Evan Scribner seemed to be poised for a prominent role in the Mariners bullpen heading into the 2016 season given his excellent strikeout and walk metrics from the year prior, but the 31-year-old fell victim to a strained latissimus during the spring and failed to pitch in the majors until the tail end of the campaign. That being said, he returned with a vengeance, as the right-hander dominated major league hitters over the last month of season, putting up an excellent 15:2 K:BB while not allowing a single run across 14 innings of work. Scribner certainly doesn't fit the mold of most high-leverage relievers boasting that kind of strikeout ability, although he manages to mix his low-90s fastball with a curveball to get the job done. If he can expand this performance across the whole season, he very well could move into one of the top spots in Seattle's bullpen.
Scribner (0-2) notched three strikeouts and gave up an earned run on one hit over 1.2 innings in Thursday's 9-6 loss to the Athletics. Scribner gave up an RBI groundout to Rajai Davis in the sixth, which snapped a 5-5 tie and saddled him with his second loss of the season. The 31-year-old continues to rack up the strikeouts but surrender the runs as well, as he's now fanned five batters across his last two appearances while also giving up an earned run in each. He's turned in a pair of two-run outings as well, leading to a bloated 10.13 ERA over his first 5.1 innings.
Scribner gave up an earned run on one hit -- a solo home run -- over an inning in Monday's 6-1 win over the Marlins. He struck out two. Scribner bounced back from surrendering a 387-foot solo shot to Christian Yelich with one out by striking out Giancarlo Stanton on four pitches and then retiring Marcell Ozuna on a grounder to third to end the game. The 31-year-old hadn't seen action since April 10 after heavy use over the first eight days of the season, a stretch in which he logged four appearances. While the way he retired two of the Marlins' most dangerous hitters to close out the victory Monday was encouraging, Scribner is still trying to hit his stride after having surrendered five earned runs and two homers over his first 3.2 innings of 2017.
Scribner pitched a clean ninth inning in Monday's 6-0 victory over the Astros. The 31-year-old right-hander's ERA remains an unsightly 13.50 due to the fact he'd given up two earned runs apiece in his previous two trips to the mound, but Monday's effort in a low-leverage scenario was at least a confidence booster if nothing else. Scribner has been used in a one-inning role in the last two appearances and demonstrated an ability to handle a robust workload last season in Oakland, when he tallied 60 innings across 54 appearances.
Scribner returned to the bullpen Tuesday, tossing 0.2 scoreless innings in a loss to the Astros. The right-hander had missed a few days with a nasty bout of the flu, though it appears he's good to go as the season gets underway. Scribner had a productive spring training, finishing with a 1.29 ERA over seven scattered innings of work. He'll look to serve as an effective middle reliever in his second season with the team.
Scribner (illness) worked out with his teammates Sunday, and manager Scott Servais reported the pitcher should be 100 percent for Monday's opener versus the Astros, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. A bout with the flu took a considerable toll on the veteran reliever over the past couple of days, leaving him five pounds lighter. However, his level of activity Sunday seems to validate Servais' faith that Scribner will be available if needed Monday against the Astros.
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