Because of an almost-comical amount of injuries, extended usage and some ineffectiveness, the result has been a parade of pitchers moving on and off the 25-man roster this season.
Can you name all 40 pitchers who have appeared in a game for the Mariners this season?
The average fan might get 20 to 25 of the 40, tied for the most pitchers used by a team in a season in major-league history.
The very-average Mariners beat writer could get 30 to 35 if given enough time and motivation.
How about the Mariners’ pitching coach?
“Absolutely not,” joked Mel Stottlemyre Jr. “There are times when I can’t even spell my own name. I still can’t spell Rzep’s (Marc Rzepczynski’s name). To be honest, I don’t think I could. Not even if I sat down with a piece of paper.”
Perhaps one of the relievers who shuttled between Class AAA Tacoma and Seattle for much of the season could do it?
“No, I can’t,” said rookie Emilio Pagan. “I think if I had a sheet with like 100 names, I think I could pick out the 40 guys.”
So let’s try the starting catcher, because he probably caught at least 85 percent of them?
“Probably not,” said Mike Zunino. “Definitely not off the top of my head; that’s a pretty tall order right there. If I started listing them on paper, maybe, yeah, I might be able to.”
And the man responsible for the constant roster moves that made it possible to reach 40?
“I’m pretty sure I could,” said general manager Jerry Dipoto, who has an unusually high recall of baseball information. “I might have to think hard. There were some in there that were a little obscure”
Try it yourself. Even with a list, you’ll probably find at least three of four names you don’t recognize or remember.
A record no one wants
By using 40 pitchers, the Mariners tied the big-league record set by the Texas Rangers in 2014.
To steal a line from “A Few Good Men” … “one more and they get a free set of steak knives.”
Impressive? That’s not the word manager Scott Servais would use. This was out of necessity.
“I don’t know how impressive it is,” he said. “It’s actually disheartening that you have to go through that many to get through a season. Just knowing you can never plan for that.”
And the Mariners didn’t plan for it. Going into spring training, they were quite proud of the pitching depth behind their projected starting rotation of…