Bullpen Outlook

So with Jose Lugo going back to the Twins and RRS being named fifth starter, the following arms are still hanging around and vying for work:

Jakubauskas
Kelley
Aardsma
Batista
Lowe
Corcoran
Delgado
Morrow

Seven of those players are going to break camp with the Mariners. Lowe, Corcoran, and Aardsma are locks. Morrow is probable, unless the team decides to give him a week or three in Tacoma to get ready. Batista's probable, too, barring an unlikely release. That leaves us having to pick two out of the Jakubauskas/Kelley/Delgado threesome, and given that Delgado's only made six appearances while Jakubauskas (2 BB/9) and Kelley (12/1 K/BB) have impressed, it's the latter two that seem like the favorites. Which would be great news for both, albeit for different reasons - Kelley would be thrilled to make the team ahead of schedule, whereas Jakubauskas would be thrilled to make the team at all.

If Morrow were to begin the season in AAA, the Mariners would rather obviously elect to keep Delgado on the roster, as he's both somewhat interesting and out of options.

But here's where it gets messy. Morrow, if demoted, would only be gone for a couple weeks. And while Tyler Johnson isn't yet ready and Cesar Jimenez is on the DL, they're also on course to be good to go before long. Which means that, come mid- or late-April, we're probably going to see some movement. I have to imagine that Johnson will join the team as quickly as possible, since Wakamatsu's going to want a lefty specialist. And then there's Chad Cordero...it's all going to put pressure on pretty much all these guys to succeed early on so as not to find themselves on the chopping block.

A lot of these arms are going to be excited to make the Mariners out of ST, but in the grand scheme of things, it'll only be a small victory. Earning a job is one thing, but keeping it is quite another in the face of further competition. Nobody get too comfortable.

(Especially you, Miguel. For a couple reasons.)

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