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Notes: Ramirez, CarGo, Misiewicz, Ichiro

February 16, 2020

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The 2020 Mariners bullpen is open for business. And if early returns are any indication, the group will feature multiple hard-throwers, many of whom release the ball from funky and unique angles, sure to flummox the opposition. But, of course, it’s not that simple. Many lack big

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The 2020 Mariners bullpen is open for business. And if early returns are any indication, the group will feature multiple hard-throwers, many of whom release the ball from funky and unique angles, sure to flummox the opposition.

But, of course, it’s not that simple. Many lack big league experience. But for manager Scott Servais, getting an attuned eye to his wealth of young arms will help the decision-making process going forward. What is it that Servais is looking for from those young arms that have proven themselves to be raring to go?

“Can they repeat [their motion]?” Servais said. “Can they get back in counts with offspeed pitches? It’s not their stuff, it’s the execution.”

There may be no more singular shining example of that than Rule 5 draftee Yohan Ramirez. Already generating buzz among not only Servais, but a handful of the team’s pitchers, Ramirez arrives in Seattle boasting a track record of strikeouts -- and lots of ‘em.

Ramirez compiled 158 strikeouts across 106 innings last season between Class A Advanced and Double-A in the Houston organization. He pitched both out of the rotation and the bullpen, giving him the flexibility as a 24-year-old to make his case for sticking with Seattle.

His bugaboo? He handed out 74 walks in that span. His stuff has looked electric in the very early stages of the spring, but that alone may not seal him a spot in the bullpen.

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“It’s not how hard they throw, it’s being consistent, being able to repeat pitches -- sliders, curveballs, changeups -- being able to get them over the plate in hitter’s counts,” Servais said of what could allow some of the more inexperienced pitchers in camp to make the jump. “Some of our guys, they throw so hard, you can get behind in the count in Double-A and get out of it … if they know a heater is coming at the big league level, they don’t miss it.

“And these guys are guys that will pitch in the big leagues for us in Seattle at some point this year. All of these outings are important, just the experience level.”

While there will be ample competition for multiple bullpen spots coming out of camp, more established names like Carl Edwards Jr. and Yoshihisa Hirano -- who were both added to the mix during the offseason -- appear to already have their spots sewn up.

“Those guys will be on our team,” Servais said. “It’s about getting them ready for the season.”

Mariners' clubhouse has some new CarGo

Carlos González may not officially be a member of the Mariners’ roster, but he had a locker setup inside the team’s clubhouse as of Sunday morning, complete with two uniforms. Previous reports indicated that González, a 12-year veteran, was nearing a deal to join the team for the spring. Injuries to Mitch Haniger have created the possibility that González could snag a roster spot as a corner outfielder.

New face, same place

Anthony Misiewicz, Ian McKinney and Penn Murfee (all of whom are non-roster invitees) completed bullpen sessions Sunday, with the latter joining Seattle in spring camp after a successful stint with the Peoria Javelins in the Arizona Fall League.

Murfee, who was a 33rd-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft out of Santa Clara University, ascended the organization’s pipeline rapidly last season, making five appearances for Triple-A Tacoma after beginning the year with Class A Advanced Modesto.

He tied a bow around his time with the Javelinas, posting a 1.23 ERA across six starts, which earned him First-Team All-Arizona Fall League honors.

Ichiro brings the heat

Former Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki may be on a Hall of Fame track for his accolades as a batter, but Sunday, he brought the heat while doing his best pitching impression from the outfield grass.

The 46-year-old currently serves as a special assistant in the Seattle front office, although that didn’t keep him from rearing back for roughly two dozen full wind-ups that concluded with the echoing pops of a catcher’s mitt, the unofficial sound that signifies spring’s arrival.