Michael Pineda and the 10 Best Rookies in Mariners History

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Michael Pineda and the 10 Best Rookies in Mariners History
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

At the one-third pole of this 2011 season, Michael Pineda could stop pitching right now and be the 14th best rookie pitcher in Mariners history, if sorted by WAR.

I don't know that he'll continue to dominate the way he has, and he isn't going to pitch a full season anyhow, but if you could just pace that over the rest of the season he'd end the season at close to 6.0 in WAR, 18 wins, 200 strikeouts a shiny ERA and in contention for a Cy Young Award.

Hit the brakes!

It's easy to start drooling on your math book while you day dream about the possibilities for this rookie. We should temper those expectations and remember that he is, indeed, a rookie. With 139 innings being the biggest number in his log book, we can't just stretch his current numbers out over 200 innings.

The Mariners are likely to skip over him here and there in the rotation and eventually shut him down. Perhaps he gets to 160 innings. Who knows? No one knows except the Mariners front office, especially if they keep contending, but we can probably safely assume the number will be considerably less than 200.

Plus, there are still flaws in his game. In the two games that resulted in a loss for him this season, those weaknesses have been exposed. His changeup is still under-developed, leaving him no real weapon against left handed batters. The slider has the largest platoon splits in baseball and good hitters are going to catch up to even the best of fastballs at times.

Who am I to assume, though? Maybe he rivals the best rookies in franchise history even if his time is limited. That's the fun of baseball. We get to watch it all play out.

Here's what we do know. The following are the top 10 rookies in club history.

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