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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