Prior to Ruben Amaro’s midnight madness last night that ended with the team giving physicals to both Mike Adams and John Lannan, he swept up a Mariners minor league lefty named Mauricio Robles. A southpaw with anything left in the tank is always going to be a commodity, but at 23, it is believed that Robles is still filling up.
He does a fastball, a curve, and a change that most agree is his best friend. They’re practically inseparable!
- The Peoria Chiefs were referred to as “the second-best hitting team in the Midwest League,” by mid-July, 2008. They finished the year with a team OPS just barely over .700, but hey, that was a long time ago. Who knows what numbers meant back then. Nevertheless, Robles mowed right through them on July 13, chucking six shutout innings and allowing only four hits for the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps. Suck it, Peoria. Added note–the Midwest League MVP that year? Ben Revere.
- Through over 90 innings, Robles kept his ERA well under 3.00 (And throwing over 45 consecutive scoreless innings at home), but still found himself slotted into the Single-A roster a year later. He responded in April 2009 by cramming a 5-0 victory down the throat of South Bend.
- His next start was a similar erasing, putting his strike out total for the year–through three starts–at 26. The team finished April with a 14-5 record.
- In June, Robles got the promotion he deserved, and arrived in Detroit’s Single-A+ operation, Lakeland, ruining his chances to appear in the Midwest League All-Star Game to which he was fervently voted. He’d missed two games with a blister on his finger.
- A month later, the Mariners saw more value in Robles than Detroit ever would, and snared him in the trade that made Jarrod Washburn a Tiger. At least one Detroit News writer took notice, saying that “Robles has a chance at being for Seattle what Jair Jurrjens has been for the Atlanta Braves,” which means that this guy apparently thought Robles would one day be forced to watch Cliff Lee hit a home run while giving an in-game interview on Fox Saturday Baseball.
- Robles finished out 2009 in Seattle’s High Desert, eating 32.1 innings and posting a 2.78 ERA with 34 K’s and 19 walks. Entering 2010, he combined with three other pitchers in his Double-A debut with the Jackson Generals to hurl a one-hit shutout. As the starter, Robles went four and a third innings, giving up a hit. He left the game after reaching his pitch count and threatening to pitch everyone to death.
- Then like every good pitching story, Robles had to have surgery in 2011. He had some of them “loose fragments” in his left elbow that kept threatening his family.
- His favorite food is the “hamburger.”