Tuesday, April 2, 2013

MAKING THE PITCH: Seattle Mariners

Felipe M

Even though the season has started, it's still early enough to take a quick look at the rest of the pitching staffs.


Take a quick (and I do mean 'quick') look at the San Diego Padres

Here are the Seattle Mariners:

2013 Pitching Projections
Player
Team
K/BB
K/9
BB/9
H/9
WHIP
HR/9
Felix Hernandez
Seattle
3.69
8.47
2.30
7.64
1.10
0.68
Hisashi Iwakuma
Seattle
2.34
7.42
3.17
8.49
1.30
0.79
Joe Saunders
Seattle
2.05
5.30
2.58
9.47
1.34
1.08
Tom Wilhelmsen
Seattle
2.03
7.73
3.80
7.10
1.21
0.76











Blake Beaven had a bad spring, but did not give up a walk, which should be no surprise as he's had great control throughout his young career.  It was enough to win the #5 spot in the rotation.  Unfortunately, his strikeout totals are so terrible, it pretty much cancels out any fantasy value that he would have had in 2013.  

And I have this belief that Joe Saunders and Clayton Richard are each other's clones.

Hisashi Iwakuma had a solid spring and with solid projections, he might be a solid contributor in fantasy leagues.  

Brandon Maurer, the #6 Mariners' prospect per Baseball Prospectus, is the #4 starter.  He had a decent spring as well and quite a surprise.  Only 22, it's tough to figure out what kind of season he might have this year.  His 2012 stats from Double-A are actually pretty similar to Iwakuma's projections so he might worth the roll of the dice if you're desperate for pitching.  He's still available in 65% of CBS leagues.

I would try to avoid Tom Wilhelmsen as much as possible.  Of all the pitchers that were projected to be closers this season, he has the 3rd worst K/BB.  He simply doesn't strike out enough hitters and walks too many batters.  The only thing he has going is that there seems to be nobody that can challenge him in the Mariners' bullpen.  Plus, the M's are supposed to win more games with a slightly improved offense and adequate pitching staff (think of the Orioles from last season).  Plus, they have plenty of young, promising pitchers in the farm system that can help later in the year if the team is in playoff contention (again, just like the Orioles from 2012).  Otherwise, he's a very unappealing closer.

Finally, Felix Hernandez.  He signed a big fat contract in the offseason as he's basically volunteering his time and effort (again, this is all relative; he could be with the Yankees or Dodgers making the same money, but with a lot more help) to carry this franchise on his back.  I had him ranked as my 6th best pitcher entering this season, but he can quickly move up the ladder this year.  The numbers, whether projections or real, speak for themselves.  It's the character and passion for this team that I wanted to spotlight.  Usually I'm cynical about a player saying "it wasn't about the money," and how he "wanted to stay in Seattle," but I really feel that it's genuine with Hernandez.  Either that or he can really make himself cry on command.

More MLB content is available here.

To check out the rest of the other pitching staffs, click here

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