Bullpen starting to clarify as Loe added to 40-man
While that doesn’t guarantee Loe a spot on the final 25-man roster for Opening Day, it’s a pretty strong indication since the Mariners decided to make the roster move as Loe hit an opt-out date on the Minor League contract Monday.
Loe has been strong all spring, posting a 1-0 record with one save and a 1.80 ERA with two walks and 15 strikeouts in 10 innings.
Right-handed reliever Josh Kinney was placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster. Kinney has been sidelined the past two weeks with a stress reaction in his ribs.
Loe has been a durable set-up reliever for the Brewers the past two years, with his 142 appearances in that span ranking 11th among all National League pitchers. He went 6-5 with two saves and a 4.61 ERA in 70 relief appearances last season and had a 3.50 ERA in 72 games in 2011.
Another potential moving part in the bullpen scenario is the situation with Erasmo Ramirez, who is scheduled to pitch relief Wednesday for his second straight outing. Ramirez, 22, is the only one of the four final rotation candidates not getting a start this week, with Brandon Maurer starting twice, Jeremy Bonderman once and Blake Beavan once.
Ramirez said he felt fine after Monday’s workout and indicated he still felt he was competing for a starting spot, but would be open to any role offered.
“I was working all spring training as a starter, so my mind right now is like a starter. But back to the bullpen sounds fine,” he said. “But I don’t know. Last year they had me like starter, reliever, starter, reliever and more reliever the last month. This year I was starting from the time I got here so my mind is like a starter right now.
“But if they give me a chance, alright, take it, and just figure out how to warm up for games. Just start over. I already know what to do, so just have to figure out my new plan and let’s go. My goal right now is to make the team as a starter, but you never know. Last year I didn’t know. Relieving was fun so I have to be ready for anything and let’s see what happens.”
The Mariners figure to keep seven relievers, with Tom Wilhelmsen, Carter Capps, Stephen Pryor, Oliver Perez and Charlie Furbush seeming locks. With Loe now added to that mix, it would seem the final decision might come down to keeping Lucas Luetge as a third left hander or having Ramirez as a long candidate.