Fewer than 48 hours after the Seattle Mariners came within one game of making the post-season for the first time in 12 years, general manager Jack Zduriencik told reporters Tuesday his team ran out of gas during the home-stretch of the season and that the American League's best bullpen could use another pitcher.
“We did run out of gas,” Zduriencik told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer. “If you think you are going to win something with five starting pitchers you're kidding yourself. You need eight and in some cases nine. Whether someone is a swing man or you have a couple of guys in Triple-A that can come up and do the job is a challenge for us going forward.”
Zduriencik’s comments address a bullpen that allowed the fewest runs and the lowest batting average against in all of baseball, and that boasted a sub-3.00 ERA during parts of July and August. Bullpen depth and effectiveness was thought to be the Mariners’ biggest strength of the season, while its offense often struggled to put up runs. Manager Lloyd McClendon said Tuesday he would like to see two new bats added to the 2015 lineup.
The Mariners were the only MLB team fighting for a playoff spot on the season’s final weekend. On Aug. 9, the Athletics led the Mariners by 11 games, but by Sunday, that lead had been trimmed to one game. The Mariners won Sunday in an attempt to tie the Athletics and force a one-game tiebreaker for entry into Tuesday’s one game playoff. Oakland won on Sunday as well, however, firming up the team’s place in Tuesday night’s Wild Card playoff.
Zduriencik also shed light into suspended player Jesus Montero’s future, noting he would be participating in a program during the off season in Arizona that “should help him in many areas on and off the field.”
The Mariners suspended the former New York Yankee prospect Montero in early September for the remainder of the 2014 season after he was involved in a bizarre mid-game altercation with a Mariners’ scout in the stands.
Montero was previously suspended 50 games for being named in a report detailing players’ use of drugs supplied by the firm Biogenesis. Zduriencik gave no indication as to whether Montero would be on the Mariners’ roster in 2015.
- Will Green