Mariners Insider

And now for something different: May

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on May 1, 2012 at 11:37 am with 8 Comments »
May 1, 2012 11:53 am

The Seattle Mariners ka-thumped into May by losing in 12-innings on the final day of April, although after 24 games in 2012 the team is 11-13 -   one game ahead of 2011.

No, that’s not likely to thrill the fan base.

Today the Mariners open the new month with a new lineup:

Dustin Ackley DH
Alex Liddi 3B
Ichiro RF
Justin  Smoak 1B
Jesus  Montero C
Kyle  Seager 2B
Casper Wells LF
Michael Saunders CF
Brendan Ryan SS
Hecto Noesi P

One thing is certain: Miguel Olivo won’t be playing any time soon. His groin injury is going to take weeks to heal, meaning rookie Jesus Montero and left-handed hitting Jason Jaso will share time behind the plate.

Before rolling into May, let’s look a bit more closely at April:

Seattle’s .238 batting average was a surprising second in the American Leaague West, ahead of Los Angeles (.238) and Oakland (.209). The team earned run average (4.10) was ninth in the AL.

Jason Vargas led the team in wins (3), Felix Hernandez in innings (44 1/3) and ERA (2.23) and Lucas Luetge (1-0, 0.00)  had a perfect month of left-handed relief. Ichiro Suzuki’s .294 average was the best amongst Mariners hitters, and Montero led in ome runs (4) and RBI (13).

Among the disappointments: Chone Figgins batted .209, Brendan Ryan (.136), Justin Smoak (.200), Dustin Ackley .247. Pleasant surprises: Alex Liddi (.289), Michael Saunders (.254, 3, 11) .

Among the May question marks are Figgins and Ryan, starting pitchers Kevin Millwood (0-2, 5.64) and tonight’s starter, Hector Noesi (1-2, 8.83).

There’s also the question of what to do with Hisashi Iwakuma - who made two April relief  appearances and had a 9.00 ERA.

No, 11 April wins didn’t win over anyone on the fence. There were bright spots – Montero,Saunders, Felix, Vargas, Blake Beavan among them. There were all-too-familiar failures like Figgins, Smoak and another long disabled list stint for Franklin Gutierrez.

You’ve seen April. Now, expectations for May? What do you want to see that will convince you Seattle is moving in the right direction?

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. abugman says:

    Nice to have the Blog back. I don’t know what to make of these guys, BUT I do wish they would quit wasting good starts by Felix. Sure is frustrating. As far as Figgins and Ryan, the team needs some vetran leaders and I don’t think these guys are it.

  2. timeout says:

    The biggest surprise to me is Iwakuma’s non-use; I assume he’s first in line if another starter drops out, and he does take a long time to warm up. But good grief, used twice in a month?

    I noticed Kuroda, who started slowly in his transition to the big leagues, had a good start yesterday for the Yankees. Unless Iwakuma has lingering injury problems, I’m expecting decent performance from him, perhaps for several years (like Kuroda, who was 13-16 with a solid ERA for the Dodgers), IF he’s given a chance to acclimate. Location and a good sinker are a tough combination, as Derek Lowe has proven throughout his long career. Iwakuma had those in Japan.

  3. FishAK says:

    Is having Felix pitching a curse? Its almost like the team takes a day off because they know he is pitching. Its a shame that they cannot come up with any production when he pitches.

    As for Figgins and Ryan…wow…no production at all out of these folks. Maybe its time to start looking in the minors for some replacements! If Ichiro is batting third, he needs people to hit in front of him to make the move worthwhile!

  4. Palerydr says:

    How much longer is Felix gonna put on a good face while losing another 1 run game? Figgin’s got a month of steady AB’s and it’s not happening for him with any consistency. Ichiro can always go back to being the avg leadoff hitter he has been. Designate Figgins eat the salary or trade him, which is unlikely. may as well give Iwakuma some AB’s at SS and bring Ryan in for late inn defense. Either way SS is almost an auto out right now however I know of no SS at the minor league level that is ready right now. I think it would be unwise to bring up Nick Franklin right now.

  5. FishAK says:

    I was hoping that May would produce better numbers…Where do I start…How can a team give up three hits and LOSE??? The pitching was great last night. Its been good all year. Where are the bats??? I was please to see Montero and Ichiro get 6 hits between the two of them! That was 66% of the Mariners hitting! Where do I start when it comes to not whining…1st off…Brandon Ryan has got to GO! Batting .131…PALEASE…bring back Mario Mendoza…even at his current age…he could hit better than that. Smoak…send him down and bring us a player that shows effort! No offense…now wins!

  6. timeout says:

    It’s not like they’re playing the Little Sisters of the Poor. So far the M’s opponents have included four of the top five AL teams in ERA, and they’ll be facing the Angels (currently 16th overall) soon enough. I believe the hitting will improve considerably before the season’s over.

    That said, they should be able to score runs in the Tampa Bay ballpark, the nearest thing to the Kingdome in baseball today. Could be the ball is a little hard to see; the Trop doesn’t appear to be particularly well lit. But it’s time for the M’s to drive in some baserunners; might as well start today.

  7. HeinieHunter says:

    Watching the Mariners is like watching The Titanic sink in ultra slow motion. Jack Z won’t get rid of Figgins because it was his deal and he won’t own up to its total failure, he won’t send Smoak back to Tacoma (where he belongs) also his guy. Ditto Ryan. Moving guys around the order is like arranging the deck chairs on the sinking ship. Maybe Smoak will improve if HE bats lead off.

    Felix is mentally packing his bags as the lack of offense is seriously ruining his early career. He will be gone before the end of he year, maybe before the trade deadline. Wedge will be the scapegoat and be fired before the year ends. Oh yes, attendance at Safeco will be at an all time low.

    Why the writers and media types are not all over this team beats me. They should be after them with torches and pitchforks! Another 100 loss season coming up!

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