What to do with Brandon Maurer
By Shannon Drayer
Watching things snowball for Brandon Maurer tonight seemed too familiar — and by the looks of things on Twitter it seemed too familiar for a lot of you as well. The problem is, it really isn’t.
It seems like the rookie has been getting it handed to him each time he takes the hill but it is simply not true. In the recent past, yes. But when I went to the numbers I was somewhat shocked by what I saw. So much so that I didn’t trust the game notes and went to Baseball-Reference.com for confirmation.
What I found is Maurer has been surprisingly okay for a decent stretch of time in the not-so-distant past.
You can live with those numbers. Heck, if those were is numbers on a day-in, day-out basis I think you would be happy with a lot of them. The home runs are a bit high but all in all not bad for a 22-year-old rookie, especially if you look at the competition. This kid faced Texas back-to-back and gave up a grand total of four earned runs. He shut down Anaheim and fared well against Baltimore and Cleveland.
Then there are outings like what we saw tonight and in Anaheim. Eric Wedge has said repeatedly that the stuff is there and that it is a matter of working on controlling emotion on the hill, pitch sequencing and repeating his delivery. Two of the three are very fixable. The third, the emotion, is the wild card. What do you do?
Can he best learn at this level? What would he get out of facing Triple-A hitters when he has fared well against major leaguers? I think this is a tougher call than we might think. I don’t have the answers other than like with the other youngsters on this team and in this organization, I think you need to do what is best for the player’s development. What that is in this case I really don’t know.
A quick postgame note before I get on the plane (and this is so strange to be leaving home late at night, with the other team, both going to the same place): Wedge said after the game that Michael Morse — who suffered a strained right quad — would not travel with the team and instead stay back to be seen by team doctors Wednesday.
Morse does not seem to think it is anything serious and said he shouldn’t miss much time. With Justin Smoak still not quite ready to go (he is scheduled to take batting practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering the oblique strain) the Mariners could be down two players for the Padres series. Or they could make a move. We shall see Wednesday.
Wheels up. Talk to you from San Diego.