Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14
In a way, it’s déjà vu all over again.  In 2012, the Seattle Mariners came into the season thinking they were set at closer.  Brandon League had proved himself in 2011 with 37 saves.  However, after blowing six saves with the Mariners in 2012, Seattle turned to Tom Wilhelmsen.  Wilhelmsen finished the year strong, embracing the closer’s role earning 29 saves.  He started this season strong also, converting his first eleven opportunities.  After a save against the Yankees on May 16th, he had saved eleven out of eleven chances with a 0.50 ERA.  Since then, he has five saves and four blown saves.  For June, he is 0-2 with a 19.29 ERA.  Are the Mariners going to switch closers again?  Here are the options: 1) Keep Wilhelmsen the closer.  Even though Wilhelmsen has had a miserable June, he still has four saves this month.  The trouble has been his control.  He has seven walks in 4.2 IP; he had eight walks in his previous 24 IP.  The last thing a closer wants to do is put runners on.  But, bad numbers aside, there is no proof that Wilhelmsen can’t return to the form that he showed at the beginning of the season.  He had eight saves in eleven appearances and finished April with an ERA under one (0.75).  I think this is the way the Mariners are leaning going into the Oakland series; there are no open signs Eric Wedge is ready to try another closer. If the Seattle Mariners do decide to make a change in closer, the role might fall upon Carter Capps. 2) Go with another Mariner as the closer.  This worked well last season with Wilhelmsen replacing League.  However, the Mariners have no one currently on the roster with experience closing.  It goes a little deeper than that; no Mariner reliever has earned a save in their entire career.  Mariners’ starters go deep into games.  In the last series against Houston, the bullpen got three innings of work.  Carter Capps, the Mariner reliever with the most holds at six, would probably be the first choice if they replace Wilhelmsen but has struggled with the long ball giving up five home runs, the most of any reliever.  Logan Bawcom has the most saves in Tacoma with 11, but he currently isn’t on the 40-man roster which would mean Seattle would have to make a roster move to call him up. 3)  Make a trade.  This is where the blown saves hurt Seattle.  It seems silly to say at this point in the season, but if Wilhelmsen converted his four blown saves, the Mariners might be looking at the trade deadline differently.  Right now, Seattle is 29-38.  To get to .500 at the midway point (41-41), they would have to go 12-3 in the next fifteen, not overly likely for a team who hasn’t swept a series all season.  But, they could’ve been 33-34, maybe looking to add some pieces.  Unless the Mariners get hot, they are not going to add a luxury piece like a veteran closer.  This is why sticking with Wilhelmsen seems the right course; they are unlike to add a reliever through trade and no current Mariner reliever have even earned a save in their career.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Cutler to start again due to Jimmy Clausen concussion

Aldon Smith was reportedly drinking with Ray McDonald

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17 with injury

Dwyane Wade hopes Heat fans give LeBron a warm reception

Adam Silver: No NBA team is tanking

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Dominic Raiola insists he didn't intentionally stomp opponent

Jets call themselves the best 3-12 team in NFL history

WATCH: BYU, Memphis fight after Miami Beach Bowl

FSU sends recruit 75 reasons to play for Seminoles

Dale Earnhardt Jr., girlfriend wear great Christmas sweaters

Brandon Marshall: Raiola mocked my mental illness

Don't mess with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan

Niners OT asked Manti Te'o about his fake girlfriend

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

Raiders player gives game check to young girl in need

Game of the week: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Yankees pay for education of slain officer's children

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

BYU, Memphis fight after bowl game

FSU sends recruit an eccentric pitch

Brandon Marshall unloads on Raiola

Did Aldon Smith violate probation?

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17

An appreciation for Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab touchdown celebrations

D-Wade: Heat fans should cheer LeBron

Niners OT asked Te'o about fake girlfriend

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

'Manny' is the must-watch documentary about Manny Pacquiao

Breaking up the Brooklyn Nets

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.