Zduriencik says rotation still a question

Zduriencik says rotation still a question

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik looks around the American League West and sees solid rotations in Oakland, Texas and Los Angeles. As for the Mariners, they're working hard to get there, he said, with some question marks still to be determined this spring.

"If you look at each staff, they're healthier and more concrete than what we are," Zduriencik said. "You know what Texas is going to be. You know where Anaheim and Oakland are. We're still in that figuring-out process right now."

Mostly what the Mariners are figuring is who is going to fill the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation behind returners Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas and Doug Fister.

Erik Bedard has been impressive in the first 10 days of camp, but remains a question because of his injury history. Michael Pineda is an imposing presence, but he's also a 22-year-old rookie with no Major League experience. Then there are returners Luke French and David Pauley and non-roster invitee Nate Robertson, as well as a host of young prospects in camp.

"Where we stand right now it's still a question of how it's all going to fall together," Zduriencik said. "I don't have the answer for that. We won't know until the games start and we break and take the 12 best pitchers north with us.

"I have my ideas and thoughts and feelings, but I'm not going to put limitations or expectations on anybody. The pitching will work itself out. I have a watch-and-see approach. Health is an issue and how quickly some guys grow up. And some of these veteran guys are coming in trying to make a statement. To me, we'll see what happens."