Seattle Mariners starting pitchers off to blazing start

No Iwakuma, No Walker, No Problem

I have to admit that I was a little bit worried about the Seattle Mariners starting rotation to start of the 2014 MLB season.

Hernandez I had faith in, but let’s be honest — behind Felix Hernandez, you have a bunch of really green, unproven starters thanks to injuries to Taijuan Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma.

Yes, Yes, Yes. Their spring numbers collectively were impressive, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted these guys shutting down the Los Angeles Angels in that first series the way they did.

The Starters

Good start, Felix. (Photo: Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

Good start, Felix. (Photo: Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

During that Angels series, the three M’s starters — Hernandez along with Erasmo Ramirez and James Paxton  allowed just four runs in 20 innings.  They struck out 26 batters while walking just three.  They had a combined WHIP of 0.60.  They held hitters to an amazing .162 batting average.

And we’re not talking about the Houston Astros’ lineup.

No, they did this against the Angels.  Their 2-3-4 hitters are Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.  Ok, Trout did get a two-run HR off Felix, but that was really the only damage those three guys were able to inflict on Seattle.

Roenis Elias made his first big league start following the Angels series in Oakland.  He had a solid outing as well allowing just one run in five innings.  His first two innings he was a bit amped up and walked too many batters and got away with it.

Had Elias been able to settle down a bit before the third inning, his pitch count might have allowed him to go another inning or two.  It also didn’t help that he had a rookie home-plate umpire, Sean Barber, who couldn’t find his own ass with two hands and a flashlight let alone the strike zone.

The Bullpen

Although not needed much, the bullpen has been impressive as well.  Joe Beimel has the play of the pen so far this season.  He entered a situation with a runner on first and two outs.   He recorded the third out without ever throwing a pitch, which has only happened two other times in M’s history.

Beimel has a wicked pick off move to first, and he used it.  One throw to first and the inning was over.

Danny Farquhar has looked very solid in the setup role.  He’s struck out four batters so far in just 2.2 innings. Yoervis Medina has also looked good, throwing 1.2 innings of shutout ball and striking out two.

New Closer Fernando Rodney hasn’t had a true save situation yet, but has thrown an inning of scoreless ball, striking out one.

The guy I want to push over a cliff right now is Hector Noesi.  He’s thrown just two pitches in the regular season.  The problem is, I don’t think one of them has landed yet.

In fairness, Noesi did have a pretty solid spring, but his track record and +6.00 ERA from last year scares the hell out of me.  And that walk off he gave up on two pitches didn’t improve my attitude about him either.

The worst part is I saw it coming.

Two pitches and 41 seconds later.

It wouldn’t be so damn infuriating if it weren’t for the fact that the reason he’s still with the Mariners is so obvious.  Noesi is out of minor league options, which means he can’t be sent to the minors without clearing waivers.

The Mariners obviously value Noesi enough that they don’t want to risk exposing him to waivers for fear he would be picked up by another team.

I just don’t get that.  Lucas Luetge and Zach Miner went down instead and right now I’d rather have either of them up here instead of Noesi.

**UPDATE: My wish — and yours too I’ll bet — has been granted.  The Mariners designated for assignment Mr. Noesi.

Maybe he can write a book:  How to get cut in two easy pitches.


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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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