Pitching prospect Bryan Woo’s debut with the Mariners didn’t go as both he or the staff hoped earlier this week, because the 23-year-old righty was tagged for six runs in two innings by a formidable Rangers offense. Nevertheless, with Marco Gonzales (flexor pressure) and Robbie Ray (Tommy John surgical procedure) sidelined, Woo will stay within the rotation in the meanwhile, common supervisor Justin Hollander mentioned final night time (Twitter hyperlinks through Ryan Divish of the Seattle Occasions and Daniel Kramer of MLB.com).
Woo is among the extra touted prospects within the Mariners’ system and confirmed why over the course of the 9 Double-A begins that preceded his name to the massive leagues. In that point, he pitched to a sterling 2.05 ERA with a 34.3% strikeout price, a 7% stroll price, a 12.3% swinging-strike price and simply 0.41 homers per 9 frames. Although he didn’t storm out of the gates like fellow rookie Bryce Miller, who additionally made the leap proper from Double-A to the Majors, Woo will proceed to begin each fifth day in the meanwhile.
To some extent, that’s largely as a result of lack of high quality alternate options. Ray is completed for the season, and whereas Gonzales’ damage is much less extreme — Hollander instructed Divish, Kramer and others that there’s no concern over his ulnar collateral ligament — he gained’t be again anytime quickly, both. Gonzales likened the damage to 1 that value him about 5 weeks of the 2021 season, per Hollander. If that is certainly related, he’ll doubtless be out past the 15-day minimal and require a minor league rehab stint earlier than returning late this month or in early July.
Veteran righty Chris Flexen was a key member of Seattle’s rotation for a lot of the 2021-22 seasons, however he’s struggling by means of one of many worst seasons of his skilled profession. At the moment pitching in lengthy aid after 4 tough begins early within the yr, Flexen has been rocked for a 7.13 ERA in 35 1/3 frames. His 16.8% strikeout price is under common however proper in step with his 2021-22 ranges. Nevertheless, his stroll price has spiked to 9.3% — his worst as a Mariner — and he’s been rocked for an alarming 2.04 homers per 9 innings pitched.
A .351 common on balls in play hasn’t helped Flexen’s trigger, and his 20.5% homer-to-flyball price figures to drop off, given his profession 10.8% mark in that regard. Nonetheless, his efficiency of late hasn’t justified one other look within the rotation. After starting his time within the bullpen with eight shout innings, Flexen has yielded runs in three straight outings, yielding a mixed seven runs on ten hits (three of them homers) and three walks in his previous six frames.
Additional depth choices for Seattle are additionally banged up. Proper-hander Easton McGee underwent Tommy John surgical procedure final month, and Hollander famous that veteran Tommy Milone and journeyman Jose Rodriguez are each on the minor league injured listing in the intervening time. The identical is true of prospect Taylor Dollard, who hasn’t pitched in Triple-A since mid-April. Former first-rounder Emerson Hancock is wholesome in Double-A however has been wildly inconsistent this season; he’s sitting on a 5.44 ERA, although practically the entire injury towards him has been achieved in three begins which have seen him yield 9, seven and 6 runs. He has a 1.45 ERA in his different eight appearances — together with six shutout frames with seven strikeouts final night time — however it’s comprehensible if the Mariners really feel Woo’s Double-A consistency makes him the higher choice in the intervening time.
As issues stand, Seattle’s rotation remains to be on typically stable floor. Luis Castillo, George Kirby and Logan Gilbert have ranged from good to dominant to date, and the aforementioned Miller’s profession started in historic trend by means of 5 begins earlier than he was clobbered in his sixth and seventh outings. The membership may also harbor some optimism that Gonzales will be capable of return in comparatively quick order, although the veteran lefty has had his personal struggles with consistency in 2023, resulting in a 5.22 ERA in 50 innings.
If there are additional accidents and setbacks on the pitching workers, nonetheless, that would show to impression the staff’s course on the commerce deadline, which is now fewer than eight weeks away. The Mariners are at present sitting on a 30-30 file, putting them a hefty 10 video games again of the first-place Rangers within the AL West however a extra manageable 5 video games out of a Wild Card spot. They’ve lately seen key bats like Julio Rodriguez, Ty France and Teoscar Hernandez come to life after prolonged slumps, however these surges have come along with alarming swoons from early contributors like Jarred Kelenic, Eugenio Suarez and Cal Raleigh.