Seattle Mariners Pitching: A Work In Progress


Apr 16, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon (23) watches his team take on the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers defeated the Mariners 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Is anyone else starting to believe that Erasmo Ramirez will be the odd man out once our pitching staff gets healthy?

Another tough outing for Ramirez yesterday against the Rangers may have pushed you over the fence about our young pitcher. Yesterday’s game showed he is having some command issues, something that we did not see from him during his hot spring training. In just two innings of work yesterday, he allowed 5 earned runs off of 6 hits with 2 walks and just as many strikeouts.

So far this season, Ramirez is 1 and 2 with a jumbled up slash line of 18 IP/24 H/15 ER/4HR/8BB/12SO/7.50ERA. I know Erasmo is filling in for Iwakuma right now, but those are definitely not the numbers you want to see out of your number 2, 3, 4 or 5 guy.

Roenis Elias and Chris Young have made their cases for this starting rotation. If at some point in the next month we can get healthy, our rotation should look like this:

1. Felix Hernandez

2. Hisashi Iwakuma

3. James Paxton

4. Taijuan Walker

5. Roenis Elias (my vote)

In my humble and completely biased opinion, the Mariners (if healthy) have the best rotation in the American League. Right now we have been lucky that every team in the AL West is having rotation issues, some more than others.. cough Angels cough cough.

I am almost at a loss for words when it comes to our bullpen. Dominic Leone and Danny Farquhar have shown promise. Charlie Furbush will hopefully get there soon. Tom Wilhelmsen makes me want to punch holes in the wall (he did get himself out of a nice little jam in the 8th yesterday though). Stephen Pryor wont be throwing 100mph heaters any time soon. And Fernando Rodney makes me feel bipolar. One minute I am shooting arrows at the stars, the next they are aimed at the tv. I hope we get more out of him because he has not been worth the 7$ million a year price tag so far.

I am doing my best to give the bullpen a break because defensively the Mariners have been breaking down late in games. It is still early and we have a lot of room to improve, but the little mistakes have been costly. Just ask Brad Miller how he feels about mistakes after his error during Wednesday nights loss to Texas.

Lloyd McClendon has done a good job so far at reminding his young guys that baseball takes patience. His mantra is you must understand that you will fail in baseball, and in order to succeed, you must learn how to fail. His teachings with this ball club has paid early dividends. This new approach is paying off for guys like Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak; you can already see how much more confident they are with themselves in their approach to the game. In a recent article, Lloyd McClendon had this to say about the way he preaches to his guys:

"I try to put it into perspective. I know [Hall of Famer] Al Kaline. He’s a wonderful human being, with 3,000 hits. He also made 7,000 outs. I tell kids that all the time. It’s a game of failure. He had 10,000 at-bats and he made 7,000 outs. That’s a lot of outs. If you’re going to be good, you have to overcome the mental aspect of that, and get back up off the mat every day and get back at it."

With that being said, it is important that we, as fans, be patient. Especially when it comes to our young pitchers. They are playing the most mentally demanding position in baseball.