Sep 26, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) pitches to the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
3- Will the pitching staff stay healthy?
With injuries befalling Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton early in 2014, the Mariners were forced to use Hector Noesi, Erasmo Ramirez and Brandon Maurer way more than anyone would have liked.
Now, Walker and Paxton appear to be in good shape. Iwakuma is the one that worries me.
Another year older, he returned from injury last year to post some solid numbers before getting lit up late in the year and absolutely torched in the Japan Series.
And *knock on wood* what happens if the Mariners lose Felix Hernandez for any stretch? He pitched a lot of innings in 2014 and should be ready to go – he is after all, the King.
The Mariners do have depth if something does happen. They will have Roenis Elias and Erasmo Ramirez either in the bullpen or in Tacoma. They also signed Justin Germano and Mark Lowe to minor league deals with a Spring invite for additional depth.
If the Mariners rotation can avoid the injury bug in 2015, they could put up even better numbers then they did in 2014.
Watch out American League.