Brandon Maurer will make the start today vs. the Angels.
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. In this installment Aaron talks to starting pitcher Brandon Maurer about returning to Southern California for the first time as a Major League pitcher and about pitching in front of his family tonight at Angel Stadium.
As a pitcher at Orange Lutheran High School, 15 minutes east of Angel Stadium, Brandon Maurer never was the Lancers’ ace. That title went to right-handed Garrett Cole, who went on to pitch at UCLA, only to be drafted in the first round by Pittsburgh. Now the Pirates No. 1 overall prospect, Cole is in Triple-A, in his second minor league season, while Mauer is suddenly in the Big Leagues.
“It definitely exposed me to a lot of scouts,” Maurer said of playing with Cole. “Playing with him gave me the chance to be seen by more teams than I probably would have otherwise.”
Drafted by the Mariners in the 23rd round in 2008, Maurer worked his way up through the minors over the last five years and, just like in high school, wasn’t the guy who everyone talked about. The “Big Three” of Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, and James Paxton commanded the greatest buzz heading into Spring Training, with Maurer’s name just starting to gain recognition.
We all know what happend, at 22-years-old, Maurer made the jump from Double-A to MLB and today will be pitching in front of over 30 friends and family members in what was his childhood ballpark.
“I was a big time Angels fan growing up,” Maurer said from inside the clubhouse. “Coming here, going on the field [yesterday], I was thinking, ‘I haven’t been here in forever.’”
The Maurer seating section covers just about everyone: parents, aunts, uncles, and nephews. The only ones who can’t make it? Brandon’s closest friends from high school.
“They’re all taking finals.”
Maurer will be taking a test of his own in Anaheim, but it actually won’t be the first time Maurer has pitched from the Angel Stadium mound.
“I made the Angels Elite showcase team in high school and got to play here two or three times against some local junior colleges,” Maurer said. “It was a long time ago, I was a different pitcher, but I’ve pitched here before.”
Making what will be his ninth Major League start, the righty has some unfinished business to take care off — and it has nothing to do with throwing strikes or helping the Mariners win.
When Maurer was in high school, he promised his freshman coach Craig Teuben that if he ever made it to the Majors, he’d buy him a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
“Well, that was a promise, I can’t go back on it,” Maurer said with a grin.
With an off-day Thursday, he’ll have plenty of time to go shopping.