Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Brandon Maurer has shocked many people in and around the organization this spring. In fact, the right-hander could very likely clinch a spot in the starting rotation for the 2013 MLB season.
Erasmo Ramirez was projected to be in the back end of the rotation, but unsettling news broke this past week. Mariners manager Eric Wedge stated last week that Ramirez was going to be only used as a starter this season, even though he had plenty of success in the bullpen in 2012. However, it now appears that Seattle will most likely keep him as a reliever.
With this change, starter Blake Beavan will move up to the fourth spot in the rotation while Maurer will most likely get an opportunity as the No. 5 starter.
The 22-year-old has been fantastic so far in Spring Training. In six games (three starts), Maurer has posted a 3-1 record with an incredible 0.90 earned run average and 22 strikeouts in 20 innings. These numbers could very well be the reason why the Mariners are taking Ramirez out of the starting rotation in order to give Maurer a chance.
Maurer went 9-2 with a 3.20 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 24 starts in Double-A last season. It was assumed that he would showcase his talents in his first Major League camp this spring and then start the 2013 season in Triple-A. However, no one expected this kind of performance from him, which has turned out to be a blessing for both parties.
There has been no official announcement regarding Maurer being named one of the starting five. With that being said, I would be dumbfounded if Seattle did not promote him to the big leagues right away. There is a good chance he will have very little room for mistakes, which means if his outings do not go well he will be sent down to the minors instantly.