The plus LH fastball and a signature power curve, the hitters fighting a rearguard action due to the deception... sounds like Robles is a convincing AA year away from slotting into the minor-league-Jon-Lester mold. Where is the G vs J run-thru-the-park bet as to whether Robles will mince AA ball? :- )
Here's what Lester did at 20 ... 10K's, a fair amount of walks, and a nonexistent HR rate in high-A. In the context of his 2-pitch arsenal, that's a description of a young ace trying to find his release point, and look out when he does.
Robles at 20 did essentially the same thing, albeit (1) with a few more BB's and (2) at the notorious High Desert pinball arena.
If that's what Robles is, a LH power guy whose curve can't be read until it's too late, I'm partial to that kind of twirler as well. The young Zito, Lester, Bedard are all in that pattern. We remember Scott McGregor starring with this combo at 85 mph, much less at 95 mph :- )
Dunno how much Robles throws his change, but with the description that Gordon provides, I hope the answer is "not much." Those two LH pitches are more than enough, and they provide him the chance to get ahold of his own game quickly.
I love guys with two plus pitches who whipsaw the hitters between the two of them. The pitchers willing to do this, their two pitches just get better and better and better, as has been the case with Bedard's hook, for example.
As to the 4-to-make-1 draw at a third for a Big Three:
Pineda, Robles, Hill and Cortes give us 4 really good shots at making hay at that #3 pitching slot, pushing #2 over the next couple of years. None of them are gonna top Felix obviously, but we've still got some guys over the next couple of years who could be interesting arms to add to the big club with lots of potential. We have a lack of depth behind them because we traded Lorin/Pribanic/Aumont/Adcock/etc, but we'll get another restock in the draft, plus guys like Cleto have barely pitched at all. We'll see how we do patching that hole - letting Blandford start is a good thing, and the Ms have said they'll do that.
BTW, just to throw it out there:
Felix Hernandez has the 6th nastiest FB in the league 2007-2009, Morrow has the 12th...but League, the guy we traded Morrow for would have the 4th, per the comments section, if he didn't have a weird motion that makes him hard to categorize.
A rotation that starts with The King and Cliff Lee and some upside arms, a pen that has League and Kelley and Lowe and Aardsma, and a bunch of prospects either in AA now or hitting it this year (Robles, Pineda, Cortes, Fields, Hill, Orta, Paredes, et al)...There are a decided number of interesting arms on and around the Mariners right now.
And we still have cash to add a Wash or a half-season of Bedard.
Interesting that League has the 4th-best fastball in the league, considering that his splitfinger was statistically the best pitch of any type. League is a biscuit away from being the next superstar reliever in the big leagues.
That'll do for us too,