That left-handed reliever Greg McCarthy has had several good appearances in the first two weeks of the Seattle Mariners’ season is not a big surprise. What is a surprise is that it took 10 minor-league seasons to develop major-league ability.
After spending 10 years with five different organizations at all levels of the minors, this is the first season McCarthy has opened in the big leagues.
According to McCarthy, it wasn’t the development of a new out-pitch or a change in pitching mechanics that took a decade to figure out, it’s more a matter of mixing control with confidence.
He has done so to the tune of a 1.59 earned-run average after seven appearances.
“I’ve got to realize I’ve got to take the good with the bad,” McCarthy said. “There was a point where I didn’t do that. The thing of it all is to have more good outings than bad outings.”
Recently the good has dominated. He has not allowed a run in his past six appearances and his command of the corners of the plate has improved.
McCarthy, who is used primarily against left-handed hitters in a situational pitching role, didn’t really begin his ascent to the big leagues until Seattle signed him as a minor-league free agent in 1995.
“When they started me out in AAA, I had never started out in AAA,” said McCarthy, who believes the confidence of the Mariners orga nization in him helped his own confidence on the mound. “Last year, I got my confidence up. It just took off from there.”
McCarthy’s development is similar to that of Mariners outfielder Rich Amaral, who spent nine years in the minors but has managed to stick with Seattle the past four seasons.
McCarthy is just 28 years old and could serve a vital function in the Mariners’ bullpen.
“Basically, what they want me to do is get the left-handers out,” McCarthy said. “I’ve been getting them out so far.”
Expos claim Torres
Salomon Torres was claimed off waivers by the Montreal Expos on Friday morning.
Torres had run out of minor-league options with the Mariners and nearly cleared waivers, which would have allowed him to be sent to AAA.
Expos pitching coach Bobby Cuellar was the Mariners pitching coach last season and Montreal general manager Jim Beattie is a former Mariners pitcher and farm director.
Ruppert Jones, the Mariners center fielder on their first opening day, will throw out the first pitch.