The sailors have converted the Bullpen, and Los Bomberos is thriving

by Jordan Shusterman
FOX Sports MLB Writer

Last month in Detroit, many members sailors Polbin went to dinner. To get the right hand Paul Swald, was familiar in a sense, as a group of sedatives gathered in Seattle for dinner about 14 months ago during the annual trip to Motor City. But then Sewald realized something.

“I looked around,” Sewald told FOX Sports. “And only Fleming Bayes, the bull hunter, I was the only two people that existed a year ago.”

As fairly normal in the Jerry DePoto era, the Mariners’ roster has actually turned somewhat over the past calendar year, and for the better.

Sailors 2021 was a mirage. They won 90 games by 51 games but off the charts Differential fun Thanks in large part to the record 33-18 in single-run games – which made for a runaway season, albeit one that felt particularly sustainable.

In contrast, Dipoto made major upgrades to the roster last winter and again on the trade deadline that put the Mariners in an excellent position to end a post-season drought that lasted more than two decades.

But it’s the evolution – and transformation – of the Bullpen in particular that deserves a closer look. A large part of the team’s success in close competitions a year ago was based on it It is constantly delivered when requested. Although it was hardly full of familiar names, it was filled with hidden gems like Sewald, Drew Steckenrider And the Casey Sadlerwho were constantly closing the door when their names were called. Rafael MonteiroAnd the Anthony Misevichand Will Vest, JT Chargois, and Kinan Middleton All of them have made more than 30 appearances. Kendall Grafman He was completely dominant until his trade with Houston.

As Sewald notes, for a variety of reasons, from trades to injuries to poor performance, none of these guys are still around. However, Sewald said, “We were in the top five in the league last year. Now we’re in the top five in the league again with completely different players.” “When you think of it like that, we just replaced really great shooters from last year with better shooters this year. It was really fun to watch.”

This year, Seattle Bullpen has a host of new faces and perhaps most importantly, a new moniker: Los Bomberos. Firefighter.

Sewald may lead the team in 19 saves, but Andres Muñoz – the one Who gave the nickname Pomperos Bulbin – The headline was obvious. The 23-year-old right hand was obtained from San Diego As part of Austin Nola’s trip back into the 2020 trade deadline. He showed off his electric heater in 23 runs with Padres when he was 20 in 2019, but he requested Tommy John’s surgery in spring training the following year which put him off radar for a while.

Now fully back from TJ, Muñoz is right back from where he left off with one of the most dynamic fast-football groups in baseball – a group very similar to that of the former Mariners’ closest. Edwin Diaz. Director Scott Service has deployed him in any semblance of high influence, regardless of the role, and Muñoz has repeatedly delivered. He is currently the ninth All painkillers in case of war It has a strike rate of 39.3% which only appropriately comes after the aforementioned Diaz.

It’s hard to match an arsenal of high-octane muños, but this bull’s-eye has no shortage of the pure stuff. Eric Swansonthe traitor. Diego Castlesinker. matt vistaSlider. It can be said that it is the crown jewel of all of them, newbie Matt BrashCracking the silly ball.

Brush, a High-A rookie when Sewald was out for dinner in Detroit last year, has hit the scene in 2022, especially since moving to the Bullpen full-time. He, too, throws hard like Muñoz, but he is Its sliderAny advantages? More horizontal movement More than any other baseball player, he has caught the attention of his teammates – and PitchingNinja -:

“The 90 mph slider with 20 inches of horizontal movement is a bit unfair,” the Savior Ben Murphy He said about the distinguished pitch of his teammate.

“It’s crazy,” Vista agreed. “What are you supposed to do with this?”

Brash began the year in Seattle’s rotation but struggled with throwing enough to spur a demotion and an eventual transition to a relief role that worked wonders. After posting 7.65 ERAs in 20 rounds as a start, the 24-year-old put in 1.50 ERAs in 24 relief runs, including 12 consecutive goalless outings dating back to August 17th.

Brach’s integration also flowed smoothly in Pulp which was slowly advancing as the summer passed – just like the rest of the crew.

Although the drama Quarrel with angels Often referred to as the turning point in this Mariners’ season, June 26th really took off the week before. After dropping to 29-39 on June 19, Seattle defeated a five-game winning streak before losing the match in which the brawl occurred. A few days later, a new streak began—a 14-game heater that carried Seattle all the way to the All-Star break.

In June, Seattle’s odds of breaking a historic drought in the playoff dipped as low as 5%. Now, with only a few weeks left in play, FanGraphs predicts the drought has a 99% chance of breaking.

Since June 21the Mariners went 51-23, nearly 112 wins over 162 games, and the second-best record in MLB behind only the Dodgers (58-19).

