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Mariners make bevy of depth moves

the pile, it grows

Toronto Blue Jays v Texas Rangers Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

There’s a couple of new pitchers in town, folks.

Dario Alvarez has seen scattered time at the big league level every year since 2014, running a career FIP of just over five over 48 innings. Command has long been a struggle for him, but after decimating hitters in 2016, Alvarez bottomed out last year with the Rangers, running a measly 3.7% K-BB%. While he was able to mostly walk the tightrope in the big leagues in 2017, one would be strongly discouraged on betting him to do it again.

Alvarez throws a healthy amount of sliders, and has always been able to get whiffs off of them, although his fastball isn’t overpowering, sitting in the 92-93 MPH range. He also features a funky arm slot:

As Johns’s tweet says, Alvarez has already been optioned, and should serve as a nice depth choice this year. His slider is a real major league weapon, and if he can regain some of the command he had in 2016, he could be a solid contributor to the relief corps.

The Mariners also brought in righty Erik Goeddel, who spent the last four seasons with the Mets. Like Alvarez, his velocity won’t wow anyone, but he does feature a devastating splitter, which hitters whiffed on more than a quarter of the time last year. He also has shown sharper command throughout his career than Alvarez has, but the 9.7% BB% he’s posted still isn’t ideal. Goeddel was bit by the homer bug pretty fiercely in 2017, although one could argue that this is fluky, considering he raised his ground ball rate by almost fifteen percentage points while his HR/FB more than doubled. In any case, though, he should also serve as good depth, and it is easy to envision seeing him pitch a handful of games with the big club.

There have been a few more minor moves the last couple of days, as well: the M’s signed outfielder Jorge Solano and acquired righty Ashton Goudeau and lefty Matt Tenuta from the Royals for an as-of-now unknown return.

Solano, to my knowledge, hasn’t played baseball since high school, opting instead for football at Saint Francis University and Fordham. While there is scant information on him available, his background as a wide receiver suggests that he’s athletic, and he could be a name to keep an eye on despite his relatively advanced age.

Goudeau and Tenuta are depth in the purest sense of the word. The two were teammates last year for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in Double-A, although Tenuta was promoted from High-A midseason. Both pitchers have struggled in their time as starters, and they’ve been deployed out of the pen to better results, with Tenuta in particular dominating High-A after being fully converted to a reliever. Neither are particularly adept at getting ground balls, and both are older for their level at 25 and 24, respectively. While it’s likely that they would benefit from staying in a full-time relief role, don’t count on seeing either of them in a Mariners uniform this year, barring drastic improvement.