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News » Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-01-29

Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-01-29

Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-01-29
The Seattle bullpen is in a state of flux as the Mariners prepare to set up camp in Peoria, Ariz., starting with a first workout Feb. 14.

Seattle doesn't have a closer, or more accurately, hasn't chosen a closer from the ranks of the candidates it has to replace right-hander J.J. Putz, who was traded to the New York Mets.

Manager Don Wakamatsu and general manager Jack Zduriencik are on the same page in that both want one of the candidates step up and take the job. Neither is a fan of bullpen by committee.

And both seem willing to let the matter sort itself out in spring training. But it's going to be complicated.

One of the candidates, right-hander Brandon Morrow, is in the mix to be a starter, and he has been training on the assumption that he will be pitching once every fifth day.

Wakamatsu said Morrow will be given "a chance to win a job in the rotation. We'll see where it goes from there."

There are other candidates, including former starter Miguel Batista, who saved 31 games for the Blue Jays in 2005; Tyler Walker, who saved 23 games in 28 tries as a half-season replacement for Armando Benitez with the Giants in 2005; and relatively non-credentialed closers Mark Lowe and Roy Corcoran.

And the club might give a look to right-hander David Aardsma, picked up recently from Boston.

Lowe is finally healthy after a series of arm problems, and Corcoran is someone Putz said has the mental makeup to do the job, too.

"It's important to me to have one guy to close," Wakamatsu said. "But we have time to figure out who that will be."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: January 29, 2009

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