With Erik Bedard, Michael Pineda, and Doug Fister no longer on the team, the Seattle Mariners rotation will start to take on a much different look this season.
Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas are the only pitchers that are locked into the rotation. Hasashi Iwakuma should earn a spot, but is making his first appearance in the U.S. and had shoulder problems in Japan last season. With Hector Noesi, Blake Beavan, Charlie Furbush, Danny Hultzen, and James Paxton all fighting for rotation spots, that’s where having a veteran like Kevin Millwood in Spring Training can really come in handy and give Seattle an experienced option for its fourth or fifth starter.
“Kevin has been around for a good number of years now, he’s had a few stops along the way with some different pitching coaches and he knows himself very well,” Seattle pitching coach Carl Willis said. "How he goes about his business in a very confident way, that `Hey, I’m following the program, at the same time, I’m doing what I need to do within the program and not pushing the envelope’.I think everyone sees it.
Hultzen and Paxton will most likely start the season in the minor leagues, but are almost certain to be up with the big club at some point this season. Millwood was drafted in 1993 by the Atlanta Braves, when Mariners pitching prospect Taijuan Walker was less than a year old.
He made nine starts for the Rockies last season and posted a 3.98 ERA.
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