Hirano was present for the re-start of workouts at the Mariners' spring facility in Peoria, Arizona on Tuesday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The 36-year-old right-hander joined several of his teammates for informal workouts that were conducted in groups no larger than three. Hirano was able to engage in his throwing program under staff supervision, and he and his fellow hurlers should soon have access to bullpen mounds at the facility. The veteran only got five innings of Cactus League work in before spring training was suspended, but he put together impressive performances in both Japan and his 2018 MLB debut campaign with the Diamondbacks before scuffling some last season on the way to a 4.75 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.
Hirano is likely to make the Opening Day roster, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports. The 36-year-old didn't exactly make a strong case with his overall numbers during Cactus League play, as he posted a 5.40 ERA across five innings over five appearances before spring training was suspended. However, Hirano was identified by manager Scott Servais early in camp as a reliever he'd be comfortable utilizing frequently in high-leverage situations, even as the right-hander's 48:4 hold-to-save ratio over his first two big-league seasons underscores he's played much more of a setup role thus far in the majors.
Hirano has been identified by manager Scott Servais as someone who will get the ball at the end of games and in late-inning, high-leverage situations to start the year, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports. "We don't want to take opportunities away from our young players but understanding the games we have leads, early in the season let's give it to the veteran guy, let's try to hang on and win those games. I think Hirano is an important pickup for us," Servais said. He logged a 3.47 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 120:45 K:BB in 119.1 innings across the last two seasons with the Diamondbacks, although he was better in 2018 (2.44 ERA) than in 2019 (4.75 ERA). Seattle gave him a one-year, $1.6 million deal this offseason. Matt Magill, who is currently dealing with shoulder soreness, would seem to be Hirano's top competition for save opportunities. The Mariners figure to be one of the worst teams in the American League, so there may not be many opportunities for saves, but Hirano seems like as good of a bet as anyone in this bullpen to offer fantasy value.
Hirano signed a one-year contract with the Mariners on Thursday. Hirano spent the past two seasons with the Diamondbacks, posting a combined 3.47 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 120:45 K:BB across 119.1 innings. While the Mariners don't necessarily have a proven endgame option, the veteran right-hander seems more likely to fill a setup role for Seattle. Ricardo Sanchez was designated for assignment to free up a roster spot for Hirano.
Hirano (elbow) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list Sunday. Hirano had been out with elbow inflammation since mid-August. He'll serve as bullpen depth for the Diamondbacks down the stretch, though he hasn't been particularly good this season, posting a 4.89 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in 46 innings of work.
Last 7 Games