last off-season.
The eight-year MLB veteran did have some success but also blew games he pitched. At worst his poor performances led to losses, at best they gave Edwin Diaz some one-run games to save that shouldn’t have happened.
Nicasio has alternated the past few months between the disabled list (knee) and ineffectiveness. In 2019 he will be in the second of the two-year contract he signed with Seattle. The best case scenario is that he will be the seventh inning reliever, setting up Colome and Diaz. His turn around is key to the bullpen’s improvement.
James Pazos hasn’t been what would be called a left handed specialist, but the Mariners could use him in that role if necessary. He has been used primarily as a middle reliever.
Chasen Bradford, acquired off waivers from the Mets in January, pitched well in the first half of the season. Since then he has been back and forth between Seattle and Tacoma, as the M’s juggle their pitching staff. Bradford’s second half hasn’t been as good as the first, however, his era right now is still a respectable 3.38 in 42 appearances.