Sep 28, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) pitches to the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Pitching still matters
Success in baseball is still about pitching. Yes, it helps to score an adequate number of runs but the Mariners are looking good for 2015 because of their pitching staff.
Some fateful day, Felix Hernandez will start to decline. However, that day does not appear to be on the immediate horizon. Can you imagine how great it would be to have a healthy and productive rotation that includes King Felix, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker and Roenis Elias?
Granted, there are barriers to such a rotation dominating baseball. Namely, health and ongoing productivity. Still, it is an exciting group to think about as we move forward.
In 2014, the bullpen was dominant. Unfortunately, bullpens can be up and down from year to year so it should not be assumed that Fernando Rodney will have 48 saves in 2015 or that the ‘pen will be automatic.
All of this to say that pitching is still a definitive strength for the Mariners, and there will be a lot of talented arms to choose from next year.