Mariners Chasen Bradford: Taking Advantage of Opportunities
When you’re a young pitcher who gets the chance to finally pitch in the majors, you take every opportunity you can get to showcase your skills, with the hopes that you will show enough to stick with the big club. Sometimes it may take many years for the opportunity to come, while the player is mired in the minors patiently waiting and praying that all the hard work is worth the wait.
Then the player gets that opportunity and in 28 games he posts a 2-0 record, with opponents batting just .233 against him, as he records 27 strikeouts in 33.2 innings.
But the numbers are not always what separates the many players apart, it’s what they bring to the team and how it translates to success.
This player is Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Chasen Bradford.
Chasen finally earned his opportunity with the New York Mets in 2017 and not only did he make his presence known on the field, but his character and work ethic and willingness to go out into the community and make a difference was something that was an added plus to an organization looking to continue building their fan base. When the 2017 off-season arrived and it was time to get ready for a new season, many fans and also experts felt that Bradford was destined to be one of the cogs in the Mets bullpen in 2018. One would think, why not, he spent his whole career up to that point in the Mets organization and now finally had the opportunity to live out his dream and pitch for the big club full time.
But on January 18, 2018, the Mets designated Bradford for assignment and any hope of him being in the Mets bullpen in 2018 was slim to almost none. It also proved to many Mets fans that the organization was clueless once again in their decision-making. But there is that old saying, if one team doesn’t need you, there are 29 other MLB teams that can use a serviceable relief pitcher who can provide that ground ball out when needed. Well I made that saying up, but you get the point.
But what the Mets did was truly a blessing in disguise.
Most likely disappointed by the decision the Mets made, Bradford didn’t have much time to worry about it as the Mariners claimed the Las Vegas native off waivers the very next day and added him to their 40-man roster.
Now 26 games for Bradford in 2018 and he is 4-0, with opponents batting just .232 against him, while also recording 24 strikeouts in 30 innings.
Bradford has been in the majors since he was called up on April 9th, and even though he is the only pitcher in the Mariners bullpen with options, he has proven his worth and has been a big help to a soaring Mariners club.
Watching Bradford pitch against the New York Yankees in the Bronx on Thursday, tossing two innings, allowing one hit, no runs, a walk, while striking out two batters, especially against the heart of the order, I am sure he was not thinking about the Mets, but as a fan of the game, it felt good to watch him pitch well in the city where he started his pro career.
The Mariners are 46-29 and in the playoff hunt and even though it is only June, Bradford has shown to be a pitcher the M’s can count on to get the big outs when needed.
It’s great to see Chasen exactly where he belongs, as he takes advantage of the opportunities given to him.