Mariners Position Battle Update: 5th Starting Pitcher
Nate Karns – RHP
The 28-year-old has registered a stingy 1.80 ERA through his first 2 Cactus League outings. He has done a nice job keeping the opposition off the scoreboard, but his numbers seem slightly misleading. Karns has yet to record a strikeout in 5 innings, and the opposition is hitting .316 off him in spring training.
Karns was very effective for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015 during his first full season in the big leagues. He went 7-5 and posted a 3.67 ERA through 27 appearances. Karns struck out 8.9 batters per 9 innings, and issued 3.4 walks per 9 innings. He struggled at times to keep the ball in the yard, but that should change now that he calls Safeco Field home.
The Mariners acquired Karns from the Rays as part of the return package for Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Danny Farquhar. He was originally considered a lock to open the season in the M’s starting rotation, but that all changed after Seattle traded for Wade Miley and resigned Hisashi Iwakuma. Karns may not start the season in the Emerald City, but you can bet we will see him toeing the rubber at Safeco Field at some point in 2016.
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