MIAMI – Brandon Maurer’s strategy for his start today is simple and uncomplicated.
“Do my best and just try to keep us in the game,” he said.
That would be slightly better than what the Mariners have received on this road trip. If Maurer lasts more than four innings, that would be a good first start for the young right-hander.
The Mariners can only expect four to five innings from Maurer. Because a back injury shut him down in spring training, he started the season behind in his innings pitched. He was pitching as a reliever to start the season to build his pitch count.
In his last start on Monday in Albuquerque, N.M., he was lifted after 49 pitches. The problem was that came after just two innings.
“I got behind in a lot of counts there,” he said.
Maurer believes people will see a different pitcher when he takes the mound than the nervous rookie that let his emotions affect his outings. He went 2-7 with a 6.93 ERA in his first 10 starts last season before being sent to Triple-A Tacoma.
“I’m definitely more comfortable now,” he said.
With so many injuries to starting pitchers, and Erasmo Ramirez struggling, if Maurer pitches well he could stay in the starting rotation for a while.
Second baseman Nick Franklin did early work in right field with outfield coach Andy Van Slyke. Franklin remarked that outfield is much easier than infield. … McClendon said starter James Paxton still isn’t throwing and will be re-evaluated later this week. He is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lat muscle. Taijuan Walker is scheduled for an anti-inflammatory shot in his shoulder and will be re-evaluated in seven days. … The Mariners suffered their third walk-off loss this season on Friday night. Since the 2010 season, the Mariners have lost 52 walk-off games, including 13 last season.