Beavan keeps the heat on in rotation race

Beavan keeps the heat on in rotation race

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As Spring Training hits its final two-week run, young right-hander Blake Beavan turned up his game in the race for a rotation spot by tossing six strong innings in Sunday's 4-3 win over the Rangers.

Beavan, who won 11 games for Seattle last year, gave up just three hits and one run and lowered his Cactus League ERA to 3.86. He threw 61 pitches in the game, then went to the bullpen to throw another simulated inning and get his final count up to 80.

Beavan is competing with veterans Jon Garland and Jeremy Bonderman as well as fellow youngsters Erasmo Ramirez and Brandon Maurer for the final two starting spots. He understands the situation, but is focused on refining his delivery after adjusting his arm angle to get more downward force this spring.

"Obviously you notice if somebody is doing really good and you're going for the same job, but at the same time you can't get too much into it," said the 23-year-old Texan. "You want to compete and that's why there are veterans in every camp and younger guys pushing other young guys."

Manager Eric Wedge was impressed with Beavan's outing Sunday, even if the Rangers' split-squad lineup included mostly Minor Leaguers. He acknowledged the rotation situation is getting heated.

"Everybody knows where we're at and what we're looking for and where the competition is," Wedge said. "That's what it's all about, especially when you get to the last couple weeks here in March. We're into that already, so it should be a lot of fun here as we work down the stretch."

Beavan knows what he's up against.

"With us, we have Garland and Bonderman and Maurer is still over here and a bunch of other guys. So it's a good mix of different kinds of pitchers just going out there battling," he said. "That's always good to have that kind of pressure on you to go out there with a little more edge instead of just going out and working on things.

"For me, I am going out there and working on things, but I'm also competing for a job. If I can just get my fastball where I need to get it, everything else will take care of itself."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.