Mariners Analysis: M’s to Upgrade Rotation?

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Jul 17, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) delivers a pitch to a Colorado Rockies batter in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 17, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) delivers a pitch to a Colorado Rockies batter in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jul 7, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Rich Hill (18) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Rich Hill (18) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Rich Hill – LHP – Oakland A’s

One of the M’s top choices could actually be an American League West nemesis in Rich Hill. Even at 36 years of age, Hill is having a remarkable season. He has not allowed more than three runs in any of his thirteen starts this season. His ERA so far is just a measly 2.25, which is third best in baseball.

Even more promising for the Oakland Athletic is that his strikeout totals are still impressive. He has K’d ten batters three times this season and has fanned at least six men in seventy-five percent of his starts (ten times).

The Mariners are fully aware of the potency of Hill; they have faced him twice this year and have been dominated both times. In his first shot against the M’s, Hill had one of those ten K showings, while also only allowing five hits over six innings. That April night the Mariners could only muster one run against Hill in the team’s 6-1 loss to the Athletics. In late May he spun an even better gem, busting through eight shut-out frames. Again Hill would take the win, making his numbers versus the M’s mind-boggling: 0.64 ERA with sixteen K’s in two starts.

If there is one weakness for the aging athletic, it is his walk totals. While he is striking batters out with great consistency, he is also allowing bases on balls too often. He has walked three or more batters in six of his thirteen starts- four batters two of those times. Now, that may be consistent with many of the M’s rotation so far this year, but it is not the standard the team wants.

Walks will be walks though, and the Mariners will take them if he were to bring the rest of his arsenal with him. While his age could also be a concern, a trade for Hill could be a quick fix to the M’s inconsistency, and they can deal him away next year, but it doesn’t look like father time is playing much of a factor on him at the moment.  Hill would be a pleasant and flashy addition to the rotation if the M’s could finagle a deal for him before the deadline.

Next: Julio Teheran

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