So, do these three guys have what it takes?
Well, how do you think they would fare in a three-game set against either the Phillies or the Giants?
Felix versus Lincecum/Halladay: An epic pitching duel for sure—it could go either way.
Pineda versus Cain/Lee: Certainly not in Pineda's favor, but once Dustin Ackley, Mike Carp and Casper Wells shell the other guy out in the second inning, Pineda has a lock.
Hultzen versus Vogelsong/Hamels: A repeat of Jason Vargas versus Zach Britton. Each pitcher throws a complete-game (well, nine-inning) shutout only to have the bullpen ruin it in the 10th.
That didn't really offer a lot of insight, but it's cool to imagine a series like that (2012 World Series, or 2013 more realistically?).
I mentioned earlier that the Mariners batting order is also up-and-coming, and that could play a key factor in the success of the starting pitchers. However, the Giants have shown us that championships can be won with pitching.
If the Mariners' young hitters do come through next year, the pitching will follow, and Felix, Pineda and Hultzen will get a lot of credit for the success of the team. If the young hitters don't hit their stride early, Felix, Pineda and Hultzen will still pitch beautifully, but no one will recognize them as the Big Three—because it's just the Mariners having another bad season.