While the holes have felt most prominent recently in the starting rotation and the lineup, let us not forget the injury woes of the bullpen. With 11 players on the DL entering today, second-most in the league, the Mariners are finally getting one back.
.@Mariners activate RHP Steve Cishek from 10-day DL; option LHP Zac Curtis to Double-A Arkansas.— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) May 15, 2017
Steve Cishek at last appears ready to make his season debut after several rehab outings. After a solid start to the season last year where he posted an 11.48 K/9 in the first half and a 2.30 FIP, Cishek lost the starting closer job to Edwin Díaz after a few blown saves and struggles with command. He came back later in the season to pitch decently in a semi-setup role, but his strikeout stuff was not as impressive. It was later revealed he’d been pitching with two torn hip labrums to try and boost the floundering Mariners bullpen (outside of Díaz) as they made their playoff push. After offseason surgery, Cishek’s rehab has looked healthy, if rusty. When he’s struggling, Cishek’s funky command can make him scary to watch. When he’s on, however, as was pointed out last season by Jeff Sullivan, he can make good hitters like José Abreu do this:
Zac Curtis heads back down after appearing just twice, but working 1.2 scoreless innings. Considering the Mariners are tied for 4th in the league in appearances by relievers and the state the rotation still finds itself in, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 24 year-old lefty back up again.
The Mariners bullpen now sits with six RHPs in Edwin Díaz, Steve Cishek, Nick Vincent, Tony Zych, Dan Altavilla, and Sam Gaviglio. They have two LHPs in James Pazos and Marc Rzepczynski. Good luck, Steve.