With Mariners down another SP, what should they do about 6-man rotation?

Apr 26, 2021, 3:09 PM | Updated: 3:21 pm
Mariners Scott Servais...
For the second time this season, the Mariners are down a starting pitcher due to injury. (Getty)

The Mariners have been using a six-man rotation so far this season, though one of those six spots has continued to be an issue.

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James Paxton’s first start of the season was his last as he suffered a season-ending arm injury against the White Sox on April 6, and now the player who replaced him has found his way onto the injured list. The Mariners placed Nick Margevicius on the 10-day IL Monday, a day after he allowed four runs on two hits and four walks and recorded just one out before being pulled from his start against the Red Sox.

Seattle is awaiting word on an MRI on Margevicius’ shoulder (he was placed on the IL for shoulder inflammation), and will likely turn to Ljay Newsome to start in Margevicius’ spot Saturday. With Newsome joining the rotation, the Mariners called up Robert Dugger from their alternate site to join the bullpen.

Should the Mariners just go ahead with Newsome as part of their six-man rotation, or is it time for some changes? According to Mariners insider Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle, M’s manager Scott Servais said Monday that the idea of going to a five-man rotation for a short period has been discussed but is unlikely to be a long-term solution.

On Monday’s edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy, the status of the Mariners’ six-man rotation was a topic of discussion for Jake Heaps, Stacy Rost and guest Mike Salk.

Here’s what they said the Mariners should do going forward.

Jake Heaps: Mariners should switch to a five-man rotation

“I think today should be the day where it marks the end of the six-man rotation. I believe that it’s time to move to the five-man rotation. … Basically you’re going to be putting the bullpen out there for a start (with Newsome in the sixth spot of the rotation). … I think that a five-man rotation just would make a lot more sense given the circumstances. I get having a plan, I get wanting to see that plan through, but I think that their plan hasn’t gone accordingly or exactly to the T of how they wanted it to go, and it leaves them in a pretty compromising situation with their starting rotation. I think there’s a pretty easy fix for that.”

Mike Salk and Stacy Rost: Time to look for outside help

Salk: “In talking to folks, and Shannon (Drayer) I think will tell you the same thing, it sounds like the Mariners are committed to the six-man rotation. So regardless of how I feel about that… that seems to be the direction they’re going. I at this point would probably go to five, but if they believe that the development on six is more important, fine. … I would actually like to see them go out and acquire something, and it doesn’t mean you’ve gotta go spend a lot. Certainly you’re not going to give up any of your major assets in order to get a pitcher, but (general manager Jerry) Dipoto’s done a good job in the past of finding guys with pitch-ability. They don’t have to be All-Stars but you need somebody else to fill out this rotation because you’re just down too many people. … Go out and find one more and move on. This is why you can never have enough pitching. This is why even good teams at the (trade) deadline who are stacked with good pitching find somebody else because the next thing you know you find yourself in need and if you don’t have a good enough starting pitcher you just can’t compete.”

Rost: “I think I’d also rather see them go out and acquire someone just to also not mess with the bullpen, which has weirdly enough been a really good thing for you this year.”

You can hear the full discussion in the first two segments from Monday’s Jake and Stacy in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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With Mariners down another SP, what should they do about 6-man rotation?