CAPTION: Onetime Mariners relief pitcher David Pauley was released by the Tigers today. PHOTO CREDIT: AP:
Five more innings of two-run ball tossed by Blake Beavan today in a 6-4 win over the Texas Rangers. Beavan struck out Josh Hamilton twice and lowered his ERA to 2.38 in going the furthest of any Mariners pitcher this spring.
Beavan is vying for a fifth starter’s job and is in some tight competition, with the Mariners wanting to keep Kevin Millwood if they can and liking what they’ve seen from Hector Noesi thus far. There’s also Erasmo Ramirez to factor into that mix.
“He’s been throwing the ball well all camp,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Beavan has been working to improve his breaking ball and had success with it. The first Hamilton strikeout saw the lefty slugger completey fooled on his swing.
“He’s getting a feel of how to use it, when to use it and doing a good job of that,” Wedge said.
Beavan will likely travel with the team to Japan and get into one of the exhibition games there. The team plans to use the exhibitions to audition multiple starters.
The bullpen situation is still somewhat hazy, with Hong-Chih Kuo allowing two more baserunners today in a scoreless inning.
George Sherill also had a scoreless inning, but walked two batters. Sherrill often struggles in spring training in Arizona because of the dry air and its effect on his breaking pitches, so tough to tell where he’s really at.
Shawn Camp got hit hard, giving up a home run and a double. This on the heels of Tom Wilhelmsen and Shawn Kelley getting knocked around yesterday.
Not saying it’s panic time for the bullpen, but there are some guys who need to step it up a bit.
Worth considering is the fact that David Pauley got released by the Tigers today. Pauley was lights-out for Seattle before last summer’s trade in the Doug Fister deal. Once in Detroit, his season went “Poof!” and vanished into thin air and he’s been pretty useless for the Tigers ever since.
But he found success here once. One team official I talked to today said “you never know” when it comes to Pauley being reunited here. The official reminded me that there is familiarity between Pauley and the organization, meaning the M’s might get to the bottom of his troubles a little quicker than Detroit.
Even if Pauley was only a temporary fix, it could buy time for other relievers to get themselves untracked.
Anyhow, not saying he’s coming here. But keep an eye on what happens with him.
Miguel Olivo hit a three-run homer today to pace the attack, while Jesus Montero added a double and is now batting .389.
Vinnie Catricala, of course, had that high, high home run to left field and continues to impress. No, he won’t make the team Opening Day. The Mariners still need proof he can play competent defense over a longer stretch. But he sure has opened some eyes.
Trayvon Robinson is having quite a good two-day stretch and added a single today in his only AB to raise his spring average to .538. No, he won’t make the team. Nor will Alex Liddi or Carlos Peguero.
All three of them have to show they can eliminate the holes in their swing over a stretch of games far longer than some minth-long exhibitions in Arizona. Sort of like Catricala has to do on defense, only at the plate.