With starting pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma (strained finger tendon on throwing hand) and Taijuan Walker (shoulder inflammation) expected to miss at least the first few weeks of the 2014 season, the Mariners face the task of replacing everyone in the rotation behind Felix Hernandez.
Seattle has options young and old, though all come with caveats.
In “Group One” are non-roster invitees Scott Baker, Zach Miner and Randy Wolf, all of whom are fresh off Tommy John surgery.
In “Group Two” are James Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez, Brandon Maurer, Blake Beavan and Hector Noesi (try to hold the applause), all of whom have a big league repertoire of pitches but have yet to sustain success.
If healthy, Baker, who went 63-48 with a 4.15 ERA and a respectable 1.26 WHIP in seven seasons with the Twins, has the track record. But he appeared in just three games with the Cubs last September, posting a 3.60 ERA, after Tommy John surgery forced him to miss all of 2012.