Mariners turn to surprise spot starter for tonight's game, pushing rotation back

The Mariners will turn to this former top prospect to start tonights game as the Mariners look to complete this 4 game series against the White Sox.
Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins
Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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The Mariners have been fairly lucky when it comes to injuries in their starting rotation in 2024. Luis Castillo, George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, and Bryce Miller have made all of their starts so far. Bryan Woo is the only member of the starting rotation to miss any time, as he started the year on the injured list with elbow inflammation.

Earlier this week, Bryan Woo missed his scheduled start and had to get an MRI on his pitching elbow, yet again. The Mariners called up Jhonathan Diaz from AAA Tacoma, and he pitched well in his return to the big leagues. Woo missing his start, coupled with the Texas Rangers coming into town this weekend, may be the reason we see the rotation being pushed back yet another day.

The Mariners called up Emerson Hancock

Emerson Hancock was called up earlier this afternoon, and will start in place of Luis Castillo in game four of this four-game series with the Chicago White Sox. The Mariners have won each of the first three games of this series, and the Mariners seem to want to push the rotation back a game to face the second-place Texas Rangers.

Hancock has had an up-and-down year while with the Mariners. He has made seven starts for the bg club so far in 2024, producing a 3-3 record in 34.1 innings. His 5.24 ERA goes hand and hand with his 5.30 FIP, while his strikeout rate is a dismal 6.0 strikeouts per nine innings. He may have figured something out down in Tacoma, though. He has started in five games for Tacoma, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.17 ERA through 29 innings.

As for his underlying stats, they are not good. His savant page leaves a lot to be desired. He does not rank well there at all. The number that scared me the most is his hard-hit percentage, which is 49.1%. That would land him in the 4th percentile, which would match his xERA (5.97) and xBA (.301).

Emerson Hancock still is young, and still comes with some prospect pedigree. He was the 6th overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft out of the University of Georgia. While he may never live up to the hype of being a top ten pick, Hancock still has plenty of time to show that he can be a capable pitcher in The Show.

As always, Go Mariners!