The Mariners acquired hard-throwing righthander Arquimedes Caminero from the Pirates in exchange for two players to be named later Aug. 6, a move designed to help Seattle’s bullpen as the franchise pushes for its first playoff berth since 2001.
Jake Brentz, lhp
The Blue Jays drafted Brentz in the 11th round in 2013 out of Parkway South HS in St. Louis and traded him to the Mariners as part of a three-player package for Mark Lowe at the 2015 trade deadline. Brentz, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound swingman, entered the year ranked the Mariners’ No. 25 prospect but scuffled in his first full year in their system, compiling a 5.32 ERA and 1.70 WHIP across three levels. His fastball sits in the low-90s and can get up to 96 mph, while his curveball and changeup are developing and occasionally show promise. Brentz’s main problem is shoddy control on all three pitches, which has shown up with 36 walks in 45 2/3 innings this year for an ugly 7.1 BB/9 ratio. Brentz is still young with intriguing stuff, but has a long, long way to go to tame his wildness.
|Pedro Vasquez, rhp
The Mariners signed Vasquez, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound Dominican, in April 2015 and were pleasantly rewarded with the under-the-radar signing. Vasquez went 8-2, 2.08 in 15 starts with the Mariners DSL team in his pro debut and continued his success stateside this year, going 5-4, 2.26 across two levels with a 1.1 BB/9 rate. Vasquez possesses a fastball that sits 90-93 mph and also features a low-80s slider and low-80s changeup. His elite control has allowed him to successfully make the jump to every level so far and put him on the prospect map.
Arquimedes Caminero, rhp
Caminero has been one of baseball’s hardest-throwing relievers since breaking into the majors with the Marlins in 2013. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Dominican routinely hits 100 mph with his fastball and has been clocked as high as 102. His primary secondary pitch is a low-90s cutter, and he also throws a 96-99 mph sinker and low-90s split-finger. Despite his electric stuff, Caminero has struggled at times because of lack of control. He posted a 4.8 BB/9 ratio with the Pirates this year compared to just 7.0 K/9, an abnormally low number for someone with his quality of stuff. His hardest pitches are also fairly straight, and thus get hit when they are in the zone. Opponents are hitting .330 against his fastball and .353 against his sinker this year despite their velocity. While not as elite as his stuff may indicate, Caminero nonetheless has shown himself to be a serviceable reliever with a 3.86 career ERA and gives the Mariners another late-inning option.