SEATTLE -- After starting 10 games for the Mariners last year following his acquisition from the Tigers in the Doug Fister deal, Charlie Furbush has slid seamlessly into his new role in the bullpen this season. How well is the lanky lefty throwing? In his last 10 2/3 innings prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Padres, opposing batters were 0-for-30 against the 25-year-old. The only baserunners he allowed in that nine-game span have been on a hit by pitch and an error that he committed.
Furbush has allowed the lowest on-base percentage of any pitcher in the Majors with at least 20 innings at .179. Opposing batters are hitting just .128 with 10 hits in 22 2/3 innings, and he's racked up 26 strikeouts with four walks. "I feel good," Furbush said. "A lot of people ask which I like better, starting or relieving. And honestly, I like them both. It's all pitching. Being able to experience both, I love both of them and they're each cool in their own way. As long as I can keep contributing to the team, that's all I'm worried about." The coolest part of being a reliever? "Putting my cleats on every day knowing that I can pitch," he said. "Being a starter, you cheer your team on four out of five days and know you're not going to go in. Maybe you might pinch-run, but I'm not a fast guy, so probably not. Now I'm getting ready every day, whether it be for one or two batters or three innings, like the other day." Furbush said the knowledge that he doesn't need to stretch out over six or more innings does provide an edge. "For me, it's being committed to every pitch because I'm not going to get a ton of them," he said. "So I want to make sure the ones I do get, I'm giving everything I have and being completely for that pitch in every situation. That's really all I can do."