Go to Tacoma Get Confidence Back…
Last night, the Seattle Mariners dropped another game behind the starting pitching of rookie, Brandon Maurer. At this writing, the Mariners are 22-30, ten games back behind the division leading Texas Rangers, and 2-8 in their last ten games.
While last night was an example of Maurer’s struggles, it is also a perfect model of his trending problems. Maurer only made it 5.2 innings against the San Diego Padres, and has not made it through 7 full innings in any game this season. Through ten starts, he is 2-7, with his lone no-decision coming in a team loss against the Cleveland Indians.
While a team’s wins and losses can only be proportionately applied to a pitcher’s efficiency (whip) versus the team’s effectiveness (run support/ defense), the fact that Maurer averages an earned run given up for nearly every inning he pitches (18/19.2) means for every average start (6 innings), the Mariners know they need to score 5.6 runs every game just to be in it when the bullpen comes in.
So far, the Mariners have scored 190 runs in 52 innings, averaging 3.7 runs a game. By looking at these numbers, one would think the team has won two of his starts in spite of Maurer, not because of him.
The reality, however, offers a glimmer of hope. While these numbers can be alarming, as with all baseball statistics they must be taken with a grain of salt.
The truth is, if you excluded Maurer’s worst start of the season, the April 9th debacle against the powerhouse, Houston Astros, where he gave up 6 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning, it lowers his average run efficiency to 3.8 runs every start.
So at that point, it would seem like a 50/50 shot of the Mariners being in the game by the time Maurer exits. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t good enough.
Just as with the offense, the pitchers need to be held accountable. While Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma hold down the top end as two aces should, and Joe Saunders and Aaron Harang at least offer some promise, I chalk up a loss every time I see Maurer’s turn come up.
Eight out of ten times I’ve been right, and as mentioned before, the Mariners are eight games under .500.
We all know the team’s struggles are not all Maurer’s fault. With a little more offense behind him, he may even be a serviceable backend starter that could hopefully work himself into something more. Unfortunately, that is not the state of this team, and Maurer’s confidence and focus seem to waiver at inopportune times.
As with Ackley and Montero, I think a little time in AAA for Maurer, to get his head straight and settled into a groove of success would do wonders for his confidence.
While he has shown promise in the past, being thrown out there every start only to see the same result has got to be wearing down on the kid.
With all the struggles this team has, I think it is time to see a new (or old) face.
Perhaps Andrew Carraway can show a little something. He has 46 strikeouts and only 18 walks in just over 60 innings of AAA ball. However, it is more likely that veteran Jeremy Bonderman will be called up, as he can become a free agent if not added to the big-league roster by Saturday.
Giving Bonderman a chance to show what he has, while letting Carraway mature and allowing Maurer the opportunity to gain some of his confidence back will likely be the moves made.
Either way, something needs to be done before Maurer is scheduled to start again.
If not, we all know what the outcome will be… 5+ innings, 5+ runs, and another loss.
Mariners News broke at 1:45pm today…
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) May 29, 2013
There we have it…