Seattle Mariners: A few questions must be answered for pen to improve in 2019

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Seattle Mariners

ARLINGTON, TX: Erasmo Ramirez #31 of the Seattle Mariners pitches in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 22, 2018. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

One area the Seattle Mariners need to improve for 2019 is their relief pitching. Some questions must be answered first.

The Seattle Mariners slide down the standings after the all-star break is alarming. We know that general manager Jerry Dipoto will have another busy off-season. He will have to look at improving the offense’s output along with starting pitching and relief pitching.

Today we examine the bullpen, how it will be used and how it may look next season. The M’s ultimate goal is to have an improved group that manager Scott Servais can count on consistently. There are three questions I have one is who are the starters? Next, how will the bullpen be used? Finally, who is in the mix for bullpen spots?

Who are the Starters?

James Paxton is the expected number one starter. The almost 30-year-old Canadian has been steady and at times spectacular for the Seattle Mariners in 2018. Of course, Paxton’s standout performance this season was his May 8 no-hitter against Toronto. He’ll be followed by Marco Gonzales and then Mike Leake in the rotation.

The fourth starter might be Felix Hernandez if he is in the rotation, then Wade LeBlanc as the fifth starter. This suggested rotation will depend on whether or not the Mariners are able to pick up another starter. Mariners fans would like to see them get either a number one or two starter, this winter. That way Gonzales could be moved down in the rotation. How that works will affect the bullpen.

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