Peoria’s version of March madness

When pitchers and catchers from the Seattle Mariners officially report to the Peoria Sports Complex in just a few days, baseball will begin to re-enter the consciousness of many Seattle sports fan for the first time since the start of preseason football. This annual “re-awakening” of the casual baseball fan from their gridiron hibernation will begin to take hold by the middle of next month. Spring Training is such an exciting time for fans of all teams. After all, everyone has a chance of winning before the regular season begins….

CLICK

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…

CLICK

Mariners Need: Pitching depth

Just last week, Prospect Insider founder Jason A. Churchill highlighted starting pitching and the bullpen as two deficiencies that the Mariners will need to address during the offseason. Jason opined that the team needed two pitchers to follow ace Felix Hernandez so that young arms Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Roenis Elias, and Mike Montgomery could compete for the final two spots in the rotation with the losers being used as trade bait or needed depth. Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto and Jason may share a brain because Dipoto made his first…

CLICK

Speculation on Paxton’s replacement

For the second year in a row James Paxton has found himself on the disabled list. The move was made official on Friday after Paxton left his start against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night with discomfort in his left middle finger. The official injury is a strained tendon in said finger. No doubt the injury is untimely, not only for the Mariners but for the Canadian-born left-hander. Paxton has had a solid month of May and entered Thursday’s start riding a 20-inning scoreless streak. He was coming off a stretch…

CLICK

M’s get some value from Erasmo Ramirez

Erasmo Ramirez was not going to pitch for the Seattle Mariners this year. At least, barring something catastrophic he wasn’t. With his last minor league option being used during the 2014 season, Ramirez would have to be exposed to waivers if the Mariners wanted to send him to the minors, and he certainly wouldn’t have cleared. So Seattle did the most logical thing: picked-up the value that was available. Mike Montgomery, acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Ramirez was a first-round draft pick of the Kansas City…

CLICK

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…

CLICK

Can Mariners rotation pitch until Halloween?

With pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training tomorrow, Seattle Mariner fans have plenty of reasons to be excited about the 2015 season. It’s not just Seattle fans who see good things for the team in 2015; national pundits, well-respected baseball websites, and Las Vegas bookmakers alike are forecasting that Seattle will reach the postseason and possibly the World Series. To reach the World Series for the first time in the club’s 38-year history, Seattle’s starting rotation would have to do something that it hasn’t needed to do in over…

CLICK

Mariners need more than one more player

The Seattle Mariners fell tantalizingly short of making the 2014 postseason by just one game, which has led to high 2015 expectations by many in the national media and within the Mariners’ fan base. Many pundits and fans have hailed that the addition of slugger Nelson Cruz as the move that will get Seattle over the hump and into the postseason for the first time since 2001, while others believe that the team still needs one more bat to ensure contention. While Cruz will certainly help Seattle improve and adding…

CLICK