Friday, April 08, 2005

Tacoma Pitching Update 

Jorge Campillo started the Rainiers season with an excellent start, pitching the Rainiers to a 6-2 win. He had a stretch where he retired 18 batters in a row, and ended up pitching 6.2 innings of 3-hit ball before tiring in the seventh. He gave up a run when he left the game with the bases loaded in the 7th and Masao Kida walked one before getting out of the jam. Four strikeouts and one walk round out a nice Opening Day line for Popeye.

George Sherrill got the save. Rainiers skipper Dan Rohn decided not to call George Sherrill his closer, saying there were a number of pitchers who could fill that role. And that is wise, since Sherrill likely won't be spending much time in Tacoma before returning to the Mariners where he will return to excelling as our lefty setup man.

Today, Felix Hernandez debuts for Tacoma on his 19th birthday. Happy Birthday, El Cartelua! Sounds like a great matchup, as he goes up against the Giants uber-prospect Jesse Foppert. If you'd like to listen to the game, and you can't pick up KHHO 850-AM, you can catch it at SportsJuice.

Unfortunately, not all of the news for our Tacoma pitching prospects is good. Clint Nageotte is already on the 15-day DL for a sore forearm. Yesterday he had an MRI on the forearm/elbow and the results should be known today. Right now, its being called a strain and he might miss 4-6 weeks.

Art Thiel's column says that the Mariners miss Freddy Garcia. Thiel acknowledges that it was a good trade, but shines the spotlight on all of the bad news with the Mariners pitching, and how the M's could really use Garcia.

Call me a "glass half full," kinda guy, but even with all of the bad news so far this season, I still think the M's have enough pitching to get the job done. Campillo, Hernandez, Sherrill, and maybe even Soriano are all going to be major factors for the M's by seasons end. Franklin is going to be great in long relief, and Sele will be serviceable as a stopgap #5. One bad bullpen outing by Thornton and one injury to Madritsch won't change that (although the margin for error has been significantly reduced if Mad Dog is out for awhile).

That said, whatever the M's are currently doing to protect their pitchers health, its not working, and no one seems to know why. If you work for the Mariners front office, and you haven't read Steve Nelson's excellent piece, The Mariners Pitching Medicine Mess, head over there right now. It is time for the Mariners to be more proactive in their approach to keeping their pitchers healthy. I think its time to dedicate a little of our profits over to the folks at American Sports Medicine Institute.

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