Here’s how Relief company jammed Across the league since then:

3.5 fWAR (III)

2.48 ERA (first)

3.28 FIP (sec)

27.2% write-off rate (sec)

Strand rate 80% (first)

.188 BAA (first)

1.03 whip (sec)

Given the quality of the 2021 unit, Los Bomberos has set a new standard. And while this year’s squad arguably outperformed last year’s on pure talent, they also benefited greatly from something the 2021 squad clearly lacks: an elite start to the show.

The Mariners have recorded a 3.35 ERA starting pitcher since June 21, the fourth lowest in baseball, and have been particularly stunning as of late.

Having such a reliable rotation does more than just help teams win baseball games – it also allows dwellers to relax and enjoy each other’s company in the early part of the game without worrying about coming sooner than planned.

“The fact that we don’t have business days twice a week makes it a lot easier for us,” Sewald said. “There is not much panic there.

“We feel like we have four rounds to hang out and talk and talk.”

“Everyone’s real gossip, like, four-stroke,” Vista added. “I can’t keep my mouth shut, so I’m always talking. Myself and I are having a lot of fun.”

Eventually, relaxation and conversation shift to focus and preparation.

“We are very comfortable with whatever situation is thrown at us,” Vista said.

“Our coach [Trent Blank] “He does a really good job,” Murphy said. If there’s a situation where he feels he needs to tell us something that might come up during a match, he’s very good at giving us a heads up. We just got a very good rhythm of understanding when certain names are called.”

It is pertinent to note that Murfee referred to Blank, who has been a key member of the Mariners promotions development group since joining the organization in 2019.

Plank said after promotion To Coach Bullpen and Director of Promotion Strategy for the 2021 season.

Bullpup building isn’t just about acquiring people who throw the toughest stuff or own the fiercest stuff like muños or brash. It’s also about finding players who can simply do that Exit, the way Murfee – a former 33rd-round pick and didn’t start promoting full-time until his final year of college – showed in his rookie campaign. The 28-year-old scored 2.68 ERA in 58.1 IP and 0.91 WHIP ranked 12- Least among all eligible analgesicswith two 11 less than him being Sewald (0.77) and Swanson (0.88).

said Murphy, whose fastball average speed is around 89 mph but his ability to suppress hard friction is exciting. Among the best in the entire league. “I think it’s just about creating a unique look and more than anything else, keeping men balanced. You can do that with 90.”

Sewald echoed this sentiment: “As we’ve seen, [velocity] It’s not the only important thing. It keeps you away with some fouls, but depending on the angle, I can throw pitches right in the middle at 91 and be just as effective as anyone throwing a 96 in the middle. “

Both Murfee and Sewald thrived as navigators by relying on unusual firing points to compensate for the relatively below-average velocity of a late-stroke damper.

“Unique is the most important thing,” Sewald said. “Ben and I are so unique, skipping over our bodies, throw from a low angle, throw the ball up [deliveries] …but that’s funny, he’s been riding, I’ve run. Our presentation characteristics are completely different although our deliverables are very similar. If you told a coach in 2004 that two of us were on the same team, they would think you had the same bowler. Why do you want these two together? ”

Since it’s not 2004, sailors have found a way to maximize each of these similar but different deliverables in the same space, even if they don’t hit a billion miles per hour.

That’s not to say Sewald can’t appreciate how hard bowlers are in the league these days. “That game We played against the Yankees when [Luis] Castillo set up against Gerrit Cole. I, [Scott] Evros and [Matt] Festa was the only three bowlers to throw a fastball under 95. In a 13-stroke match! The evolution of speed is insane.”

In fact, the numbers are from the classic August just awesome. Nine different bowlers combined to throw 202 of the game’s 367 total throws above 95 mph, with Sewald (94.7), Festa (94.0) and Effross (91.9) maxing out well below that limit.

Combined with the historic display of speed, that game was one of Seattle’s signature victories of the season – profound proof that they can hang on to a team as strong as Yankees In an epic battle for 13 rounds.

The obvious goal for sailors entering 2022 was simple: to end the drought. More than two decades without baseball after the season is over is a long time.

Sailors strong offensive team, led by Gil V’s talent Julio Rodriguez And enough other influential bats in the All-Star Ty France home running machine Eugene Suarez To make opposing shooters sweat.

However, on the hill, Seattle boasts an incredibly deep group of shooters who match almost any of them across the league. It was this group that ensured that the Mariners would finally play their post-season baseball games again.

Even better, it’s that group that gives the sailors the best chance win over Postseason baseball games again.

Jordan Shusterman Half @CespedesBBQ and baseball writer for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @j_shusterman_.

Get more from Major League Baseball Follow your favorites for information about games, news, and more.