Besides a big bluster trade during the off-season that brought the Mariners Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger from the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitcher TaiJuan Walker and shortstop Ketel Marte the Mariners added more pitching depth to their roster.
The Mariners not only picked up some veteran help they went out and got some young pitchers to help out for the future well as for the upcoming season.
The Mariners triple A team the Tacoma Rainiers will have a good starting rotation well as their bullpen. The Mariners have a solid starting rotation and bullpen although we are wondering how well the starters will do over the season.
We start out with King Felix Hernandez who will turn thirty-one in April shortly after the season starts and came off an injury last season. He did have a good off-season getting into better shape and right now he I participating in the Word Basic Classic for his home country of Venezuela.
Iwakuma will be back for another season however he will be older as well so who knows how healthy he will be for the season. James Paxton is back to make another try for the rotation. Hopefully he will stay healthy and have his best season so far. We won’t know for three more weeks but he is doing well in spring training. He likely will start after Felix since he is a lefty.
The Mariner’s picked up another lefty who should pitch after Iwakuma in the rotation. He is Drew Smyly. The Mariners got him in a trade with Tampa Bay.
The fifth starter right now for the Mariners is Yovani Gallardo who they picked up from the Baltimore Orioles for outfielder Seth Smith. He had a poor year last year for the Orioles however general manager Dipoto and manager Scott Servais are hoping that he will rebound this season.
If Gallardo doesn’t rebound or any other starters don’t do well they do have some depth. The number one pitcher that would come in is Ariel Maranda who they picked up late last year from the Orioles who had a good September. He will probably start in the bullpen as a second lefty or be sent to Tacoma to start the season.
Another starter the Mariners picked up who may start with Tacoma is Chris Heston who had a minimum season last year because of injuries. He previously pitched and started for the San Francisco Giants. The Mariners signed him as a free agent.
Other starters the Tacoma Rainiers may have are Chase De Jong who they picked up on a minor deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers during the early part of spring training. He had a good season last year at double A and he is only twenty-three years old so he could have a spot in the Mariners rotation next season. He may come up some time during the season and likely will in September. Another starter is Rob Whalen the Mariners got from the Atlanta Braves during the off-season. Like Heston and De Jong he is on the Mariners 40-man roster.
Another starter would be Cody Martin who started two games for the Mariners last season. He is not on the 40- man roster so he would have perform better than some of the other guys to make it on the roster whether opening day or during the season. Andrew Moore out of Oregon State who the Mariners like a lot may start the season in double A could be seen some time during the season especially in September. Another one is Dylan Unsworth out of South Africa who will probably start at double A this season to. Both Moore and Unsworth could move up to Tacoma during the season and likely see in September.
The bullpen has a lot of pitchers on hand. Far as right handed pitchers they are keeping five so not much room there for sure. Steve Cishek will probably start on the disabled list or there would be only room for one pitcher.
Edwin Diaz is the closer with Evan Scribner and Nick Vincent being two setup men. That would leave two pitchers and one would take Cishek’s spot until he is ready. The only change here would be if Dipoto decided to trade either Scribner or Vincent because neither will go to the minors.
Dan Altavilla looks to take one of the two remaining right handed spots in the bullpen unless he underperforms or someone else surprises the coaching staff. The other pitcher had the best chance is Shae Simmons however he was injured on Saturday so he could be out for a little while though he isn’t too concerned about it.
Other possibilities to make the bullpen that are on the 40-man roster Casey Fien, Thyago Viera and Tony Zych. So far Fien hasn’t done too well, Viera likely start in double A and Zych either on the disabled list or in Tacoma depending on he will do the rest of training camp. If Simmons can’t start the season than Zych could have the best chance in make the opening roster.
Another possibility is Max Povse however he is not on the 40-man roster. A veteran pitcher the Mariners recently picked up was Jean Machi. He too would have to be added to the 40-man roster to start the season with the Mariners.
The primary lefty in the bullpen will be Marc Rzepczynski however the Mariners hope to have another one as well. Ariel Maranda could be the second if he isn’t a starter in Tacoma when the season begins. James Pazos the Mariners got from the New York Yankees is having good spring training so he is the main competition for the second lefty against Maranda. They signed veteran lefty Nick Hagadone who last pitched in 2015 with the Cleveland Indians and is from nearby Sumner. His experience will be good for the Mariners whether he starts the season with the Mariners or the Tacoma Rainiers. The Mariners could trade him if another team is interested and he is not on the 40-man roster either.
So that looks like the primary pitchers for the Mariners going into the new season. Knowing Dipoto it most likely will change in the next three weeks before the season begins. Go M’s.