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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

Category: bullpen
August 6, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Tom Wilhelmsen getting stretched out in AAA and could become starter

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The Mariners, as Larry Stone reported last night¬†while trying to escape the Canadian lynch mob chasing him down Edgar Martinez Drive, have sent Tom Wilhelmsen to Class AAA and will be stretching him out a bit to see whether he can be converted to a starting role. Carter Capps is rejoining the bullpen from AAA and Jason Bay has been released. Franklin Gutierrez has ended his rehabilitation assignment but is not being actuvated off the 15-day DL yet. My guess is the Mariners will want to put him through some full-blown workouts first before gauging whether he’s ready to return. That and they have to figure out what to do with Dustin Ackley. And some of that might depend on Nick Franklin and his ability to stick at second base every day. Bunch of dominoes there.

We discussed this potential Wilhemsen move yesterday morning on the blog and it was a main part of my chat yesterday with Mitch Levy during our Talkin’ Baseball segment on Sports Radio KJR. So, as you guessed, I am in favor of this move. Not because I think Wilhelmsen is going to become the next Justin Verlander or anything. It is merely a creative way for the Mariners to try to resolve some issues they have.


Comments | More in bullpen | Topics: tom wilhelmsen; starter; aaa; rotation

August 2, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Tom Wilhelmsen out as Mariners closer once again

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This doesn’t come as any surprise, given what happened last night in Boston. But Tom Wilhelmsen is once again out as Mariners closer.

Mariners interim manager Robby Thompson confirmed as much this afternoon in his pregame media session.

“As of right now, maybe like we’ve done in the past, we’ll try to piece it together and match up,” Thompson said. “And we’ll go from there. Those games that are like that and even in closer games where we’ve got the lead, we’ve got to try to find a way to win that ballgame.”

Thompson suggested Wilhelmsen’s struggles are more mental than mechanical.

“For me, watching him, he’s pitching with a little bit of a lack of confidence for me and he’s not pounding the strike zone,” Thompson said. “He’s not pounding it with fastballs like he did in the past, to get to his breaking ball, to get to that changeup.”

Instead, he’s been falling behind early and then not using his curveball as much. Thompson suggested that pitchers who keep falling behind in the count with their fastball will tend to be more reluctant to throw their curve if it has to be for a strike and can’t be wasted out of the zone.

And that’s a problem.

“When you’re talking about that ninth inning and you’re trying to get those last three outs, you can’t give any free passes,” Thompson added. “That’s like giving that team four or five outs in an inning and you just can’t get away with that.”

Thompson held a closed-door team meeting before batting practice to remind his players how well they’d been doing of late.


Comments | More in bullpen | Topics: tom wilhelmsen; robby thompson; closer; signals

August 2, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Many reasons Mariners sit eight games under .500 and here’s a biggie

The Mariners open a three-game series tonight in Baltimore against an Orioles team shooting for another wild-card spot as of right now.

The Mariners open a three-game series tonight in Baltimore against an Orioles team shooting for another wild-card spot as of right now.

Let’s take a look at some games lost by the Mariners this season:

Aug. 1 — Had 7-2 lead in 9th inning, lost 8-7 to Red Sox

July 26 — Had 1-0 lead in 9th inning, lost 3-2 in 13 innings to Twins

July 11 — Had 5-1 lead in 3rd inning, lost 8-7 in 10 innings to Red Sox

July 9 — Had 5-0 lead in 3rd inning, lost 11-8 to Red Sox

June 20 — Had 8-1 lead in 5th inning, lost 10-9 to Angels

June 12 — Had 1-0 lead in 9th inning, lost 6-1 to Astros

June 1 — Had 4-2 lead in 9th inning, lost 5-4 to Twins

May 29 — Had 2-0 lead in 9th inning, lost 3-2 in 10 innings to Padres

May 20 — Had 7-6 lead in 9th inning, lost 10-8 in 10 innings to Indians

That about covers it. We can list the surprising comeback wins and there have been, what? One or two? Sure, there’s the one-hit win in Houston. That counts. And maybe, what? One more stunning reversal?

Well, I just listed nine stunning reversals that went against the Mariners.

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Comments | More in bullpen | Topics: Tom Wilhelmsen; blown saves; red sox; fenway