Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 6/1/12
Time for a new era… or at least a new ERA

The sports world was all a buzz about the Seattle Mariners monster offensive effort against the Texas Rangers.  While everyone in the clubhouse had to feel great coming off the field that night, former high school teacher Steve Delabar ended the game by being optioned to AAA.

Delabar has a strong arm, there is no doubt about that.  While the velocity is high, the movement on his pitches is low.

 The result over his 25 appearances this season is a 5.18 ERA while giving up 7 home runs. 

The Mariners were willing to give the hard throwing right hander a chance to develop.  Unfortunately his time in the big leagues has run out.

Delabar to Tacoma, Pryor to the bigs.

Per Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times… Make no mistake: Pryor is not up here as a reward for a job well done. He’s here because the Mariners have a bullpen problem and he’s their best internal solution.

Here is what that all means to the 2012 M’s, and their bullpen:

1.  Faith

The Mariners have lost faith in their pen.  April was a time of settling, May was the time for adjustment, June is the time for action.  The Mariners front office realizes that they are dealing with a young team that needs extra time to develop.

That time is over and the M’s are looking for more consistency.

2. Veteran Arms

The Mariners have a lack of veteran leadership.  Seattle signed George Sherrill more for his leadership than his ability.  Young players need a mentor.  With Sherrill out for the season (and likely his career), the M’s were hesitant to bring in another inexperienced guy, because they don’t want to rush they guys in the farm.

3. Trade BLT

The Mariners are still hoping to move Brandon League.  Delabar played the role of late inning relief, with League moving out of the closing role, Delabar was sitting as the odd man out. Brandon League will have value if he gets time to pitch, Delabar was in his way.

There will be a lot of pressure to perform on Stephen Pryor's shoulders. (Photo John Lok - SeattleTimes.com)

4. Hope for 2012 & beyond

The Mariners have hope.  Pryor has only played in 9 AAA games, and while he has an 0.00 ERA and 15 strike outs in 12 innings big league ball is a lot different than anything else the kid has faced before.

There will be a lot of pressure to perform.

It would have been better to let him train a bit more but the M’s are hopeful that he will be the exception.

5. What Can Brown Do For You

The Mariners really like Darren Brown.  As the long term manager of the AAA Tacoma Rainiers, Brown really understands player development.  Sending Delabar down actually will be a better place for his long term success.

While Pryor gets a shot to put Brown’s training in action.

Pryor could perform well, but try to keep expectations low.

He is only 22 and joining the club in time to face the team that threw a perfect game against his club already this season.

Here are some things to expect.

  • 100 MPH fastball
  • 6’5” Frame will give him a good angle on the lower half of the zone
  • Mid 80’s Slurveball which is still in development, but works well due to the comparing fastball speed.
  • He has been known to have control issues though with a 100-MPH fastball that could work to his advantage.

I mean, I wouldn’t want to risk getting pegged in the head with that thing.

Would you?


© Danny Ferguson for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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Post tags: Brandon Legaue, Darren Brown, Eric Wedge, Felix Hernandez, George Sherill, George Sherrill, Hector Noesi, Kevin Millwood, M's pitching, Mariners blog, Mariners Roster, Seattle Mariners Blog, Seattle Mariners transactions, Stephen Pryor, Steve Delabar

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