At last, a pitcher with a name as boring as Sean Green's name ought to be. On Friday, the Mariners have claimed reliever Jeff Gray off waivers from the , and he'll join the big league bullpen, presumably meaning that either Tom Wilhelmsen or Dan Cortes will be uprooted and returned to the minors. No corresponding move has yet been announced, but the M's have until tomorrow, since Gray won't be joining them tonight.
Gray is the latest on a moderate list of Sean White, Bud Black, Kevin Brown, Mike Brown, Tom Brown, Matt White, Rick White, and almost Carlos Silva. It isn't the prettiest collection of colors, but then it isn't the prettiest collection of pitchers.pitchers with colorful names, along with Green,
So who's Jeff Gray? Gray is a 29-year-old right-hander with 53.2 innings of decent big league experience with Oakland and both Chicagos. He works off a hard fastball and a high-80s slider, and though he doesn't miss a whole mess of bats, he does a decent job of throwing strikes and he keeps the ball on the ground, making him just good enough to always hang right on the fringe of a Major League career. There's clear upside in his stuff, but without many strikeouts and with the usual struggles against left-handed hitters, he's the kind of guy who makes the perfect last man on a 40-man roster. He can help a little while he's around, and it doesn't hurt too bad if and when you have to send him away.
So Gray isn't a great help to the bullpen, but he's not bad, he can throw multiple innings at a time, and he'll also allow Cortes or Wilhelmsen to resume getting regular game work, which is what we all want. It is an unobjectionable transaction.
Your Jeff Gray fun fact: of the six home runs he's allowed in the Major Leagues, two were hit by Jose Lopez and Adam Moore. Despite that impression, here he is.