While starting the season strong isn’t necessary, it’s much preferred to the alternative — a loss on Opening Day. At home. With your ace on the mound. Amidst a bevy of high expectations from across the baseball landscape.
Leone was 8-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 57 games for the Mariners last season, a key part of their strong bullpen. But the right-hander allowed 10 earned runs in seven innings this spring.
Though it’s been clear enough for a few weeks and as close to official without being so, the club has set its starting rotation after optioning Roenis Elias to Triple-A Tacoma. The Mariners also optioned right-handed reliever Carson Smith, which clarifies the bullpen too.
Seattle Mariners right-hander Carson Smith talked about his improvement versus left-handed batters, the development of his changeup and how he went from traditional starter in college to a low arm slot reliever in pro ball.
The Seattle Mariners have just over a week until they need to submit a final 25-man roster to Major League Baseball.