Mariners Insider

A look at these .500 Seattle Mariners

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on April 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm with 14 Comments »
April 12, 2012 2:44 pm

Eight games into 2012, what did you expect – better than .500? Below .500?

After four games against the worst team in the American League West (Oakland) and four against the best (Texas), the Seattle Mariners come home 4-4, having lost three of four to the Rangers.

What the Mariners have proven, if only to themselves, is that – on the road – they can play with the big boys and beat up on bad teams. Not a bad start to a season.

Against Texas, Seattle was one first-inning hit away from chasing Yu Darvish, and played pretty well against good pitching. After a first-game blowout, these were close games. That doesn’t mean Seattle doesn’t have issues.

The Marienrs have a seven-man bullpen and trust only four of their relievers. George Sherrill has struggled in two appearances, Steve Delabar has allowed four home runs in less than five innings and Hisashi Iwakuma has become The Man Who Shall Not Pitch. As yet, he hasn’t.

Three Seattle regulars - Ichiro, Chone Figgins and Kyle Seager – are hitting better than .300. Miguel Olivo has batted .143 in seven games, Jesus Montero has two RBI and Brendan Ryan is batting .200 and has skipped one game with a stiff neck and been benchd another. Yikes!

In the rotation, there are some concerned with Felix Hernandez and his slowing fastball, and with Hector Noesi’s first start and the fact that Kevin Millwood has no long-term future as a Mariner. Let’s see how Felix does for the next six months – and give the other two more than one start apiece.

Bottom line: The are things that need adjustment (bullpen) and others that need improvement (offense). Facing the Athletics, Indians and White Sox on their first homestand won’t hurt the Mariners a bit.

After nine more games, you may like them more than after the first eight.

Leave a comment Comments → 14
  1. Methinks if they finish the season at .500 in the now tough as nails AL West, we should be pleased.

    Between the fact that it’s unlikely this ownership will ever spend the $’s now REQUIRED to compete with LA & Texas & the errors Jack Z has made (Morse, Fister, Figgins, Smoak, etc) I am really frustrated.

  2. Any idea of what’s going on with Iwakuma, Larry? Just no good opportunity for long relief yet? I thought the first game in Texas provided an opportunity to pitch him.

    This team should do better at the Safe than in Arlington. Especially if Olivo will keep the ball in front of him and the hitters can string together some walks and hits. Plus, I hope no one will get inside Figgins’ head until/unless he earns it–this year. Let’s start fresh and allow him a chance to make himself tradable.

    Side note: a center field bleacher ticket on a week night against the LA Dodgers is priced at $18 (for example). The new variable ticket pricing policy is making a baseball game much less affordable for families. I think the M’s brass is making a mistake, penny wise and pound foolish.

  3. If they can play .500 ball on the road and slightly better at home, this will be a good season.

    Moo, Morse for Langerhans was definitely a mistake, as was the FA signing of Figgins. However, I disagree with your assessment on the Fister trade and Smoak.

    Players received in trades under Jack Z (not all of them, but ones still on the 40-man roster OR players that we got from other teams through subsequent trades):

    Gutierrez
    Smoak
    Montero
    Wells
    Ruffin
    Noesi
    Vargas
    Beavan
    Jaso
    Furbush
    League
    Martinez
    Carp
    Chiang
    Robinson

    Players Jack Z has given up in trades:

    The 3 kids that went to the Phillies for Cliff Lee and haven’t done anything
    Putz
    Fister (on DL)
    Pineda (on DL)
    Pauley (released by Detroit in ST)
    Bedard

    I think Jack Z’s ledger is pretty solidly in the ‘plus’ category. In addition, he has drafted well.

  4. SandlotSam says:

    I was expecting the M’s to split the 4 games against the A’s, and win 1 game down in Texas, so they’re 1 win ahead of where I thought they would be. Some good home cooking, some teams who HAVEN’T been to the World Series two straight seasons, and I think the M’s can possibly end up slightly above .500 for the month of April.

    What a blast by Seager today…that kid is dangerous.

  5. WTraveler says:

    I have to agree with Moo on this one. Most of those guys listed by coach are still “prospects.” And the truth is, with those guys, not many major league teams fear coming into the safe these days.

  6. Meanwhile–sorry about this moo–Morse, according to the AP, is out 4-6 weeks with a sore back.

  7. footballscaa says:

    If we are going to be so dramatic about the teams play through 8 and the off-season moves, I’ll ask: how’s that Pineda guy doing for the Yankees? Anchor of the DL I hear.

  8. Envision this lineup:

    Starters:
    1. Felix
    2. Fister
    3. Bedard
    4. Pineda
    5. Vargas

    (not a bad rotation, eh?!)

    Bullpen:
    League (closer)
    Aardsma
    Luetge
    Wilhelmsen
    ?
    ?

    1b Morse
    2b Ackley
    SS Ryan
    3b Seager

    LF Carp
    CD FG
    RF Ichiro

    C Olivo
    DH Montero

    Bench:
    1. The Japanese shortstop who’s name I can’t remember
    2. Liddi
    3. Saunders
    4. Wells
    5. Jasso or Moore

    While we still wouldn’t be able to compete against Anaheim & Texas, we’d certainly be a LOT better.

    The above fantasy assumes the following had actually happened:

    1. The Morse trade never happened

    2. Therefore we had NO need for Smoak & we traded Lee for Montero & whoever else was thrown in

    3. We never signed Figgins

    4. We didn’t totally suck last year (& we didn’t waste $’s on Figgins), so we held onto Bedard & extended him for 1 or 2 more years.

    5. We re-signed Aardsma

    5. The injured players (both real & fantasy) got healthy again

    Like it or not, it’s MY fantasy!

  9. Someone on another board reminded me of another big Mariners boo-boom though this one may be a Bavasi screw up (of which there were many!)

    How about this rotation:

    1. Felix
    2. Fister
    3. Pineda
    4. Vargas
    5. R.A. Dickey

  10. wabubba67 says:

    Moo–Are we doomed? Will we never make it?

    You are sounding a lot like a cartoon character from Gulliver’s Travels when I was a kid.

    All organizations make trades that don’t work out, free agents signings that they regret….taken as a whole, Z is FAR ahead of the game.

    I don’t want Bedard back at even the MLB minimum salary…pouty, and injury prone. Pineda and Fister are now on the DL. Aardsma is trying to come back from a severe injury.

  11. “The above fantasy assumes the following had actually happened:

    The injured players (both real & fantasy) got healthy again”

  12. And, no I really don’t think we have much of a chance ever unless something is done either by the league or by Nintendo to address the spending disparity between Anaheim, Texas, New York, Boston & the rest of the AL.

    I believe we’re talking a 50% or more difference between each of these team’s payroll & that of the mariners; & there are several teams with payroll lower than the M’s.

    I guess if either the M’s or Texas was to move to the Central or the NL we would eventually have a chance.

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  14. Moo and WTravler, you guys are seeming to forget that a lot of the players Z has traded away were part of teams that had a payroll well over $100 million and lost 100+ games. It’s not exactly like they were world-beaters when they were here, and the fact that our payroll is down and we have a lot of good, young talent coming through the system is encouraging. It reminds me, and a lot of other people that follow the game, of how Tampa Bay built themselves a pretty good ballclub.

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