Mariners Position Battle Update: 5th Starting Pitcher

Apr 19, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton (65) throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 19, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton (65) throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 19, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Nathan Karns (51) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 19, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Nathan Karns (51) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

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.

Next: What does the future hold for Monty?