Mariners Bold Prediction #2: Chris Flexen loses his rotation spot
I do like Flexen, so this isn’t me hating on him. Seeing a pitcher that is so different than so many currently is a nice change of pace… even if the Mariners have two of them in Flexen and Marco. Flexen strikes out so few people, you will get the occasional 7 IP 2K game from him and not be shocked.
However, 2021 is either going to be the turning point in what turns out to be a very solid career, or a one-and-done type season where we look back and wonder how he had so much success. I do hope it’s the latter. But… I’m going out on a limb and saying this year isn’t going to go well for him as a starter.
After a couple of months of sub-standard pitching, Flexen gets moved to the pen with a 5.77 ERA. With a less-than-average defense behind him (there are a lot of not very good defenders out there), balls that were caught last season seem just out of reach this year. He uses his change of pace out of the pen to offset the Mariners heat from Ray, Gilbert, and Brash, and finds success as the team’s middle innings reliever.