The sixth starter competition
The most interesting competition from Mariners Spring Training this year will be the sixth starter competition between Justin Dunn and Nick Margevicius. Heading into the Spring I thought that it was probably Dunn’s job to lose and Margevicius had a real chance, but now we are getting updates that Justin Dunn has increased his fastball velocity from 91 to 96.
That certainly changes things. Along with the signing of James Paxton which adds yet another lefty to the rotation, it makes it harder for the lefty Nick Margevicius to take the sixth spot.
Margevicius had an ERA of 4.57 last year along with a FIP of 4.35, and an xwOBA of .307 (right around league average). He also had an ERA of just 4.46 in games he started, as he started 7 games and made his first three appearances of the season out of the bullpen.
Dunn has a 4.13 ERA in 14 games started in his two seasons in the majors and had two 6 inning shutouts in August last year. However, his xwOBA was in the 11th percentile of all MLB pitchers last season which is much worse than Margevicius.
So, we’ll have to see how the competition pans out. Both of them will get a handful of starts and over 15 innings to win the job.