Emerson Hancock's first career win showed Mariners righty belongs in big leagues

After a strong performance against Cleveland, the Mariners are hoping Hancock develops into the starting pitcher they believed he would be, as he can provide depth to their starting rotation.

Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners
Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Mariners starting pitcher Emerson Hancock picked up his first career win on Monday against the Cleveland Guardians. His line for game was 5.1 IP, four hits, three earned runs, one walk, and one strikeout. Filling in for the injured Bryan Woo, Hancock did what he needed to do to earn the win. He struck out the first batter he faced, Steven Kwan, on a nasty changeup to get his 2024 season started off right. The Mariners also did a good job of scoring runs early, as they put up four runs in the bottom of the second inning, thanks to a three-run home run by Dominic Canzone after an RBI single from Ty France.

With good run support, Hancock could suddenly breathe a little easier on the mound. He faced a little trouble in the top of the third, as the Guardians loaded the bases with no outs. Hancock was able to pitch to contact and surrendered only two runs, giving up just an RBI fielder's choice groundout by Steven Kwan and a sac fly to second baseman Andres Gimenez. Hancock did not give up another run until the sixth inning, letting up a solo home run to Guardians center fielder Tyler Freeman. Overall, Hancock had a solid performance and hopes to build off Monday's win going forward.

What Mariners right-hander Emerson Hancock can provide after first MLB win

When the Mariners selected Hancock with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, they envisioned him to be one of their future starting pitchers. While Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo should expect to be the Mariners' fourth and fifth starters moving forward, penciling in Emerson Hancock as a spot starter is a nice luxury. When Woo returns from the injured list, Hancock could have an important role as a bridge reliever to the Mariners' setup man and closer. With injuries already striking the Mariners' bullpen (Matt Brash and Gregory Santos are still on the injured list), Hancock can possibly fill in there as well.

Having a live arm such as Hancock, who the Mariners can flex as a starter or reliever, has given Seattle options. Hancock's first start of 2024 showed he is still capable of starting for the Mariners. How he is used throughout this season is going to be interesting to watch. Earning his first win in the big leagues is just the beginning for Hancock, in what the Mariners hope will be a long career for him in Seattle. Hancock has the ability to provide depth to Mariners starting rotation, while also giving them a solid bullpen option as well.