Seattle Mariners 

M’s Q-3 report: Rotation and bullpen

“When the unexpected becomes the expected, strange becomes familiar.” — Jason A. Churchill | May 20, 2016 At the halfway point of the 2016 season, the rotation of the Seattle Mariners was in disarray and their bullpen ineffective. It looked as if the Seattle’s season was quickly slipping away, especially after going 10-18 during the month of June. Then, the calendar turned to July and the Mariners slowly regained their footing and crawled back into the contention with just over 40 games remaining. So, how did the Mariners reverse course?…

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 Seattle Mariners 

Building a roster for Safeco

From the moment Jerry Dipoto became general manager of the Seattle Mariners, he’s emphasized the need to build a roster capable of taking advantage of the expansive Safeco Field dimensions. As I see it, the 48-year-old executive envisions a foundation of athletic and accomplished players, who are adept at reaching base and wreaking havoc through productive aggressiveness on the bases. Equally important are outfield defenders who can run down balls in Safeco’s spacious outfield. In Dipoto’s world, a run save is as valuable as a run scored. To be honest,…

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Seattle Mariners 

The evolution of the Mariners rotation

Plenty has been made about the remake of the Seattle Mariners rotation heading into 2016 and rightfully so. The 2015 edition had considerable upside, but ultimately disappointed. Seattle only had two qualified starters in terms of innings pitched, Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker, as injuries limited Hisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton. By ERA the rotation ranked 17th in the entire league and by fWAR it ranked 19th. Those aren’t the type of numbers that will end what is now the longest playoff drought in Major League Baseball. Unless it’s backed by a…

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Seattle Mariners 

How Iwakuma’s return helps M’s

Last night, Seattle Mariners fans received an unexpected and welcome surprise when general manager Jerry Dipoto announced that starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma would be returning to the team for the 2016 season. Yesterday was a tumultuous day for the 34-year-old starter and his fans. Earlier in the day, rumors were circulating that the Los Angels Dodgers were backing away from a three-year/$45 million deal with the right-handed free agent due to concerns with the results of his physical exam. By the end of the day, “Kuma” was back with the…

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Seattle Mariners 

Prediction: Mariners will need more than five starters in 2015

With starting pitcher Roenis Elias being optioned to Class-AAA Tacoma today, Taijuan Walker appears to have a clear path to the fifth spot in the Mariners’ starting rotation. Considering that the 22-year-old Walker hasn’t surrendered a run and looked spectacular in 18 Cactus League innings, today’s announcement wasn’t a great surprise to most observers. Some Mariners fans, however, would prefer that Elias join Walker in the rotation with veteran J.A. Happ being bumped to the bullpen. That scenario isn’t likely since manage Lloyd McClendon is on record stating that the…

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Seattle Mariners 

Mariners need pitching depth to win

With the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings set to start in San Diego next week, most trade speculation involving the Seattle Mariners suggests that the Mariners could afford to deal a starting pitcher for more offensive punch. The three names that have been circulated most often are James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, and Hisashi Iwakuma. Seven names for five spots Seattle has seven starting pitcher candidates who started major league games in 2014; Felix Hernandez, Iwakuma, Roenis Elias, Paxton, Walker, Erasmo Ramirez, and the newly acquired J.A. Happ. On the surface, starting…

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Seattle Mariners 

Free Agents 101: Starting Pitchers

With Felix Hernandez locked-up long term and Hisashi Iwakuma’s 2015 option vested, the Mariners have a secure one-two punch at the top of the rotation. On paper the other three spots will be filled by youngsters Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and Roenis Elias reasonable to significant upside. There isn’t a true need in the rotation outside of some back-end depth, however adding a significant piece strengthens the run prevention of a club that again finished near the bottom of the league in runs scored in 2014. If a frontline arm…

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