Carraway's Hot Start Earns Promotion From Mariners
The Mariners have reams of press clippings and reels of video on three high-profile starters at Double-A Jackson: lefthanders Danny Hultzen and James Paxton and righthander Taijuan Walker.
So the first Jackson starter to be promoted to Triple-A Tacoma was, naturally, Andrew Carraway. Er, who?
The 25-year-old doesn't come with the credentials of the others, at least in terms of being a high draft pick. But the righthander, a 12th-round pick in 2009 out of Virginia, has put himself on the fast track by understanding his job.
He came into the 2012 season with a career minor league record of 28-13, then went 4-0, 2.61 in his first seven starts for the Generals by throwing fastballs, sliders, curves, cutters and changeups that simply didn't get hit very hard.
"He is one of those guys who reads what the hitter is doing, and adjusts real well to that," farm director Chris Gwynn said. "He's not a hard thrower. He goes at 89, 90 (mph), and he probably could get a little bit more velocity.
"But that's not him. That's not how he pitches."
At its base, pitching is about disrupting hitters. And that's been Carraway's focus.
Gwynn, who took his new job over the winter, said he'd heard about that aspect of Carraway's game. But after Gwynn had a chance to see him, he has a greater respect for what the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder is able to do on the mound.
"He does it unconventionally, but he understands pitching," Gwynn said. "He understands changes of speed, changing hitter's eye levels and all the nuances you need to know about as a successful pitcher.
"The way he goes about his business, he totally gets it."
When Carraway took the mound for the first time at Tacoma, he didn't change a thing, which Gwynn and Tacoma manager Daren Brown appreciated.
And they appreciated the results, too. He threw six perfect innings against Albuquerque before giving up his only hit in a 71⁄3-inning, scoreless first-time effort.
Gwynn, who was in attendance, suggested that performance showed Carraway is not one to be intimidated.
"That first game in Tacoma, he showed me that he belongs there, that he can compete," Gwynn said. "It shows me that he understands that his type of pitching works at every level. It's really fun to watch him pitch."
• Walker twisted his ankle while covering first base in an early May start. The Mariners said they will err on the side of caution before letting him pitch again.
• Outfielder Carlos Peguero returned from the disabled list at Tacoma, and fellow outfielder Mike Wilson was expected back soon.