By Shannon Drayer
While it was an off day for most Mariners, Blake Beavan and Erasmo Ramirez threw simulated games which keeps them on their regular pitching schedule. More on that in a minute.
Sim games are situations that are set up where pitchers can throw full innings to hitters and then return to the dugout for time that would be similar to the time they would normally sit between innings and when the other team is pitching. Generally there are baserunners but no fielders. Pitchers and coaches are given the option to extend an inning if they feel more work is needed at that time.
Beavan threw 4 1/3 innings and gave up one run on four hits, no walks and six strikeouts. He threw 64 pitches, 46 strikes.
Ramirez threw 5 innings and gave up three runs on 10 hits, walked none and struck out seven. He threw 70 pitches, 55 for strikes. The strikeout numbers for both pitchers are very high so I am going to guess the minor leaguers they faced were going up hacking.
On to the note: I have heard a lot of folks suggest that the final rotation would be Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Joe Saunders, Beavan and Ramirez. The first three are obvious and then I think folks were going with the guys who had the most experience with the big league club after that. Well, Jon Garland is making a strong push and as I have said all winter, Brandon Maurer is my choice for the surprise pick to make this team and he has done nothing to make me lose confidence in that pick if there are surprises to be had.
All of this aside, and this should be read into to some extent, Beavan and Ramirez have pitched on the same day since the start of games. This could be an indicator that the thought is one or the other or neither, but not both, will make this rotation. That is not to say that both can't, and the rotation can be adjusted and set at any time during the spring, but right now with what we are seeing I have to wonder if it is significant. Either would be a good candidate for the long-relief role in the bullpen.
Just something to keep an eye on.