Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Miranda might be good fit in Mariners' bullpen

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners left-hander Ariel Miranda would love to be a starter, but the 28-year-old shone a light on why he might be an extremely valuable weapon out of the bullpen on Wednesday night when he kicked his fastball up a few notches in an eye-opening one-inning stint against the Indians.

"He was a little different animal last night," manager Scott Servais said on Thursday morning. "He knew he was only going to go one inning and he came out, and it was hands-down the best I'd seen him, probably since we've gotten him. Just pure stuff."

View Full Game Coverage

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners left-hander Ariel Miranda would love to be a starter, but the 28-year-old shone a light on why he might be an extremely valuable weapon out of the bullpen on Wednesday night when he kicked his fastball up a few notches in an eye-opening one-inning stint against the Indians.

"He was a little different animal last night," manager Scott Servais said on Thursday morning. "He knew he was only going to go one inning and he came out, and it was hands-down the best I'd seen him, probably since we've gotten him. Just pure stuff."

View Full Game Coverage

Miranda was consistently hitting 94-95 mph with his fastball and also looked sharp with his offspeed offerings in a 1-2-3 third inning, including a pair of strikeouts. Miranda normally sits in the 91-93 range with his heater, but he said it's good to know the extra gear is available.

Unsworth appreciates bid to make Mariners

"It was mostly just I knew I was going to have to go out there for one inning and get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible," Miranda said through interpreter Fernando Alcala. "It's good to know it's always there. If I come in as a starter, I know it's there when I need it. And when I come in as a reliever, you obviously have a little more to work with when you know you're only going one inning. So that helps out a lot."

The Cuban southpaw stands as Seattle's sixth starting candidate, so the debate will be whether to keep him in the rotation at Triple-A Tacoma or move him to the bullpen if nothing changes.

"Hopefully our starting five will stay healthy and be productive, and we won't have to go there early," Servais said. "But we'll have to weigh those decisions. When you start looking at who is 6-7-8 in Tacoma and how does that match up, is he part of that mix or does he help us more out of the bullpen? What I saw last night, he certainly could help us out of the bullpen."

Miranda will remain stretched out to start, however, as he's scheduled to throw the first three innings on Sunday against the Angels in Tempe.

"Yeah, I've got another start," he said. "As I've said in the past, that's where I'd like to be. But I'm going to do well in whatever role they have me in, whether short or long. My job is to prepare for whatever that role is."

Veteran Marc Rzepczynski will hold one of the two lefty bullpen spots and the Mariners like James Pazos, a youngster acquired in a trade with the Yankees. Pazos struggled for the first time in his inning against the Indians, while Miranda shined. But it's a long spring and Miranda's role remains to be determined.

"He's got a great arm, no doubt," said Servais. "Now was it just a one night, flash in the pan? I don't know. Night game, Spring Training, he's all fired up. Fresh arm. We'll see."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Seattle Mariners, Ariel Miranda