Up until now, unless your name was Eric Byrnes, your job in the Mariners’ organization was safe.
Blow a five-run lead? Safe.
Hit .190? Safe.
Own an ERA over 7.00? Safe.
That all changed on Monday night when finally — FINALLY — the M’s front office made some moves that resulted in players losing their jobs.
Relief pitchers Kanekoa Texeira and Jesus Colome were designated for assignment by the club, all but ending their brief and erratic tenures with the team. Both right-handers appeared in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, in which the bullpen was responsible for blowing a five-run Mariners lead.
A day after getting blasted for seven runs in just 1 1/3 innings pitched, lefty Garrett Olson is likely on his way out of Seattle’s starting rotation. Olson’s impending departure creates yet another hole in the Mariners’ already-thin starting five, which is little more than a trio these days.
Beyond Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, and Jarrod Washburn, the M’s currently have no other starting pitchers on the active roster (assuming Olson’s starting days are behind us).
Prior to the All-Star break, the team demoted starters Brandon Morrow and Jason Vargas to Triple-A so they could continue throwing through the mini-vacation. While it appears likely that Vargas may return to the bigs in a short period of time, Morrow may be looking at more of an extended stay in Tacoma.
That limits the number of options available to fill the two vacant starting spots.
We’d like to see the team go old school and fill out a four-man staff the rest of the year (so as to maximize the effectiveness of the Big Three), but we know that probably won’t happen. So here’s a breakdown of the candidates for spots four and five in the soon-to-be-revamped quintet: