Povse Back To Starting Role

A recent story on the Mariners website brought some clarity to the role of potential Rainiers pitcher Max Povse.

Povse had a tumultuous 2017 season, which saw him struggle amid role changes at the upper levels but also make his Major League debut.

Some background:

A 6-foot-8 right-hander, Povse was acquired from the Atlanta Braves on November 28, 2016 in a rare prospect-for-prospect trade. The M’s gave up their 2014 first round draft pick Alex Jackson in the deal.

Always a starter in the Braves system, Povse opened the 2017 season in the rotation for the M’s Double-A Arkansas affiliate in April. After his eighth start he hit the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

Upon returning from the disabled list Povse was moved to the bullpen. He made one relief appearance and was immediately called straight up to the major leagues, with general manager Jerry Dipoto saying that he hoped Povse could become a multiple-inning super-reliever like the Houston Astros’ Chris Devenski.

That put a lot of pressure on Povse, who in addition to the nerves of being a rookie had essentially zero experience working in a relief role.

The results weren’t good. Povse was hit around in his (very brief) major league tenure, then was optioned to Tacoma where he struggled with his fastball command while being used as both a starter and a reliever, without really knowing his role.

Things changed with an assignment to the Arizona Fall League. Povse was used as a starter there, building up to five-inning stints and improving as the season went on.

In the story on the Mariners site (first link below), Dipoto admits that in hindsight making Povse a reliever was a mistake. He said that Povse will come to spring training this year and compete for a job as a starter.

Let’s go ahead and pencil Max Povse into the Rainiers starting rotation. This will be a good one to watch every fifth day. He has the stuff to be a quality major leaguer in the future and it will be fun to watch him develop.

We have news that two former Rainiers players have new teams.

Infielder Shawn O’Malley has signed with the Colorado Rockies, and catcher Steven Baron inked a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. Both are minor league contracts.

These are two high quality people and we wish them well.

Links:

  • Here’s the original story on Max Povse and his return to the starting rotation, reported by Greg Johns.
  • Veteran News Tribune columnist John McGrath made his Hall of Fame ballot public and wrote a column about how he voted.
  • Since the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs in the NFL, the Mariners now have the longest playoff drought in professional sports. Baseball writer Ryan Divish displays an alarming amount of knowledge of poor teams in other sports in this Seattle Times story.
  • In the PCL, the Colorado Springs franchise is moving to San Antonio after this coming season, and San Antonio needs a new ballpark.

We’ll be back next week with a look at the 2018 schedule.

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