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Clearly, things are not going according to plan for the Mariners, losers of five of their last six games and who just lost two of their best hitters — Michael Saunders and Michael Morse — to injury less than 24 hours apart. Saunders will miss at least the next few weeks on the DL while Morse could be out a week after suffering a non-displaced fracture of his finger after being hit on the left hand by a pitch late in last night’s game.
Just when you thought the Aaron Harang deal would be the biggest event of the day, right?
Harang will be looked at by the Mariners once he arrives and they’ll see whether he’s in good enough shape to start right away. My feeling is he won’t be, so they can use him in relief to eat up some innings and build his arm. If he’s ready now or once he’s ready in the near future, he can either take the spot of struggling Blake Beavan or be an option to replace Brandon Maurer.
Now, I mention in the podcast that a natural replacement for Maurer would be Class AAA pitcher Danny Hultzen, since he’s on the same rotation schedule. But you do have to consider that Hultzen is only going five or six innings at a time in AAA, which translates to about four or five big league innings.
The Mariners would likely want to build Hultzen up a bit more before bringing him to the majors and if they had to replace Maurer right away after his Sunday turn against Texas, then Harang could be that option.
So, lots in flux here.
But the Mariners had to do something. Not only for the won-loss record, but the guys in that clubhouse. You can’t throw away two out of every five games because your starting pitchers aren’t up to snuff. That can demoralize and infuriate the rest of the team and the Mariners are taking no chances. They are sending a message here: they won’t just punt away games in the name of young pitchers finding their way. Either those pitchers compete at the MLB level or they will be replaced by guys who can.
It’s the least they can do. What they don’t want is to tell the other 23 guys to try to win every night. but that they’ll have to do it being down a half-dozen runs early two days out of every five. That’s not how it works. There’s always a give-and-take. Maurer and Beavan are both living on borrowed time if indeed they both get another shot.
Maurer has already been told he will. If Beavan gets another chance, he’d best make the most of it.
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