Beimel making strong bid for bullpen spot

Beimel making strong bid for bullpen spot

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Though he hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2011, veteran left-handed reliever Joe Beimel is making a strong bid this spring for a job with the Mariners as a non-roster invitee.

Beimel, 36, is one of a handful of pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery who agreed to Minor League deals with the hope of proving they're ready. And the former Dodgers workhorse has been impressive thus far.

"He's looked great," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He looks healthy, he's taken the ball every time we've asked. He's an interesting guy, a veteran guy that has pitched in big ballgames and has the ability to get guys out from both sides of the plate. We'll continue to look at him and see what he has to offer."

Beimel has pitched in three Cactus League games so far, allowing three hits and a run in three innings, and has been throwing well in all his work. McClendon managed Beimel with the Pirates in 2001-03, and Beimel went on to be a standout with the Dodgers from 2006-08 and then the Nationals, Rockies and Pirates the ensuing years before his elbow started giving out.

He finally had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and missed all of that season before pitching 30 games for the Braves' Triple-A team last year.

"I feel great," Beimel said. "I'm finally healthy after a couple years, so it's fun to be out there pitching at 100 percent instead of 60 or 70. I'm just going to keep going, and hopefully things will work out and I can make this team and help them out."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.