BY SPNW Staff 05:23PM 03/26/2014

Ramirez is Mariners’ No. 2 starter — for now

The ever-fluid starting rotation for the Mariners finally took a little shape Wednesday when manager Lloyd McClendon named Erasmo Ramirez the No. 2 starter behind Felix Hernandez.

“He’s a strike-thrower,” McClendon told reporters Wednesday after another strong spring performance. He held the Texas Rangers to zero walks, one run and three hits over five-plus innings in a 5-3 loss in Surprise, AZ.  “It’s never been an issue of whether he could throw strikes. It’s been an issue of whether he could throw quality strikes, and throw the ball outside of the zone when he needs to throw it outside of the zone.”

Ramirez, a 23-year-old from Nicaragua, finished the Cactus League season with a 1.14 earned run average.
The Mariners rotation took a temporary blow Tuesday when Randy Wolf, who made the team as a No. 5 starter, asked for and was given his release because of a dispute over his contract. A day earlier,  they cut Scott Baker, another rotation candidate. He subsequently signed with the Rangers, who probably will start Baker A Triple-A Round Rock.

McClendon promised rotation resolution Thursday, which likely will put James Paxton in the No. 3 spot and Blake Beavan at No. 4. The pre-camp rotation took two hits when Hisashi Iwakuma (finger) and rookie Taijuan Walker (shoulder) came up hurt. But both are expected back by late April.

In the game, Justin Smoak hit his third homer of the spring and raised his spring average to .311. The Rangers raked reliever Charlie Furbush, who gave up three runs on three hits.

The Mariners (17-11-3) are off Thursday and host Colorado Friday.



  • notaboomer

    this is nice, but please tell me when jesus will return to safeco. i need me some jesus b/c jesus is why i go to the games.

    • RadioGuy

      Jesus just left Chicago, but he’s been optioned to New Orleans.

      • Long-Time Mariners Fan

        Jesus… he’s just all right with me.

  • jafabian

    Except for Felix the pitching is very questionable right now. The batting order looks okay but I’m expecting that to change when the season starts. Really hope Smoak and Ackley can maintain the levels they’re at right now.