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March 3, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Aaron Laffey told by Mariners he’ll be bullpen only — and he’s happy about it

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That’s new Mariners pitcher Aaron Laffey moments ago, talking to Seattle reporters for the first time since yesterday’s trade. Laffey said the Mariners have told him he’ll be strictly looked at as a bullpen guy.
That came as good news to him, since he feels being bounced between a starting and relief role last season and prior adversely affected him.
“It’s nice to know,” he said. “I haven’t had that in a spring training ever. I’ve always been coming in with question marks about where I’m going to be, especially the last two or three years.”


Laffey went through a bit of a dead-arm period in Cleveland last year and believes the flip-flopping had plenty to do with it.
“I think it’s always been easier to go from starting to relieving because your volume decreases,” he said, and you’re only throwing a max of 30-35 pitches an outing. Last year, when I switched over from relieving to starting, you’ve got to go through spring training in a couple of weeks. You usually have six weeks to prepare to start and I basically went through a shortened three-week period where I had to go from throwing 30 pitches in an outing to over 100.
“And my shoulder just kind of shut down. I wasn’t seriously injured, but the muscles in my shoulder were extremely fatigued and just shut down and I was topping out at 80 miles per hour.”
Laffey said he usually tops out at 92 or 93 mph but that last year “was like throwing and there was a parachute attached to it.”
The Mariners will try to get him in a game tomorrow.

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