The Seattle Mariners have made a plethora of moves already this off-season, but one area that still needs a lot of work is the bullpen, particularly the number of lefties in the pen. While there are few options out there, the M’s are looking at a man who can add some left-handed balance to a right-handed dominant bullpen.
The latest reports have the Mariners eyeing lefty, Brett Cecil.
Cecil, of the Toronto Blue Jays, has had his way with the M’s over the years. The M’s only batted .240 in thirteen matches aginst the lefty. Only four other AL teams had a lower batting average against Cecil when playing at least ten games with him as the opposing pitcher.
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There was also only one team in the AL -the Houston Astros- that has more strikeouts per walks against them when Cecil takes the mound.
And Mariners fans remember that he has hurt their team as a reliever and a starter. In one of his two career starts versus the Mariners back in 2010, Cecil pitched a quality game, going 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits.
The Blue Jays would go on to win that ballgame 3-2, in large part because of Cecil’s ability to silence the M’s bats from scoring runs.
All of this, though, is just versus the M’s.
In his eight-year career facing the entire league, Cecil has a 28-26 record with an ERA of 4.77. As a reliever, things are better. He has a 3.03 ERA despite his 13-16 record.
But while he has negatives as a starter and a reliever, one glaring difference is his K/9 ratio at each role. His strikeouts per nine innings is 11.2 when he enters in the middle of a ballgame, while that number drops nearly five points as a starter.
So, the M’s must be thinking, “if we can’t be him, he should join us.” The follow up to that line is something along the lines of, “and maybe he’ll be able to beat the rest of the league with us too, even though he’s struggled with that so far.”
We’ll see if he ends up joining the club, but if he does, I think we’ll see him in the pen as one of the three total lefty options the Mariners have at the moment on their twenty-five man roster. They made even use him as a starter in emergency situations.