After the Mariners have come out of the break slow with the pitching an uncharacteristic weak spot, the team has done some roster shuffling ahead of tonight’s game against the Twins. RHPs Prelander Berroa and Devin Sweet have been summoned to replace RHPs Ty Adcock and Isaiah Campbell, who both worked multi-inning appearances last night.
Berroa is the name more Mariners fans likely recognize, as he made a loud debut this spring training after being added to the 40-man roster in the off-season to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Berroa was acquired from the Giants prior to 2022 in a trade that sent the Mariners’ utilityman—and a rare infield home-grown prospect—Donovan Walton to San Francisco and brought the flamethrower Berroa to Seattle. The Mariners left Berroa as a starter for a while, but ultimately converted him full-time to the bullpen early in the minor-league season with an eye towards hastening his path to the big leagues. They haven’t been able to solve his command issues, as he continues to be quite wild, but with the kind of loud, ooh-and-ahh stuff of the top relievers when he is landing his pitches: a fastball that’s reliably 96-98 and tops out in the triple digits, and a nasty diving slider that’s a real swing-and-miss pitch. Fun fact: Berroa was actually originally signed by the Twins in 2016, and was sent to San Francisco in the Sam Dyson trade, so now will have an opportunity to make his debut against the team that signed him.
Prelander Berroa is one of the most interesting prospects in Mariners camp, and one that Jerry Dipoto has raved about.— Daniel Kramer (@DKramer_) February 24, 2023
In his Cactus League debut, he struck out three in the 3rd inning -- including this one that got Xander Bogaerts swinging aimlessly. pic.twitter.com/q2uNEYm4cr
Devin Sweet is maybe slightly less recognizable as his stuff won’t have Pitching Ninja pulling out his fainting couch anytime soon, but he’s able to put away hitters by pairing his lower-velocity fastball (91-93) with a true Bugs Bunny changeup that’s driven his success in the minors. Sweet has a great story: he signed as an UDFA in 2018 out of North Carolina Central, an HBCU, hopping on a plane to Arizona literally just days before he was scheduled to begin grad school. When he makes his big-league debut, he’ll be only the second player ever to make the bigs from NC Central, and the first in the modern era of the NL/AL, joining Burnalle “Bun” Hayes, who played in the Negro Leagues from 1928-1935.
The swings on Devin Sweet’s changeup are glorious. pic.twitter.com/VFmepYDqEU— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) April 29, 2022
As Berroa was already on the 40-man roster, which was at 39, this won’t require any additional roster moves. The 40-man roster is now full.