Brandon Maurer put together an incredibly impressive spring, so impressive that he was able to earn the fourth spot in the Seattle Mariners pitching rotation. However, Maurer was not able to carry his momentum from spring training to his MLB debut against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.
A’s outfielder Josh Reddick gave Maurer a warm welcome to the major leagues, when he hit a two-run home run off of the rookie in the first inning. Maurer also gave up a towering home run to Yoenis Cespedes, who continued his domination against the Mariners.
Overall, the A’s tagged Maurer for six earned runs on eight hits and the 22-year-old only managed to strikeout one opposing hitter in the first six innings of his career.
Mariners’ manager Eric Wedge did not seem concerned at the performance of his rookie pitcher, telling Mariners.com, “He has good stuff, good demeanor out there and good presence, He’s going to be fine. There were a couple mistakes he made, but you learn from those and big league hitters let you know.”
It was a smart move by Wedge to start a veteran-catcher like Kelly Shoppach for Maurer to throw to. Shoppach was also impressed by Maurer, saying to Mariners.com, “It seemed like he pitched with confidence. I’m sure he had a few pitches there in tough spots that he’d like to have back, but other than that he competed well.”
I am not worried about this poor display from Maurer. He seems like he is a good enough pitcher that he can bounce back from a rough outing and he should be able to, as his next scheduled start is going to be his Safeco Field debut against the lowly Houston Astros .