Mariners Demote Top Pitching Prospect to Minors

One of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, George Kirby has acquitted himself fairly well in his first 12 starts for the Seattle Mariners. Nevertheless, he's headed down to the farm. But this demotion is all about "load management" rather than performance. 

As noted by Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, the move "is intended to control his overall pitching workload and allow him to have more outings later in the season or perhaps even the postseason."

The move therefore doesn't come as a complete surprise for Kirby, as he knows the Mariners are trying to keep his innings down.  

Kirby said he'll throw 2-3 "lower-stress innings" in Triple-A next weekend, but that he feels great physically, and expects to be back with the big club 'in a few weeks.'

Although Kirby has had a couple of rough starts during his initial major league indoctrination, overall, he's performed quite well, with a 3.78 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP, and a sparkling 62:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 64.1 innings. 

Adding in his 24 innings from Double-A, where he started the season, that gives him 89 innings thus far this year, the most he has pitched in a single season in his professional career. The Mariners are being prudent in keeping an eye on his workload, and no doubt would love to have the rookie available for a late season playoff push.

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