Hot off the Lookout Landing News Desk is a fresh item of concern to those who have bullpen concerns:
Source: #Mariners on verge of signing free-agent LH reliever Marc Rzepczynski. Last-minute details to cover. Will be pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 1, 2016
Yes, that is right, pending a physical and salary details, the Seattle Mariners are close to signing what is likely the most impossible name to spell in MLB. Marc Rzepczynski is a thirty-one year old left-handed reliever who Jerry Dipoto has been telegraphing a move for since the offseason essentially began. The bullpen was, and still is, righty-heavy since the trading of Vidal Nuno and Marc (yes, I'm avoiding the last name) will certainly shore things up from the south side of the mound.
While the move is yet to be made official, the acquisition of Rzepczysnki makes a lot of sense for an M's bullpen who will now likely have open auditions for the second lefty role among relatively new faces. Something promising from this past season is a velocity increase in his fastball of nearly 3MPH. Having a lefty touching 92 on average versus 89 who mainly throws slider/change off the fastball makes a world of difference. We typically look at velocity disparity between the change and the fastball and Rzepczynski has managed to increase the fastball while keeping his offspeed stuff the same velocity. This give his entire arsenal more life. There's only one pitcher I know who doesn't need a speed gap between fastball and change and that's Felix Hernandez. Not even Felix Hernandez can throw the Felix Hernandez Change anymore.
His slider is a legit weapon, and throwing him in the mix with Diaz and Cishek, you now have essentially cornered the market on slider angles. There's something to be said here about Dipoto coveting this certain pitch out of the 'pen. This likely moves the Jerry Dipoto Focus Ray from the reliever side of things to looking for some starting pitching. Any player is expendable. Stay frosty, my friends.
Anyway, here is a small piece of what's to come from the Man from Oak Lawn.