With the announcement that veteran right-hander Jon Garland opted out of his contract with the Seattle Mariners to sign a deal with the Colorado Rockies, Jeremy Bonderman is now the lone veteran in the battle for one of the last spots in the Mariners rotation. Bonderman signed a minor league deal with the club over the winter and was a non-roster invitee to spring training.
Although he has not pitched in an MLB game since Oct. 2010, Bonderman has a realistic chance to claim a spot in the Mariners pitching rotation. Right now the race for the last two spots in the rotation is down to Bonderman, Brandon Maurer and Blake Beavan, with Garland now out and Erasmo Ramirez likely headed to the bullpen.
Maurer has been incredibly impressive in his first major league camp, posting a 1.20 ERA in his five appearances this spring. I would have to think that Maurer has earned one of the spots with his impressive performance.
Blake Beavan has seen a great deal of struggle this spring, posting a brutal ERA of 6.52 in five appearances totaling almost 20 innings pitched. In his most recent outing against the Cleveland Indians, Beavan allowed eight earned runs on 16 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Beavan could find himself on the outside looking in if he continues to struggle.
In ten innings pitched in MLB spring training games, Bonderman has allowed eight earned runs this spring. He had a solid start last week in a minor league game against the Kansas City Royals minor league squad, going five innings and allowing only one run on five hits.
Neither Beavan nor Bonderman are at their best, and with opening day less than a week away, manager Eric Wedge will have to make a decision. Beavan has the upper-hand right now, as he was in the rotation through most of the 2012 season, but the door is definitely still open for Bonderman to earn a spot in the rotation.