#4 Starting pitching: Mariners need to strengthen and add depth to the starting rotation
Marco Gonzales and Justus Sheffield shined in 2020 but the rest of the crew was unimpressive. The Mariners are waiting for the arrival of Logan Gilbert in 2021, but the rotation is not set even with him entering the mix.
At the moment, the pitchers competing for a spot in the starting rotation are:
- Marco Gonzales
- Justus Sheffield
- Justin Dunn
- Yusei Kikuchi
- Nick Margevicius
- Ljay Newsome
- Logan Gilbert
It is good that there is competition for the starting rotation, but I really only see Gonzales, Sheffield, Dunn, and Gilbert to have a set spot in the rotation in 2021. There is one spot to fill, or two if Scott Servais decides to operate a six-man rotation.
Kikuchi has struggled as a Mariner and will be closely looked at in spring training. Margevicius and Newsome are young arms vying for a spot, but they may be moved to the bullpen if another starter is added to the mix.
We learned from the Atlanta Braves that extra pitching depth is necessary to be good. The Atlanta Braves added Cole Hamels and Felix Hernandez at the beginning of 2020 but they still ended up shorthanded in the postseason.
The Dipoto could pursue pitchers like:
There is an abundance of veteran pitchers available on the market that I did not list. Other teams will surely be looking to spend big on pitchers this offseason and the Mariners should compete to sign at least one starting pitcher that would fit into the middle to back end of the rotation.