mariners

Has Blake Beavan pitched his way into Seattle’s 2012 rotation?

There’s Always Next Year M’s

2011 clearly hasn’t been about the standings for the Seattle Mariners, who sit dead last in the American League West with a 64-89 record.

This season has been all about the youth movement.

Starting pitcher Michael Pineda made the All-Star team as a rookie. Second baseman Dustin Ackley has shown considerable hitting prowess since his midseason callup (though he’s slumped this month). Mike Carp has surprised everyone with his power.

Justin Smoak has flashed major potential with his bat between slumps and injuries.

Will we see regular work for Beavan in 2012?

Is the starter Blake Beavan the next important young Seattle contributor?

The 22-year-old righthander came over with Smoak from the Texas Rangers in the Cliff Lee trade last season and has impressed since joining the big club in July.

Beavan, a 2007 first-round pick, is more Jamie Moyer than Felix Hernandez. To accompany his 3.92 ERA and 5-5 record, he has just 34 strikeouts in 85 winnings, but he’s walked just 13 batters. That’s an amazingly low number; we’re talking Moyer/Cliff Lee/ Dan Haren territory.

Like any hurler who pitches to contact, Beavan will get hit. Opponents are batting .276 off him and he’s allowed 11 homers already. But the key is that no one ever seems to be on base when he gets taken deep.

With his impeccable ability to throw strikes, Beavan should develop into a guy who goes deep into games.

He’s made a strong case to fill out Seattle’s solid young rotation in 2012.

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