Seattle Mariners rumors now reveal two rookies slated for the Opening Day roster. The Mariners have had a lot of depth in the bullpen over the past two seasons, and during Spring Training in 2015 that has become even more evident. As reported by MLB.com on Friday, April 3, the Mariners decided to add relief pitcher Carson Smith to the 25-man roster at the last moment. Smith replaces Dominic Leone and will give the team another right-handed option for late in games.
Smith pitched in nine games during spring training, posting a 4.15 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over that time. Despite the rough numbers, it appeared that Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon was sold on the young pitcher. He got called up in September of 2014 when the rosters were expanded and pitched in nine games down the stretch for the Mariners. He went 8 1/3 innings without giving up a run and allowed only two hits. Now the team hopes he can duplicate those numbers in his first full season.
The other rookie making a lot of noise in Seattle Mariners rumors is Gonzaga product Tyler Olson. The Seattle Timesindicated that he too would be making the 25-man roster when McClendon hinted at it. Olson was a starting pitcher before this season, but he showed a lot of talent in spring training. Pitching in 10 games for the Mariners, he had 12 2/3 innings of work without allowing an earned run. Batters hit only.178 against him and he struck out 15 in that time frame. Maybe the best statistic for the left-handed reliever is that he didn’t walk a single batter.
It’s very clear that the Seattle Mariners have a great bullpen again in 2015 and that it could get shown off on Opening Day. Felix Hernandez has been tabbed as the Opening Day starter again, but if he only goes six or seven innings in his first game, it could allow both rookies an opportunity to enter the game. Fernando Rodney is already designated as the closer, so Tyler Olson and Carson Smith will join a group of setup guys that McClendon can plug in during different situations. The flexibility these young pitchers can provide and the ability of Olson to pitch several innings should worry the rest of the American League West.
The Opening Day game for the Seattle Mariners comes on Monday, April 6, when the team hosts the Los Angeles Angels. Felix Hernandez will face off against Jered Weaver in the first game Safeco Field will see this season.
[Image Source: Rich Pilling/Getty Images]