They said it couldn’t be done. They said it was impossible due to lack of desire and talent. Nobody believed. But the Extra Innings podcast proved all the doubters wrong with a podcast for back-to-back weeks.

Times beat writer Ryan Divish and columnist Larry Stone begin the first of their podcasts breaking down the Mariners by position group. The inaugural analysis focuses on Seattle’s starting rotation, which was one of the worst in baseball in 2019 and resorted to using an opener for two of the five spots. Besides Marco Gonzales’ solid season, the rest of the starters underachieved or disappointed, or both.

Starting pitching success is key for a team’s success. And the “stepback” will fail if it doesn’t improve.

What’s next for this group? Will Yusei Kikuchi be more consistent in 2020? Will Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn begin the season in the rotation? Who might they add to the group? What’s the longterm future.

Before the rotation discussion begins, Stone and Divish breakdown the changes to the Mariners’ big league coaching staff that were announced on Thursday.

Besides Soundcloud, the Extra Innings podcast is also available on iTunesStitcher and Spotify.