For awhile, it looked like the Mariners might get doubly burned for their decision to cast loose Jon Garland at the end of spring training.
Neither of the two pitchers they opted for ahead of Garland — Blake Beavan and Brandon Maurer — were successful, both pitching their way to the minors. Moreover, their two replaceements, Aaron Harang and Jeremy Bonderman, have had decidedly mixed results, as the bottom of the Mariners’ rotation continue to be a problem area.
When Garland was immediately picked up by Colorado, placed into the Rockies’ starting rotation, and went 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA in his first three starts, it looked like the Mariners had chosen the wrong pitcher. But in his next nine starts, Garland went 2-6 with a 6.80 ERA, allowing 69 hits in 38 innings. Opponents went .343/.404/.567 in that span, and over the weekend, Garland was DFA’d by the Rockies. Today, he was released.
What really messed up the Mariners’ rotation were injuries to Erasmo Ramirez (who is finally close to being ready) and Danny Hultzen. But it sure looks like their struggles would have been similar had they opted for Garland.
Here’s today’s Mariners’ minor-league report. Check out the stats of shortstop Brad Miller, who has been tearing up Tacoma 14 games since coming up from Double-A Jackson. He’s hitting .361 (22-f0r-61) with a .412 on-base percentage and .574 slugging, with three homers and 17 RBI. He’s often compared to Kyle Seager, who got his initial big-league call in early July of 2011, when he was in his third pro season, just like Miller is now.
Also, in case you missed it, here is the Mariners’ complete draft list:
Among the interesting picks: 1B Justin Seager of UNC Charlotte (12th round), younger brother of Kyle; shortstop Taylor Snyder of Salem Hills HS in Elk Ridge, Utah (34th round) and third baseman JC Snyder of Salt Lake CC (36th round), the sons of Cory Snyder, the Mariners’ Double-A hitting coach in Jackson, and a former No. 4 overall draft pick with Cleveland; LHP William Mathis (25th round), New Mexico teammate of first-round pick DJ Peterson; SS Lonnie Kauppila (16th round), Stanford teammate of second-round pick Austin Wilson. They also took high school teammates Corey Ray (OF, 33rd round) and Marshawn Taylor (SS, 35th round) from Simeon Career Academy in Chicago.
Five players with ties to the state of Washington were picked: LHP Tyler Olson from Gonzaga (7th round), shortstop Jordan Cowan (37th round) from Kentlake HS; third baseman Michael Sexton (38th) from Rogers HS in Puyallup; RHP Sam Hellinger (39th) from West Seattle High School; and catcher Mike McCann (40th) from Columbia River HS in Vancouver. Hellinger, a unanimous choice as Metro League MVP in 2013 after leading West Seattle to a second-place finish in the 3A state tournament, is the son of Bob Hellinger, Mariners’ director of ticket sales.