This guy’s nickname is Scrabble? You’re damn skippy I’m calling him Scrabble from now on!
Consider this your weekly Mariners update, a day earlier than usual. That’s because I’m preparing myself for the Husky basketball team to get destroyed by Gonzaga tonight, followed by me absolutely destroying everything there is to destroy about Husky basketball tomorrow. It should be fun!
Scrabble is a lefty reliever. He’s signed for 2 years and $11 million total, which is in that Steve Cishek price range. Scrabble is absolutely dominant against left-handed batters, and can’t do a damn thing against right-handed batters. If you combined the left half of Scrabble with the right half of Cishek, you’d be talking about the perfect relief pitcher.
I’m not super jazzed about spending big bucks on relievers, but then again, is $5.5 million per year even considered “big bucks” anymore in Major League Baseball? It seems like we’re just a couple decades away from that being the minimum veteran salary.
I do think this gives Scott Servais a lot of flexibility in his bullpen usage. I get the feeling that in an ideal world, Servais would be a Mike Scioscia type, with lots of trips to the bullpen, even in the middle of an inning. Relief pitchers are already specialists, but we’re getting specialists on top of specialists with guys like Scrabble and Cishek! You really just want to use those guys in the highest-leverage situations, but only against same-handed batters. In this case, the 2017 bullpen is shaping up to be a very good one … in 9-inning games. But, maybe lacking a bit if we have to go to extras, which happens probably 10-15 times per year.
With Scrabble and Cishek, you’ve got Edwin Diaz, Evan Scribner, Nick Vincent, and probably Tony Zych if he’s healthy. That’s six guys, with one spot left over, likely for a second left-handed reliever. It’s coming together! Now, let’s see if it can gel.
And let’s see if we can find another starter.