By Blaidd Drwg
Let’s play a game of Mad Libs:
The Mariners 2014 rotation to start the season will be Felix Hernandez, Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton, (Insert name of failed M’s prospect) and (Insert name of another M’s failed prospect).
Remember, Iwakuma and Walker are out for at least the first 2 weeks of the season. The Mariners released their scrap heap recalmation candidates, Scott Baker and Randy Wolf on Tuesday and they were the 2 most likely guys to start for the Mariners coming out of spring training. I am guessing that the other 2 spots are going to go to Hector Noesi and Blake Beavan, and yes, I am serious about that. They would only have to make 3 spots assuming that Iwakuma and Walker are back when they are supposed to be back (the M’s schedule in the 2nd week of the season has enough off days that they don’t need a 5th starter), but there is a huge risk to this team gaining any real traction if they have to slog through 3 potentially disastrous starts. Other than 3 games in Miami and 2 in NY, all of the rest of the games in the first month of the season are against AL West opponents, and only 3 of the 22 games are against the Astros.
If the M’s don’t get back Iwakuma and Walker when expected and/or Ramirez and Paxton are not as good as advertised, this is going to be a long season yet again – the M’s have absolutely no depth in their starting rotation right now. I bet the backup plan is to trade Nick Franklin for a middle of the road starter if someone flames out.