Seattle closer JJ Putz has gone down yet again. The struggling pitcher was placed recently on the 15 day disabled list with a hyper-extended elbow.
This marks the second time this year that the pitcher has been forced out of action because of an injury.
Understandably, this forced the club to make some moves to make sure that the pitching staff is still in position to play everyday.
The first move was to call up RHP Roy Corcoran from AAA Tacoma. Corcoran has already seen time in the show earlier this year and felt some success.
Next, long reliever RA Dickey was inserted into the starting lineup on Friday to face off against the Washington Nationals. The start did not go as well as anticipated. He gave up seven runs in a little less than two innings.
Dickey took over the spot in the rotation vacated by Miguel Batista. Batista has extensive bullpen experience as he was the Toronto Blue Jays' closer for several years. Batista has also filled in for closer duties several times since signed by the Mariners.
Flamethrower Brandon Morrow will be projected to be the teams' closer for the near future with Batista filling in for Morrow with closer duties. However, nothing is set in stone, and the decision will ultimately be up to manager John McLaren.
As a Mariners fan, I love to see the move of Dickey to the rotation. Despite struggling during his last outing, having a knuckleballer as a starter is an advantage many teams to not enjoy. Hitters cannot get as locked in to a knuckleball as they rarely see it.
The Mariners would also be wise to make one more pitching change. Brandon Morrow should be converted to a starter, a la Joba Chamberlain. Morrow was a starter in college and was drafted as one as well.
Jarrod Washburn has been throwing nothing but meatballs lately, and it would behoove the team to move him out of the rotation.
The team will be forced to make a change with their use of Morrow eventually. Why not now while the team is out of the race? They recently drafted University of Georgia closer Josh Fields, and he projects to be major league ready very soon. Putz is not ever going to be a starter, nor is Fields.
Whatever they do decide to do, JJ's injuries this year should start to be a concert for the team and fans alike.