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King Felix and Prince Pineda? Mariners hand rotation spot to 22-year-old top prospect

Mar 28, 2011, 11:40 AM EST

Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Indians Getty Images

This morning’s news that the Mariners have optioned Luke French to Triple-A makes it all but official: Stud prospect Michael Pineda has secured a spot in the Opening Day rotation at age 22.

Pineda was big when the Mariners signed him out of the Dominican Republic as a 16-year-old in 2005, but now he’s listed at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds. And he has the high-90s fastball and dominant results to match, splitting last season between Double-A and Triple-A while posting a 3.36 ERA and 154/34 K/BB ratio in 139 innings.

Last month Baseball America ranked him as the No. 16 prospect in all of baseball and Pineda apparently won the job with a 2.12 ERA and 15/6 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this spring.

Seattle’s offense may still be terrible this season and starting Pineda’s service time clock ticking seems like an iffy call, but the thought of Pineda developing into a top-of-the-rotation starter alongside the top-of-the-rotation starter Felix Hernandez should help Mariners fans get through the year in one piece.

Would it be too corny to call them King Felix and Prince Pineda?

  1. shawnuel - Mar 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    The Mariner’s resource guide has changed Pineda’s statistics. He is now listed at 6’7 and 260. I have stood just a few feet away from him several times at Tacoma Rainiers games and he was definitely not an inch under 6’7 last season. Dude is BEEG!

  2. heyblueyoustink - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    A King, Prince, who’s the queen?

    • tigertigerwoodsyall - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:42 PM

      He retired last year. I’m joking, of course. #24 was the best CF I ever saw.

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