Seattle Mariners add Taylor Williams as another bullpen option

The Seattle Mariners have claimed reliever Taylor Williams off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers. We take a look at what he potentially brings to the organization.

We’ve detailed a number of moves by the Seattle Mariners recently in respect of the pitching staff, including signing starter Marco Gonzales to a four-year extension. We’ve also reported the addition of the likes of Nick Margevicius and Cody Anderson to the roster.

In this respect, the Mariners added another pitching option on Friday, claiming Taylor Williams off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers. To make room on the roster, fellow pitcher Phillips Valdez was designated for assignment.

If the name of Williams sounds familiar, it’s because he spent one season playing for the Washington State Cougars baseball team in college. He moved on after his freshman year and was eventually selected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by the Brewers.

The 28-year-old has played in parts of three seasons in the Majors, recording a 5.23 ERA in 72.1 innings. All of his 71 appearances have come out of the bullpen, with his 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings particularly standing out.

While Williams has struggled to become a regular fixture in the bullpen at the Major League level, there is no denying the potential is there. Last year he was much more effective at the Triple-A level in the Minors with a 2.83 ERA over 54 innings, while again averaging 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

In respect of the Vancouver, Washington native’s weapons, his 96 mph four-seam fastball is his most effective pitch. It has a heavy sinking action and generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers.

However, this doesn’t mean Williams is a one-trick pony, with him also relying frequently on a 87 mph slider. He likes to mix it up with a 90 mph change-up and has a 95 mph sinker, although he very rarely uses this pitch.

The right-handed pitcher has some experience of starting at the minor league level, although the majority of these came during 2013 and 2014. It stands to reason any action Williams sees in the Majors this year will be as a reliever.

In this respect, it is expected Williams will see playing time from the Mariners’ bullpen, including some multi-inning appearances. He is projected to record a 4.97 ERA and 1.421 WHIP in 38 innings, along with 9.0 strikeouts and 3.6 walks per nine innings.

With spring training games now underway, what are you most looking forward to with the Seattle Mariners? Further, what kind of season are your predicting for them in 2020? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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