mariners

Brandon Maurer is about to force his way into the Mariners Rotation

True or False?

Despite offensive power on display for the Mariners, Maurer continues to shine brightest in Peoria. (I say TRUE)

Mariners starting pitcher Brandon Maurer has yet to throw a pitch in the majors in the regular season. Maurer has never thrown out a first-pitch at SafeCo Field the way highly touted Danny Hultzen did after going in the first round in 2011.

Maurer is rarely, if ever, mentioned alongside the “big 3” pitchers the Mariners have in AAA right now (Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton).

Brandon Maurer has none of those accolades, and yet, at 22-years-old, he is ready for the Mariner’s rotation.

Spring Training stats can be misleading, an anomaly in a massive 6 to 7-month, 190-game season (including spring training and regular season). Sample sizes can make even the least of ball players look good for some time. Having said that, look at Maurer’s numbers and try not to dream too big.

20 IP, 19 H, 6 BB, 22 K, and 0.90 ERA

Maurer also did not give up a home run in spring training. Maurer’s biggest concern also leads to his biggest strength.

Brandon Maurer

At 22-years-old, Brandon Maurer is ready for the Mariners rotation

His WHIP, over a longer stretch of time, would hurt him, allowing 1.25 base runners per inning, but those that watched him this spring now that his ability to strand those base runners is what is separating him from the other candidates.In yesterday’s 16-0 romping of the Cincinnati Reds, the offensive shone the brightest. Jesus Montero returned from a nasty knock to the head to record 6 RBI, including a grand slam.

Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders each got on base every at-bat they had, and yet, Maurer is fighting for a job on the hill and getting it done.

His AA numbers in Jackson last season point to his potential, finishing with the most consistent stats on the team.

AA: 137 IP, 1.315 WHIP, 7.6 K/9 and a 3.20 ERA

That ERA is not what he has been sporting this spring, but does point to what he is as a starting pitcher. Runners on base, but the ability to pitch out of jams.

Oftentimes, minor league stats mirror a players major league potential, but in Maurer’s situation, his improvement should continue with his age and competitiveness.

The fifth starter spot should go to Maurer, give him the opportunity to lose it. If this spring is any indication as to what this season will be like for Maurer, there will be runners on base, strikeouts a plenty, and an uncanny knack for getting through outs when needed.

One inning at a time.

Go M’s!

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