Seattle Mariners RHP Hector Noesi was given a bode of confidence from manager Eric Wedge, when he was named the starting pitcher for Friday’s charity game against the San Diego Padres. Noesi only recorded two outs, allowing six runs (four earned) on four hits and four walks, throwing 42 pitches (22 strikes).
Wedge was not particularly concerned about Noesi’s struggles saying, “He was just a little bit up, but he said he felt good,” Wedge said. “Hopefully he can work off that and come back a little bit stronger next time.”
This is something that Wedge should probably be concerned about, as struggles are nothing new for Hector Noesi, who was acquired along with Jesus Montero in return for RHP Michael Pineda from the New York Yankees before the 2012 season. Noesi went 2-12 with an awful ERA of 6.04 in eighteen starts in 2012.
Noesi is a pitcher that has very good “stuff”, with a fastball that sits in the low to mid 90’s and an above average slider. However, his biggest struggle was missing bats; Noesi only struck out 5.74 batters per nine innings, and had a mediocre K/BB rate of 1.74.
This was not what The Mariners expected when they acquired Noesi, who had a K/9 rate of 8.6 and an impressive K/BB rate of 4.52 in 6 seasons of minor league service in the Yankees system.
Noesi was moved to the bullpen late in the 2012 season, pitching 8 1/3 innings in four appearances, with an ERA of 1.04. I know this is a small sample size, but a permanent move to the bullpen could be exactly what Hector Noesi needs.
He would be able to stick with his best two pitches, the fastball and slider, meaning he could scrap his two worst pitches, the curveball and changeup that were a combined 7.4 runs below average in 2012. Sometimes simplicity can be the key to the success.
It is unlikely that Noesi will make the rotation out of camp, as he is competing for spot with established starters Blake Beavan and Erasmo Ramirez. This will either force Noesi to the minor leagues or the bullpen. Either way, I think it would be in the best interest of the organization if Noesi was moved to the bullpen to maximize his talents.