Manager Eric Wedge announced that the first three spots in the Seattle Mariners rotation will be occupied by ace Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and veteran left-hander Joe Saunders. This announcement did not come as much of a surprise.
However, the announcement that right-handers Brandon Maurer and Blake Beavan will round out the rotation was a little bit of a surprise. Erasmo Ramirez and veteran Jeremy Bonderman lost out in the battle for the fourth and fifth spot in the rotation and were sent down to Triple-A Tacoma.
Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis were very impressed with Maurer, who put up an incredible 0.90 ERA in six appearances this spring.
“He had a great camp. You’re talking about a young man that has multiple plus-pitches. And the way it worked out, he faced a lot of big-league lineups.” Wedge told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
Maurer will pitch in the fourth spot in the rotation against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.
Although he had a very unimpressive spring with a 6.52 ERA in four starts, Beavan was still able to solidify one of the last spots in the Mariners’ rotation. Beavan had a respectable 2012 season, going 11-11 with a 4.43 ERA in 26 starts last year.
“One thing about Blake is, he’s never satisfied,” Wedge said. “He’s always working to get better. And he finds a way to win ballgames.”
Beavan and Maurer are not locked into the rotation and will be have to be impressive to start the 2013 season, because guys like Bonderman and Ramirez will be fighting to get called up to the major leagues and take their jobs.