The Mariners are planning to juggle their rotation in order to line up their top three starters — Felix Hernandez, Chris Young and Hisashi Iwakuma — to face Toronto in next week’s series at Safeco Field.
The Blue Jays (60-53) currently lead the chase for the American League’s final wild-card spot. They began play Monday with a 1 1/2-game lead over Kansas City and New York (both 57-53) and a two-game lead over the Mariners (57-54).
The switch means each starter except Iwakuma will get extra rest after their next start. It also means the Mariners are now listing Sunday’s starter for the series finale against the Chicago White Sox as “to be announced.”
The Mariners will likely recall a starter from Triple-A Tacoma to start Sunday. Right-hander Taijuan Walker, who is scheduled to start Monday, appears best in line, although right-hander Erasmo Ramirez is also an option.
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The revised rotation lines up this way: Hernandez and Young will start Tuesday and Wednesday against Atlanta. Then Roenis Elias, Iwakuma and James Paxton will start Thursday through Saturday against the White Sox.
After the TBA start Sunday against Chicago, the Mariners will have Hernandez, Young and Iwakuma lined up to face the Blue Jays.