Preview: Seattle Mariners (1-0) at Oakland Athletics (0-1)

Ronald Martinez

Opposing second-year pitchers with different 2013 goals: Iwakuma attempts to keep up the pace while Parker looks to continue his development and take a big step forward.

The Seattle Mariners offense lacks stars but has balance. The bullpen has control problems but also the power to erase mistakes. The defense has holes but patches them up with elite glovemen.

The rotation has Felix Hernandez but is easily identifiable as one of the team's most glaring weaknesses. It might turn out OK, but there are many questions to be answered.

We begin answering one such question tonight. What is Hisashi Iwakuma going to bring to the table as the team's number-two starter?

Iwakuma was famously the forgotten man to start 2012. Failing to make the rotation, it seemed as though he didn't have the trust of manager Eric Wedge. He didn't debut until the team's 15th game and only managed five appearances through his first two months in the big leagues. It was later revealed that it was a situation much like this spring's Erasmo Ramirez decision, only without Ramirez's minor league option; Iwakuma may not have been physically ready for regular use.

Once Iwakuma finally cracked the rotation in July he was somewhat of a revelation. 16 games started, 95 innings pitched, 7.39 K/9, 2.65 BB/9, 3.61 xFIP, and the Mariners appeared to have something in the 32-year-old rookie. His sinker was effective and his splitter was a legitimate weapon.

If Iwakuma could continue that line of production throughout the 2013 season I think we'd all be pleased with the Mariners' number-two. Unfortunately, it's never that simple. We don't know how representative that 95 inning sample was of his true ability. Furthermore, Iwakuma is another year older with the same health and durability concerns, and we have to expect that MLB teams have better scouting reports this time around.

Yesterday, Felix Hernandez shut down a lefty-heavy A's lineup with his sinker and splitter-esque changeup. Iwakuma will rely on the same pitches.

Meanwhile, the Mariners' big bats look to announce their arrival after a quiet Opening Day. They could have their hands full with Jarrod Parker, the former top prospect who played a major role in pushing Oakland to the playoffs last season as a rookie.

Time: 7:05 pm PDT
Location: The Coliseum, Oakland, California
Television: ROOT Sports

A's coverage: Athletics Nation

Latest News

In This Article

Teams
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Lookout Landing

You must be a member of Lookout Landing to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lookout Landing. You should read them.

Join Lookout Landing

You must be a member of Lookout Landing to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lookout Landing. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker