The Mariners shocked many people with their selection of UVA ace Danny Hultzen, but nobody was more shocked than Hultzen himself. Common knowledge said that the M's would take a power bat like 3B Anthony Rendon from Rice, or high school OF Bubba Starling.
Hultzen has been UVA's Friday starter since his freshman year, and has posted an 11-3 record with a 1.57 ERA. The lefty has also held opposing hitters to a batting avg. below .200, and will go for a College World Series title this weekend.
With Felix and Pineda at the top of the rotation, it looks like Hultzen will be the future number three starter. This would give the M's the best 1-2-3 punch in the American League. Hultzen will an expensive third starter, but it will be worth it in the long run.
2013 Projected Rotation:
RHP Felix Hernandez
RHP Michael Pineda
LHP Danny Hultzen
RHP Doug Fister
RHP Blake Beavan
By 2013, it is likely that both Hultzen and 6 foot 7 right hander Blake Beavan will be up in the big leagues, giving the Mariners one of the best rotations in the league.
Beavan, a big righty with finesse stuff is currently in AAA Tacoma and will likely see time in September of this season, and has potential to crack the rotation at the start of next season.
With the new "Big 3" at the top of the rotation, the Mariners now have legitimate playoff potential in the future, but they are still a few good bats away from contending right now. The call up of highly touted prospect Dustin Ackley could help with that, but hopefully Jackie Z will be looking to acquire some talent at the deadline.