Seattle Mariners fans are notoriously skeptical. I suppose going 15 straight seasons without making the playoffs brings out the skeptic in all of us.
Therefore, I expected a healthy dose of skepticism in this week’s poll about the Mariners’ starting rotation. Seattle’s top four starting pitchers — Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton and Drew Smyly — are all on the disabled list. The Mariners have been using the starter-of-the-day program to cobble together a rotation in their absence, handing the ball with regularity to unfamiliar names like Ariel Miranda and Christian Bergman, while also constantly shuffling pitchers up and down from triple-A Tacoma just to give the team a starter for that day.
How long can this arrangement hold up without collapsing? I asked the readers, and they responded with a predictably skeptical take:
POLL: How much longer can the Mariners' pitching staff survive four injured starters? Full context here: https://t.co/pmShxgwk0n
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) May 15, 2017
Beginning on Monday the vast majority of responders thought the Mariners couldn’t remain afloat any longer with the rotation in its current state. Yet Seattle remains an above-.500 team (8-6) since the last time one of those four injured pitchers appeared in a game on May 3, and while this poll was active the Mariners went 3-1, including Bergman’s gem on Wednesday when he tossed seven scoreless innings.
So even though the vast majority believe Seattle’s window for staying afloat with it’s pitcher injuries is over, the staff hasn’t sunk just yet.