Seattle Mariners 2012 starters, relievers and closers. My Oh My!

Predicting The Arms

The Mariners pitching staff are headed to their training complex in Peoria Arizona a full 8 days earlier than any other major league team.

The M’s have a major overhaul coming to their starting rotation having lost 3 of their solid starters from 2011 due to trades, and their bullpen has a strong core, but needs a few pieces to round it off before opening day.

When you start following the Mariners this spring, start to think like a scout and see if you can predict who will make the team.

Requirements of a major league level pitcher.


James Paxton

Mariners pitchers must be durable. If there is a hitch in their mechanics then injuries are sure to follow.

There are a lot of people that can throw the ball really hard, but there are few that can throw the ball hard as well as place their pitches.

When experts talk about Felix Hernandez the conversation always hovers around the topic of his ability to control the ball.


Batters look for inconsistencies in a pitcher and try to exploit them.  Baseball is a mental game.  If a pitcher gets flustered their control will wain and they will end up giving up hits.

A lot of guys like Charlie Furbush and Anthony Vanquez will be left in the minors due to their inability to be consistence.


Just because a guy can throw a ball hard and with good control, doesn’t mean that he is throwing it right.  Pitching is especially hard on a body as the high intensity and power needed to hurl the ball repeatedly.

If there is a hitch in their mechanics then injuries are sure to follow. 

James Paxton was shut down early last year for concerns about durability.  Hisashi Iwakuma was picked up from Japan on a dime due to durability concerns.

These issues could influence their chance of making the team.


Individual workouts are important to build up strength to perform at a major league level.  These guys are being paid as athletes, they should be showing commitment to their career off the field as well.

As fans we can’t see what is happening behind the scenes, but if we see a guy that can only face 3 batters before losing his consistency, his stamina can be a clue as to his true potential.

Brandon League

The Closer! League had 37 saves in 2011. He had a 2.79 ERA. He's, 28, and he signed for $5 million.


In the off season, the M’s pursued a lot of veteran pitchers like George Sherill and Kevin Millwood to add to their spring training crew.

This is due to a lack of experience in the pitching staff.  Many people want the 2011 draft pick, Danny Hultzen to make the starting rotation, but aside from the Arizona Fall League – his experience in pro ball is nill.

His chances of being a starter this season are close to the same.

Even Hector Noesi who came from the Yankees has more experience and numbers decent enough to get a look.

I’d love to hear your predictions on the starting rotation, bullpen and closers.

Here are my Seattle Mariners 2012 Pitcher Predictions:


1.  Felix Hernandez
2.  Jason Vargas
3.  Hisashi Iwakuma
4.  Blake Bevan
5.  Hector Noesi


1.  Tom Wilhelmson
2.  Shawn Kelly
3.  Steve Delabar
4.  Chance Ruffin
5.  George Sherill


1. Brandon League


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  • Upperdek

    I have to say that the guys you mentions as being the M’s starters and bullpen is just about the sorriest excuse for a major league pitching staff I have heard of.  What a joke.

    • It could be a joke… this season but look out it what is down the pipe. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the rotation change through the year as the M’s develop more of their young staff. the bullpen is actually looking a lot stronger this season than last year. last year they were quite dominate. maybe the joke has a plot twist that will leave the M’s laughing instead of you.

  • nextgm

     Would you give these guys a chance! This is the best collection of young talent the mariners have collected in a long time if not the best ever. We are lacking proven stars but we are not lacking talent. I think as this year progresses you wil like what you see and grow to love this team and the beauty is they are young.
     As for the starting pitching? What better park to develope young arms. I know half their games are on the road but don’t sell our guys short.
     This team is being built for years to come, not just a one year wonder. I understand everybodies frustration. I have felt the same as you but, I think we can start to see the fruits of Jack’s labor.  Go Mariners! I going to enjoy growth of this team as much as any we’ve had.

    • Anonymous

      Well said.

    • I for one am really looking forward to watching the team develop this season. I like cheering for the underdog. go mariners

  • Mark

    Give a chance and don’t be so negative. This team will be better than .500 overall and next year will even be better. No patience, no gain. Just support them.

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