Jun 21, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Chris Young (53) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners News: Could the M’s Have Too Many Starters?

A strange question, right?

After all, how can any team in Major League Baseball have too many starters? The Seattle Mariners have some strong pitching talents, but too many starters? Really?

Here is the challenge that must be faced. If James Paxton continues to progress in his rehab and if Taijuan Walker has a couple of solid starts, the Mariners could then find themselves with six quality starters.

Six. Not too many teams have a six-man rotation. In fact, none of them employ such a strategy.

Look at the numbers of each starter so far this season:

Felix Hernandez: 10-2, 2.10 ERA, 0.92 WHIP

Hisashi Iwakuma: 6-4, 3.33 ERA, 1.09 WHIP

Roenis Elias: 7-6, 3.96 ERA, 1.19 WHIP

Chris Young: 8-4, 3.11 ERA, 1.11 WHIP

Taijuan Walker: 1-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP

James Paxton: 2-0, 2.25 ERA, 0.67 WHIP

Pretty solid numbers, wouldn’t you say?

Now, this is all contingent on the existing pitchers maintaining consistent performances and staying healthy. Paxton, Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma have all spent some time on the DL this season.

Having an extra starter is a luxury that many teams do not have, but the challenge is where to stash that pitcher. Some teams send an arm down to Triple-A while others rotate between the starting rotation and long relief.

At this point, the pitcher that is moved could be Young. At age 35, he is not a long-term solution for the Mariners and he is the type of player that could garner some trade value based on how he has pitched this season. Often teams in contention will look for a short-term veteran rental, and Young could fit that criterion.

What do you think? If the Mariners are indeed faced with this situation, which pitcher should be the odd man out? For the sake of sanity, I have removed King Felix and Iwakuma from the list.

If the Mariners have six healthy starters, who should be removed from the rotation?

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Be sure to leave comments as to why you made your selection.

Tags: James Paxton Seattle Mariners

  • Michael Wandler

    I really hope we don’t move Young. I understand the “this is a business” aspect, but Chris Young has been all that we could have hoped and more. Randy Wolf could not run away fast enough from the 45-day clause. Young signed it and said he just wanted a chance to pitch. While shaky in a few starts, overall, he has been outstanding. I understand as “a business,” the Mariners don’t owe him anything. But how about we reward his willingness to take a chance on us with a little loyalty and put him in the long relief? Otherwise, what message do we send? Sign our clause so we can pay you a pittance, and, if you’re good, we’ll trade you away. It makes sense in the immediate. But the Mariners always think about the immediate, and so rarely build or plan for the long-term. Chris Young has given us everything he’s got. Let’s show him what kind of team we are and build a reputation as an organization who takes care of the players who take care of us. I promise you that will be more beneficial in the long run.

  • Jeff

    No, you can’t have too many starters… The idea of moving Chris Young is idiocy (have you seen how well he’s pitched to date?), as there are a lot of major league quality young arms stuck in triple A, that’s the ideal for a good rotation, some around here may not be used to that experience I guess. Stuff happens, that extra arm will come in handy. There’s nothing wrong with Walker or Paxton, or Elias, spending time in Tacoma… Besides, Elias likely will hit an innings limit in early September, at which point a Walker and Paxton could both fit in a rotation.

    • scott allen

      Agreed.