Who Replaces Chris Young In the Mariners Starting Rotation?

Young And His Struggles Moving To The Pen

Seattle Mariners Skipper, Lloyd McClendon, has been kind to Chris Young and his struggles, and he continues to be as he has made the decision to pull his lanky right hander from the M’s starting rotation.

McClendon said, courtesy of the Tri-City Herald‘s Bob Dutton “I think he’s probably out of gas from a starting standpoint.  He’s coming off surgery.  He’s only human.  He’s given us everything that he had and probably a little bit more.  He’s tired.”

I’d have to agree with McClendon.  Young is tired and out of gas — or whatever you want to call it — and probably needs to sit for the rest of the year to avoid a serious injury.

2014 is the first year Young has logged this many innings (165) in more than five years.  It stands to reason he’s not going to be able to go out there for 200-plus frames his first year off surgery.

Young has very respectable season totals.  He has a 12-9 record with a shiny 3.65 ERA on the season. That said, his last four outings have been disastrous.  Young has an ERA of 8.65 in those outings while throwing just over 14 innings in those four starts.


Brace yourselves, fans…

Giving up 20 hits, including seven homers and allowing eight walks will do that to your ERA.

So with Young in the pen and Taijuan Walker already in the rotation replacing the injured Roenis Elias, whom do the M’s turn to? My first thought has to be Tom Wilhelmsen.  The Bartender has given the Mariners a spot start previously and McClendon has been quoted on more than one occasion as liking the idea of Wilhelmsen being a starter somewhere down the road.

While I like this idea, it now seems unlikely that he’ll get that start Thursday as the M’s used him Monday night in relief of James Paxton, who struggled against the Jays in the first game of that series.

It’s still technically possible that Whilhelmsen would get the call, but it would have to be more of a “bullpen” start where Tom throws just the first couple of innings. Out of the rotation already is rookie Roenis Elias, who left a game a start ago with a stiff elbow.

Could he get loose and get the call after missing just a single start? It’s not likely, unfortunately.  Elias has been diagnosed with a strained flexor bundle in his elbow.  While not a serious injury, in that there is no structural damage in his throwing arm, the normal treatment and recovery time for this injury is a couple of months.

Elias won’t throw a baseball for at least four weeks, which, of course, means he is done for the season.

Another possibility — brace yourself — is handing the ball to Erasmo Ramirez. The right hander has a 1-6 record on the year and an ERA of 5.15 in 73.1 innings in 2014.  His favorite hobby seems to be seeing how many base runners he can allow without actually giving up a run.

Would the M’s turn to Ramirez one last time to get them through the end of the year?

I believe this scenario to be far more likely at this point.  I know that’s probably not what most of you wanted to hear, but the M’s are running low on options, even with a 40-man September roster.


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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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