As there are now 77 days until Seattle Mariners opening day (Fingers crossed) let’s meet Chris Flexen, the Mariners’ new number 77.
With the pandemic still in a similar place to where it was during the 2020 MLB season, commissioner Rob Manfred said recently that teams should plan for 162 games and an on-time spring training and Opening Day.
This means that, knock on wood, Seattle Mariners Opening Day is now 77 days away. To honor this number let’s meet the first-ever number 77 in franchise history, Chris Flexen.
Flexen made his MLB debut for the New York Mets in 2017 and made 9 starts and 5 relief appearances. During his time in the majors that year, he had a 7.88 ERA and had some incredibly bad advanced statistics.
Over the next two seasons, he would only make two more starts and 11 relief appearances and was just as bad as his rookie season leading him to be DFA’d. A day after being DFA’d he signed with the Doosan Bears in the KBO.
Flexen made 21 starts for the Bears in 2020 and had a 3.01 ERA, a 1.089 WHIP, and 6 home runs allowed in 116 innings pitched. This led the Mariners to sign Flexen to a two year $4.75 million contract.
Flexen will compete to be a member of the starting rotation but because of his price tag and belief in him from Jerry Dipoto, he will almost certainly be a member of the 6 man rotation. Hopefully, his season in Korea was not a fluke and he can translate his success into a good career in the MLB after his rough beginning with the New York Mets.
While I am not sure if Flexen was assigned 77 or if that was fully his choice the first number 77 in the history of the Seattle Mariners will hopefully be a key piece of the rotation and the rebuild.