NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider, Brian Scott, updates the M’s fifth rotation spot battle during 2016 Mariners spring training– The early results of Cactus League play for the Mariners suggest that James Paxton and Nate Karns are locked in a death struggle for the fifth spot in the M’s rotation. Both have just a pair of starts to judge them by so far but the early returns and numbers are interesting, to say the least.
NWSB writer and Seattle Mariners Insider, Brian Scott, looks at the Walker and Paxton situation as the Mariners spring training gets underway– Paxton has long been in the 240-250lb range during his time in the Mariners organization. This year Paxton reported to camp with that number being less than 220. The change in Paxton’s physique has not gone unnoticed by his teammates or coaching staff either.
NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider, Brian Scott, predicts the Seattle Mariners starting five come April– Felix may not have had his best year by his lofty standards in 2015, but he still won 18 games and threw 200+ innings. That’s the eighth consecutive season Hernandez has thrown 200+ innings. He also has had an ERA less than 4.00 in his last nine consecutive seasons. Argument over! Felix throws on opening day.
NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider, Brian Scott, gives us his grades and thoughts on the first half of the Mariners 2015 season– The Mariners are going to need a phenomenal run in the second half of this season if they are going to do what most people expect them to do– go to the playoffs. It’s the kind of run the M’s have not made since 1995.
NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider, Brian Scott discusses the rise of Taijuan Walker and MIke Montogomery in the M’s rotation– Montgomery is not old but he is 26 and that’s fairly old for a rookie. One wonders why it took so long for someone who everyone regarded as talented to get the light turned on. Whatever the reason for that, I’m thankful he somehow did it after he came to the Mariners and for practically nothing.
NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider, Brian Scott, weighs in on the Troy Tulowitzki rumors– The Colorado Rockies shortstop certainly is a force to be reckoned with if you are a pitcher. Currently the scrappy right hander is hitting .298 with 13 doubles, a couple of homers and 11 RBIs. Seems pretty good to me. Why would the Rockies want to ship him out?
NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider, Brian Scott, gives us his thoughts on Taijuan Walker’s most recent performance– You are spoiled by Felix, Seattle. Walker can and will be an amazing, dominate pitcher. It’s just taking him a little longer that it did a guy who likely will end his career enshrined in Cooperstown in Hernandez and that’s just not a fair comparison or expectation for Walker.
NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider, Brian Scott, gives us a much too early report card for the 2015 Seattle Mariners– Seth Smith had to be considered the afterthought in all of the M’s moves that were made prior to the 2015 season in an attempt to improve the offense. Smith was just a guy the M’s brought in to replace Michael Saunders as the left handed half of a right field platoon. Well, if Saunders had ever been able to hit like this, he’d probably still be wearing teal and blue.
NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider, Brian Scott, takes a look at the development of Taijuan Walker. Is he finally ready to break out? We’ve heard the talk about Taijuan Walker, the former first round draft pick from Shreveport. He’s the latest M’s pitcher to be praised with scouting reports that describe his arm as electric, his stuff as nasty and his potential as limitless.
NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider Brian Scott looks at Seattle Mariners players who are the bubble of making the 25 man roster. Five starting pitchers, eight guys on the field, one DH, and seven guys in the bullpen. That’s 21 names on the roster right there. Throw in a backup catcher and that leaves room for just 3 platoons which I already mentioned. Can Bloomie squeeze in somehow, someplace? Maybe, if you eliminate one platoon but I just don’t see any other way.
NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider Brian Scott takes a look at the Mariners battle for the 5th spot in the rotation. We know Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma will make up the first and second spots in the rotation. McClendon went on the record last week and stated “We didn’t bring J.A. Happ here to pitch out of the bullpen” so I that pretty much settles that, Happ is in the rotation. McClendon didn’t name the fourth starter but he certainly hinted that it was likely James Paxton’s job to lose and I think it’s a very safe bet that Paxton won’t be losing that spot. That brings us to that fifth spot in the rotation, the spot vacated when the Mariners decided to not re-sign veteran free agent pitcher Chris Young.
NWSB Writer and Seattle Mariners Insider Brian Scott dives into the Seattle Mariners roster. Who will make the 25? Are the M’s a complete roster at this point? You have to have a backup catcher. It’s a given and Sucre is getting the nod. Bloomquist is healthy, under contract and is a wonderful bench player so I think his spot is safe. With the platoon situations in right field and at short you wind up with a four man bench.