One more cut made this morning, one more to go and the second won’t be announced until 11 a.m. – but left-hander Charlie Furbush has been optioned to Tacoma, where he’ll become a late-inning reliever.
What the move means is that two true rookies – Rule 5 lefty Lucas Luetge and right-hander Erasmo Ramirez - will break camp with the Seattle Mariners in 2012.
Luetge, 25, went 1-0 with a 2.70 earned run average in 6 2/3 innings of Cactus League play, held opposing batters to a .160 average while walking one and striking out 10. He’s the second lefty in the pen behind George Sherrill.
Ramirez, 21, was pitching coach Carl Willis’ pre-spring pick to be he surprise of camp, and that he was. In three Cactus League games, he too was 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings. Opponents hit .263 against him, and he struck out four batters, walked one.
“He’s poised, he has great stuff and he did everything we asked him to do – in intra-squad games, ‘B’ games, everything,” manager Eric Wedge said.
As for Furbush, the move wasn’t fair but came down to options. Furbush had one, Luetge did not. Furbush, who turns 26 next week, was 1-0 with a 0.87 spring ERA, holding opponents to a .176 average. In 10 1/3 innings, he allowed one run, struck out seven and walked two.
“I couldn’t have done much more,” Furbush said, “but I understand the situation. There’s a veteran and a Rule 5 guy ahead of me. I’m kind of looking forward to working the seventh and eighth innings in Tacoma – that’s a new role for me.”