The Mariners Wednesday morning cut right-handed reliever Justin DeFratus, a free agent that general manager Jerry Dipoto signed hoping for a bounce-back from a bad 2015 in Philadelphia. Obviously, the bounce was zilch.
Coupled with the losses to injury of fellow relievers Evan Scribner and Ryan Cook, the Mariners’ made-over bullpen is looking a little run-over.
De Fratus, 28, signed for $750,000 after five seasons in Philadelphia, threw six innings in four appearances, allowing six hits with three earned runs, three walks, four strikeouts, a hit batter and a wild pitch.
“It hasn’t been maybe as sharp, and as much power that he showed last year,” manager Scott Servais told reporters Tuesday in Tempe, where De Fratus gave up three hits and a walk. “Again, it’s spring training and I know he dealt with a knee issue for a few days. But he got two quick outs and he struggled to get the third one. But he’s still in the mix in the competition we have going on.”
By Wednesday, he was, surprisingly, no longer in the mix. Cook is on the 60-day disabled list after straining a lat muscle, the same injury that will keep Scribner out beyond opening day.
From the left side, reliever Charlie Furbush has not pitched this spring as he recovers from a rotator-cuff tear in his shoulder injury that cost him half of last season. He and Vidal Nuno were penciled in as the lefties. Former starter Mike Montgomery is now pitching out of the pen, just in case.
One bit of good news for the Mariners was the progress of Joel Peralta, who turns 40 in March. He had a poor season in 2015 with the Dodgers: 4.34 ERA and 24 with strikeouts and eight walks, while missing some time with neck and shoulder injuries.
“Obviously when Scribner and Cook went down, that bit into our depth,” Servais said Wednesday morning, without mentioning the pending cut. “Where we’re at, there’s plenty of opportunity for guys to step up.
“Joel Peralta has been a nice surprise. I didn’t know what we’d get there, and he’s throwing the ball really well. (De Fratus) looks good, but there’s competition there yet.”
On the field Wednesday, Leonys Martin and Luis Sardinas hit homers in six-run third inning that erased a five-run deficit and carried the Mariners to a 9-6 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Peoria Stadium.
Shawn O’Malley added a homer in the fourth inning. Hisashi Iwakuma gave up five runs in 2.2 innings.