Coming into the season, the injuries to Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker, earmarked for the #2 and (likely) #3 spots in the rotation respectively, created some uncertainty in the Mariners rotation. Neither were/are expected out for more than a month or so, but the concern over pitching injuries often extends much further than that. Not only are you without a Cy Young candidate and top prospect, but you never know how long or to what extent those injuries will impact their effectiveness.
Those may still be there, but the degree of concern is, in most cases, much less than it was not too long ago. This is due in large part to the performances of the guys pitching after Felix Hernandez, who all came with various concerns. No one is worried about Felix, but Erasmo Ramirez and James Paxton have’t proven themselves at the major league level yet, Roenis Elias hasn’t proven himself past Double-A yet, and Chris Young hasn’t been good or healthy in about seven years.
But those non-Felix starters, with the exception of Chris Young who was skipped due to the rainout, have all pitched very well so far in the young season. It is important to remember that this is only a one or two start sample, but that isn’t the focus of this post. The focus is the current #3 starter, left-handed flamethrower James Paxton.