If the 2016 Mariners were/are going to play the way that Jerry Dipoto and Co. envisioned the team was going to have an outstanding starting rotation, a sneaky good offense, and a bullpen that scraped by at league average or so. Now the best laid plans and all that but the beginning of the week brought the news that Evan Scribner and Ryan Cook were struggling with lat injuries. That coupled with what the Mariners coded as "an abundance of caution" with Charlie Furbush and starting the season with a league average bullpen felt like a longshot. And, well:
Furbush tried to play catch briefly and was shut down for a few days. He'll attempt to play catch later in the week. That's bad news— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 13, 2016
This is the kind of thing you worry about whenever a team talks about "taking it slow" with a pitcher coming off injury. The Mariners still aren't talking about what exactly the problem is, if they even know at this point. But the reality of the situation is starting to be acknowledged:
Servais admitted that Furbush is running out of time to be ready for opening day.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 13, 2016
The one potential piece of all of this that doesn't make me want go outside my house and let the storm currently raging take me from this world is the news that with Furbush's delay the team is officially moving Mike Montgomery into a reliever role. With the former 1st round pick out of options this is something we've been calling for the team to try for awhile, and I'm glad to see it happen, although the circumstances are clearly sub-optimal.
Shannon Drayer has the most in depth look of what the current state of the bullpen is, and it's not pretty. In fact, if all of this still hasn't brought you down yet there's another little tidbit buried in there to keep you awake at night.:
There is another right-hander to keep an eye on as well – closer Steve Cishek hasn't thrown in a game in a week.
Hohoho what a jolly time. Ostensibly if Cishek is out for any amount of time it would appear that veteran Joaquin Benoit will be the next man up, with Tony Zych, Jonathan Aro, Blake Parker, Dave Rollins, and a host of other pile members potentially being called upon to throw high leverage innings for the season's first months.
We'll update this if more breaks. That's not a pun. Wait does saying it's not a pun invalidate the pun? What are the rules here?