Winners of four in a row and owners of a .500 record, the Seattle Mariners are adding some fresh meat to the mix.
The M’s have called up their 23-year-old pitching prospect, Andrew Moore, from Triple-A Tacoma to make his big league debut. It was just over two years ago that the right-handed starting pitcher was drafted out of Oregon State University.
Moore had success at every level along his way to the Major’s. He went straight into the California League before being promoted to Double-A Jackson nine starts later. He started this season there before going up to Tacoma where he has maintained his numbers while lowering his walk rate to 4.2 percent and striking out just under 24 percent of batters he faced.
Moore only throws in the low-90s with a plus changeup and a get-me-over curveball that he’ll break out every so often but he can command all three pitches on either side of the plate.
He also seems to have a great competitive spirit, based on words that I’ve read he said. The kid is only 6′ but seems to make it his mission to out-pitch his size and approach each pitch with a heightened level of focus. It’s hard to argue with the results he’s had at every level he’s pitched.
Moore will face the Detroit Tigers in his debut, a team full of accomplished big league hitters who might just be susceptible to a tricky little rookie. Moore won’t deviate from what got him here, which is locate, keep hitters off-balance and get fly balls. The Tigers are more than willing to swing up on the ball. Keeping the ball in the park is the key for the kid because that Seattle outfield can go and get it.
I like the rookie’s chances but I’m at least just as keen on fading Detroit. Justin Verlander was perfect into the sixth inning last night and the Tigers still found a way to lose with some lousy defense and even worse pitching once Verlander left.
And that’s it there. Detroit has absolutely nobody it can trust to get outs once the starter comes out of the game. And in the case of tonight’s starter Daniel Norris, Brad Ausmus might not have anybody to get outs all night long. Norris has limited the opposition to three or fewer in five straight outings (three quality starts) but as long as opponents are hitting .292 against him, that won’t continue.
Seattle doesn’t hit lefties particularly well or poorly but Jean Segura is back atop the lineup and the Tigers’ bullpen has been overworked; tonight will be Detroit’s 10th game in 10 days. I don’t see the Tigers doing much to hold back the Mariners’ offense on this night.
Free Pick: Seattle (-115)