Who Will Be the Mariners’ Fifth Starter?

You know you want it. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

For better or worse, the top of the Mariners’ starting rotation is essentially set. Marco Gonzales and Yusei Kikuchi return, while Justus Sheffield and the re-acquired Taijuan Walker most likely fill out the next two spots. The back end is a little more fluid however, and the number five spot especially is not written in stone. Let’s take a look at some potential solutions early in the season for the rotational caboose, both in and outside of the organization.

Kendall Graveman
His name tells me that he is already dead. I don’t think a “Weekend at Bernie’s” situation is legal in MLB, so this is not going to work.

Justin Dunn
He is a child. He must wait, as all children do. His time will come.

Nick Margevicius
The rotation needs to be less “vicius” and more vicious, in my opinion. Additionally, as a society, we have let Nicks do too many things. It’s time to reign in the Nicks. You can spot-start, Nick.

Trevor Bauer
Sorry, sorry, that’s next off-season. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Ichiro
What does “retired” mean, really? He’s still wearing a uniform. He appears to own a glove that’s in working condition. If he can throw batting practice, he can start in the regular season. I can’t wait for all of Mariner fandom to collectively say, “Ichiro could be a high strikeout pitcher, if he really wanted to. He just doesn’t want to. Ground balls are his game.”

Jamie Moyer
This one will always be an option, until it’s not. When is it no longer an option? See Graveman, Kendall. Jamie will get tired by the 3rd or 4th inning, and then that Nick can come in and mop up. (I’m not being cynical, I just don’t expect the 2020 Mariners to have a lead at any point in time).

Jerry Dipoto
Let’s find out how serious you really are about setting up this contention window, Jerry. Stretch that arm out and give the squad four innings every fifth day. You know you want to. Scott Servais can catch. Why waste these losses on the youths?

A Medium-Sized Group of Large Possums
I have yet to hear a good reason why this couldn’t work. No, I am not interested in your “science” and “physics” or “respect for the game.”

A Large-Sized Group of Small Possums
Harder to control, but perhaps more effective than the previous group. Still very bite-y.

A Little Black Hole
Just a little tiny one. Big enough to pull in Jose Altuve. One potential problem is mound meetings of any sort are probably out of the picture, unless you want to replace your infield and manager several times a game.

Jared Leto
It can’t be that hard to method-act your way into being a serviceable fifth starter. He’ll have a cute signature pre-pitch routine, high socks, tobacco juice running down his chin, the whole deal. I’m willing to bet Jared would take the time to invent a new pitch. It wouldn’t be effective, but it would look neat.

You
That’s right, reader. How bad do YOU want it? It’s time for you to put your desires into action. The Mariners don’t need quality innings in 2020, they just need innings. So limber up, do a few jumping jacks, and catch the next flight to Arizona. It’s your time to shine exist on a pitching mound. One recommendation, though — wear a helmet. Your reflexes haven’t been great ever since you crashed your bike into a fire hydrant while trying to get a look at the fight happening inside that Walgreen’s. Go get ’em, Sailor.

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