Friday night Mike Leake takes the mound for the Seattle Mariners in Safeco Field for his second appearance since being acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals a couple weeks ago. I have to admit like most Mariner fans I didn’t know much about Leake when the Mariners traded for him. I know that he is a ground ball pitcher which is a good sign especially when the Mariners have a lot of high ball pitchers that is not a surprise since they give up a lot of home runs.
Just before his first outing last Friday general manager Jerry Dipoto the reason they picked up Leake was because of how may innings he pitches along with the fact he has several years left on his contract and that being a ground ball pitcher it cost more money to get one over a high ball pitcher and they are rare as well. Dipoto said to that he is going try to find more ground ball pitchers in the future as well.
My brother Jack lived in St. Louis for seventeen years and is a Cardinals fan so I told him about the Mariners picking Leake up. He was surprised because he said that Leake was the Cardinals number one pitcher at the beginning of the season. So I have to say if he can get anywhere close to being a number one starter like in St. Louis he will be worth getting him. With Felix trying to stay healthy the last couple years and James Paxton staying healthy at all having Leake is a good find. Regardless of the order those three should be at the top of the Mariners rotation next year.
Leake has pitched a lot of innings since 2010 so if he can continue to do so the Mariners will be very happy about it especially he can throw a lot of quality starts going at least six inning and giving up two or less runs.
Right now the Mariners have thirteen starting pitchers including Leake, Felix and Paxton going into next season with Erasmo Ramirez and Ariel Miranda filling out the two remaining spots as favorites. I could see both of them going to the bullpen as well if Dipoto can go out and find another starter or two.
Though the Mariners may have thirteen starters listed right now doesn’t mean that all of them will be in spring training. In fact I would say several of them most likely will not. They will probably be involved in a trade or released by the Mariners after the season.
I am sure Andrew Moore and Marco Gonzales will get a good see in spring training for the fifth spot however I could see both of them starting in Tacoma as well.
Anyway Leake we want to see another good outing like you made last week going seven innings and giving up two runs. Go M’s.