Tag: Danny Farquhar

Fernando Rodney

Mariners designate Fernando Rodney for assignment


From the official Twitter account of the Seattle Mariners Baseball Information Department …

Rodney led the major leagues in saves last year with 48, but he’s taken a nosedive in 2015. Including his disastrous outing Friday against the White Sox, in which he allowed three runs while recording only one out, the 38-year-old right-hander holds a 5.68 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 50 2/3 innings this season.

Rodney is still owed a bit more money on the two-year, $14 million free agent contract that he signed with the Mariners in February 2014, so he is probably going to pass through waivers without a claim.

This might be the end — or the beginning of the end — for one of MLB’s most colorful relievers.

Mariners designate Rickie Weeks for assignment

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 28:  Rickie Weeks #25 of the Seattle Mariners runs the bases after hitting a homerun against the Texas Rangers in the fourth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 28, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Rickie Weeks signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Mariners over the winter, but he was designated for assignment this afternoon after struggling in part-time duty.

Weeks, 32, batted just .167/.263/.250 with two home runs and nine RBI over 95 plate appearances while seeing most of his playing time against left-handed pitching. He exclusively played second base in the majors coming into this season, but the Mariners used him as a left fielder and designated hitter. His role has been diminished since the Mark Trumbo deal, so Seattle decided to turn the page.

The Mariners have called up right-hander Danny Farquhar from Triple-A Tacoma to replace Weeks and will go with an eight-man bullpen for the time being.

Mariners place Tom Wilhelmsen on disabled list with hyperextended right elbow

Tom Wilhelmsen
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Mariners reliever Tom Wilhelmsen was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday due to a hyperextended right elbow which occurred under some freak circumstances.

Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times writes that Wilhelmsen was loosening up and swinging his arms when the back of arm slammed into teammate Danny Farquhar, who was running by. Bullpens are dangerous, man. Wilhelmsen thinks he’ll be able to resume playing catch by the end of the week, so it doesn’t sound too serious. The Mariners have called up right-hander Dominic Leone to take his place in the bullpen.

Wilhelmsen was an important part of Seattle’s excellent bullpen from last season, putting up a 2.27 ERA with 72 strikeouts over 79 1/3 innings. The 31-year-old has allowed two runs on five hits and one walk in 2 2/3 innings across his first two appearances this season.

2015 Preview: Seattle Mariners

Felix Hernandez

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Seattle Mariners.

The Big Question: Did they add enough offense?

The Mariners surprised in 2014, but man, if they just got a lick of offense, they could’ve surprised a lot more. Their 87 wins and near-wild card birth was achieved almost totally on the back of their pitching staff. Overall, the M’s had the best staff in all of baseball, allowing only 3.42 runs a game. The offense, however, was forgettable at best. Seattle scored 3.91 runs a game, which was third to last in the American League.

Robinson Cano is back, of course. As is third baseman Kyle Seager, who was the only other regular besides Cano to post an OPS+ above 100 in full-time play. Other positive offensive contributors in 2014 included Michael Saunders, who only played have the season and who is now gone, and Logan Morrison who played in 99 games. To improve upon 2014’s performance, the M’s needed more offense. So they went out and tried to get some.

The biggest addition was Nelson Cruz, who hit 40 homers and slugged .525 for Baltimore last year. Also added was Seth Smith, who hit .266/.367/.440 for San Diego in 2014. Given that Austin Jackson only played in 54 games last year you can think of him as an addition too. Rickie Weeks was acquired as well, though he’ll be riding pine and hitting against lefties mostly.

I sort of don’t think that’s enough. Taking Cruz out of Camden Yards and putting him in Safeco Field is going to cause him to take a step back a bit, and that’s before you acknowledge that he likely overachieved a bit last season in the first place. Seth Smith is not a cure-all, and full seasons of Morrison and Jackson could, based on their track records, mean full seasons of anything from good production to less-than-mediocrity. For the M’s to take that next step, they’re probably going to need more than this. They’ll need better production from Dustin Ackley, Brad Miller and Mike Zunino or they’ll need to add a bat at some point during the season.

None of which is to say the Mariners are in trouble. Heck, with their pitching staff (discussed more below) they’re almost instant contenders. But they were a flawed team last season which, while likely better on offense as 2015 begins, may not be quite good enough.

What else is going on?

  • The pitching is, of course, ridiculously good. Felix Hernandez needs no introduction. Hisashi Iwakuma has been one of the best kept secrets in baseball over the past three years. His late-season falloff last year is a bit worrisome, but given how James Paxton came on late in the season, the M’s may not need him to be a number two starter like he was before. Paxton has an injury history, of course, but he has gobs of talent. But wait, there’s more! Taijuan Walker has dodged injury and perpetual trade rumors to, presumably, earn a slot in the rotation following a spring in which he has tossed 18 scoreless innings with a 19/4 K/BB ratio. J.A. Happ at the back of your rotation is way better than J.A. Happ at the front of your rotation, and pitching in Safeco should help him. Roenis Elias is hanging around when someone needs a break, gets injured or forgets how to pitch. An extremely solid crew.
  • The bullpen was every bit as strong as their rotation last season, with Fernando Rodney, Danny Farquhar, Tom Wilhelmsen, Yoervis Medina and Charlie Furbush all pitching well and all returning. Rodney is occasionally heart-attack inducing, but if he implodes, Farquhar can handle the job. Expect a bit of a step back for this crew, as all bullpen performances fluctuate from season to season, but it’s a strong unit.
  • Adding Rickie Weeks was fun. Because he’s a second baseman and the Mariners, you may have noticed, have a pretty OK second baseman. That makes Weeks a super-utility guy, who will probably get looks in the outfield. Which is hilarious given that one of the reasons he was on the outs in Milwaukee was because he basically refused to play in the outfield when they asked him to. One presumes that Weeks was aware of Mr. Cano’s presence before signing his deal with the M’s, so one presumes that he’s on board with the move to the outfield now. Should be fun, though. He’s only ever played 2B and DH.
  • Another smallish addition: Justin Ruggiano, who could platoon with Seth Smith and/or Dustin Ackley. Or maybe Weeks can platoon. A lot of flexibility here, it seems, and if Lloyd McClendon feels comfortable with doing some plate-spinning with this lineup, he may be able to squeeze a bit more production out of it even without another big name addition.

Prediction: It’s hard not to like this club’s chances to to compete for a playoff spot. I think they still have enough questions on offense to where the Angels get the nod, but I think the Mariners are contenders. Second place, American League West.

Report: The Mariners sign Fernando Rodney to two-year deal

Katniss Rodney

Jonah Keri of Grantland reports that the Mariners have agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal with Fernando Rodney. The deal has incentives in it which could take it up to $15 million.

Rodney was dominant for the Rays in 2012 and saved 37 games for them in 2013 while striking out 82 batters in 66 2/3 innings. He is likely to be the M’s closer, pushing Danny Farquhar into a setup role.

All in all? Not a ton of money for a guy who should still be pretty darn effective in late innings. He could have helped a lot of teams, including the Yankees and the Orioles. But now he’s heading for Seattle.