Mariners would have a true ace if he was healthy
April 6th, 2021. That was the day that James Paxton took the mound for his Mariners return. It was supposed to be a return to something wonderful for Mariners fans, seeing the Big Maple back at the front of the rotation. Instead, just 24 pitches in, he would be taken from the game and later diagnosed with a torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament and would need Tommy John.
Then, there is Marco. I don’t know if he is still injured or not, but he doesn’t seem healthy. A lot of people expected him to return to 2018-2020 Marco, when he had a 3.85 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP, with six innings per start.
Then there is Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn. Dunn was looking great this season, while Sheffield was struggling. If, like me, you think the Sheffield struggles were due to injury, he likely would’ve done better. Still, once we look at all these starters as being healthy, there are some moves that would need to be made. Even with a six-man rotation, it would look something like this.
- James Paxton
- Marco Gonzales
- Yusei Kikuchi
- Chris Flexen
- Justin Dunn
- Justus Sheffield
That leaves no room for Logan Gilbert. Let’s say they still wanted him up for this season (it’s a hypothetical, so my rules, and I want Logan Gilbert in the rotation), they likely would’ve moved Sheffield to the pen. I’ve heard that rumor a bit, so that’s where we are going to put him. Which leads to the rest of the pen. What would it look like?