The Seattle Mariners starting pitching problems may have a solution and he’s in Tacoma.
Andrew Moore, a star prospect who turns 23 next week, made his fourth start for the Rainiers on Thursday night and turned in another strong showing. The 6-foot, 195-pound right handed pitcher out of Oregon State University pitched six innings against Fresno and allowed two earned runs on four hits. He struck out five and did not receive the decision in the 5-2 loss.
Moore is 1-0 since making his Triple-A debut in Tacoma on May 9. He’s averaged more than six innings per start and has a 4.01 ERA and 24 strikeouts. Moore’s strong showing in Tacoma comes on the heals of a 5-game stretch at Double-A Arkansas, where he was 1-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 33 strikeouts. Moore was the Mariniers minor league pitcher of the year in 2016 after going 12-4 with a 2.65 ERA and 133 strikeouts while splitting time between Single-A Bakersfield and Double-A Jackson.
In Seattle, the Mariners are in last place as four of their five projected starting pitchers from the beginning of the season are on the disabled list. The injured pitchers are Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma and Drew Smiley, who hasn't pitched at all in the regular season because of an arm injury suffered in spring training.
Mariners team ERA is dead last in the American League at 4.83. That ranks 29th out of the MLB's 30 teams. Only the New York Mets (5.09 team ERA) are worse. The Mariners are also last in the AL in quality starts (when a starter goes at least six innings and gives up three or less runs) with 17 in 48 games.
Moore was a subject of conversations about potential Mariners future starters during spring training. Could that be sooner than later?
"Andrew has never not pitched well in his entire life," farm director Andy McKay told The News Tribune during spring training, "going back to high school, Oregon State, summer baseball and minor-league baseball. He has been an incredibly consistent performer."
The Mariners are giddy about the prospect.
"Behind the numbers, Moore is an incredibly competitive, high-character person," McKay said. "That trajectory, you can read it just like I can. People who keep getting people out and keep winning games tend to move up.”