Mariners Starter Demoted To Bullpen

When starter Chris Flexen got up in the bullpen and started warming late during the Seattle Mariners' 13-inning win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night, it was apparently a sign of things to come. 

Manager Scott Servais now says Flexen will shift to the bullpen, therefore meaning that rookie phenom Georgy Kirby will retain his spot in the Mariners' rotation. The M's will stick with a 5-man crew for now. 

Flexen surrendered five runs in six innings in his last start last weekend, further prompting the move. The right-hander now has a 3.92 ERA with a mediocre 81:43 K:BB ratio in 117 innings. But was there another candidate to be dropped from the rotation instead? 

Marco Gonzalez has a 3.98 ERA with an equally pedestrian 72:40 K:BB, and in his last seven starts, has a 5.27 ERA with a 1.55 WHIP. Flexen has actually been strong over his last seven games overall, with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. 

The move to a 5-man rotation certainly makes sense at this point. With the addition of Luis Castillo, it's likely that the M's want to get him as many starts as possible as they come down the stretch in their playoff push. 

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