Seattle Mariners Release Scott Baker
Mar 11, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcherScott Baker
(58) meets with teammates in the first inning after hitting three Los Angeles Angels batters at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Baker has requested that the Mariners release him, opting to test the free agent market rather than be sent to Triple-A Tacoma. Baker, who was signed to battle for the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation, struggled as he returned from Tommy John surgery.
In 12 innings, Baker allowed 16 hits, 9 earned runs, walked 7 and struck out only one.
The loss of Baker narrows the list of potential starting pitchers for opening week. Right now, the starting five looks to be Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez, Roenis Elias and Blake Beavan or Hector Noesi.
Once Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker come back, Beavan and Elias will more than likely go back to Tacoma. One might be retained as a 6th starter to fill in as needed.
I know many fans are not in love with the idea of having Beavan and/or Elias in the rotation. As is evidenced by tweets such as this:
But it could be worse. Atlanta released former Mariner Freddy Garcia and replaced him with former Mariner Aaron Harang. To which I quickly quipped on Twitter and Facebook:
No, seriously. The Mariners may have some pitching woes, but it’s nothing like what the Braves are going through.