Last night, the Mariners made two trades, sending both Steve Delabar and Brandon League packing. Well that leaves two open spots in the bullpen and we now know who will be filling those spots. Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune reported this morning that Carter Capps and Stephen Pryor will be called up by the Mariners. The Seattle bullpen just got a lot more exciting as they add a pair of young right handed flame throwers.
Pryor was called up to Seattle at the start of June and made 6 appearances before injuring his groin. He had mixed results in 5.1 innings. He gave up only 1 run and struck out 5 but he did walk 3. Obviously it’s a very small sample size but control always has been an issue for the 23 year old. Pryor hit the DL because of said groin injury and he spent some time at AAA before being activated and then sent down to AAA.
I was able to see his first appearance at AAA on his rehab start and he was lights out. He had a 1-2-3 inning and only needed 6 pitches. All 6 were fastballs and the velocity on the pitches was 98-97-97-98-97-95 respectively. I had the opportunity to see him again recently and was able to see a little more of him. In this outing he needed 13 pitches, giving up only an infield base hit. The velocity was not the same but his command was a bit better. The sat about 94-96 and I was able to see his slider which came in at 84, and a pretty new cutter that came in at 91. The biggest thing for Pryor well the development of his secondary pitches and keeping the ball down. He does have closer potential but it is very likely that he’ll be a late inning guy. Below is video that I got of Pryor in the two appearances that I saw him.
The other guy headed up to Seattle is Carter Capps. Capps is arguably the better of the two and many see him as the closer of the future. Capps, 21, was drafted by the Mariners in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft. He is the third guy from the 2011 draft to make the big leagues I believe. He opened the year at AA and absolutely dominated. He had a 1.26 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, and a 13.0 K/9. He was finally promoted to AAA Tacoma just the other day and he made only one appearance there (which was last night). Capps went 1.1 innings of perfection last night while striking out 3. There was speculation that he may be headed up North when he was pulled from the game. Capps is not on the 40 man roster so a corresponding move will need to be made.
Capps features a plus fastball that he can dial up to triple digits. He averaged 99 on the gun in his AAA debut according to Rainiers’ broadcaster, Mike Curto, and hit 100. His fastball is reported to have a little more sink when it’s in the lower 90s. He had a solid slider that is reported at 79-83 and a change up that he is getting more of a feel for. If his secondary pitches come around, Capps very well could be closing games out for Seattle in the future. Some think he could be a starter but we’ll see if the Mariners decide to transition him to that role in the future.