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Carter Capps, Stephen Pryor Round Out Wonderful Bullpen

Late Monday night, the Seattle Mariners lost Steve Delabar and Brandon League from the major-league bullpen. They lost them for good reasons, but they lost them nevertheless. That meant the bullpen suddenly had two open slots to be filled. It stood to reason that one would go to Stephen Pryor, who's off a rehab assignment, and people guessed that the other would go to Carter Capps. Guess who nailed it? Those people.

Capps isn't on the Mariners' 40-man roster, but at this writing the roster includes 39 players, with Kevin Millwood or Jason Vargas still a possibility to get dealt. So that isn't an obstacle. Capps just yesterday made his triple-A debut. He struck out Rocky Gale swinging, he got Daniel Robertson to fly out, he struck out Andy Parrino swinging, and he struck out Jeremy Hermida swinging. You probably don't know who at least three of those players are, but it would've been tough for Capps to have a better debut. That might also be the only triple-A appearance he ever makes.

One's immediate thought is "wow, the Mariners' bullpen just got some fastballs." Pryor can dial it up to the triple digits, and the same goes for Capps. But then it's not like Delabar and League didn't throw gas, too, so the Mariners replaced two flame-throwers with two flame-throwers. But now look at this bullpen:

  • Tom Wilhelmsen: dynamite, hard-throwing closer
  • Carter Capps: one of baseball's best relief prospects
  • Stephen Pryor: throws 96-100 miles per hour
  • Oliver Perez: lefty strike-thrower(???) with good heat and slider
  • Lucas Luetge: through 20 appearances, Luetge had thrown 55% strikes. Since then, he's thrown 63% strikes, with five walks and 16 strikeouts
  • Shawn Kelley: 31 strikeouts, four unintentional walks
  • Josh Kinney: has already struck out a third of all batters faced

And then you have Charlie Furbush on the mend, and Furbush's stuff and numbers are outstanding. Furbush's return probably means the end of Josh Kinney for the time being, if nothing changes, and I don't have anything against Josh Kinney, but that'd be a welcome swap. This Mariners bullpen could and should be a lot of fun, and it's a bullpen with an awful lot of club control.