Mariners Insider

A lineup and a question for Mariners fans

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Aug. 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm with 11 Comments »
August 19, 2012 1:04 pm

Facing the Twins right-hander Samuel Deduno, the Seattle Mariners are going with their mostly left-handed lineup - Jesus Montero is the DH and Munenori Kawasaki is at shortstop - with Blake Beavan will start.

The Mariners are 21-13 since the All-Star break, and while they’ve made hay against team like Kansas City and Minnesota, they’ve also played series with New York (2), Texas, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and others.

So the question of the day: Is this .618 winning percentage an indication of the new, improving Mariners or is it a 34-game fluke? And why the improvement? Let’s kick it around.

Meanwhile, here’s the lineup:

Dustin Ackley  2B
Michael Saunders  CF
Kyle Seager  3B
John Jaso  C
Jesus Montero  DH
Justin Smoak  1B
Eric Thames  RF
Trayvon Robinson  LF
Munenori Kawasaki  SS
Blake Beavan RHP

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. Seahawks2620 says:

    This doesn’t really answer the question, but it does pertain to the over all message or theme of the question. My biggest concern when it comes to these sorts of “winning streaks”, is that management and the fan base will lead its self to believe that we have a bunch of studs already on the roster, and we should just keep it as it is for another entire season. That is not the case. I have liked what i have seen from a few players, but “let’s not kid ourselves” as Jack Z said himself, this team needs to do a lot this winter. Not trying to be a debby downer, but it’s simply the truth. Do you give Smoak another opportunity next year, that’s a tough call. He has experienced a bit of success since being called up again, but we have seen spurts of greatness from Smoak and then he resorts to his old ways for 60 to 70 at bats. That is unacceptable for a team that wants to make great strides in the foreseeable future. Same goes for Ackley, although I don’t see Ackley struggling as much as Smoak has. We simply need some proven offensive talent.

  2. I think it shows how good this team can be. It is a fluke somewhat but the M’s still need a big bat or two. Wonder what Bonds, McGuire or Soda area up to nowadays?

  3. SeattleNative57 says:

    Finally, we’re beating the teams we should beat. We need to keep doing this. Next, we need to play our Division competitively. That means winning series against TEX, OAK and LAA. Our offense continues to need improvement. This winter we must acquire at least one MLB quality batsman. Either through trade or free agency the offense needs an upgrade. Due to past or present reputation, it will probably need to be accomplished via trade. Smoak, Ackley, Seager, Montero and Saunders should take notice. I will be surprised if Wells and/or Thames survive to play here in 2013. Gutierrez needs to prove he can get healthy and his time is running out. Regardless how this team finishes, changes are in store for next year. Surely Figgins gets replaced and doesn’t waste a roster space for another entire season. Millwood is gone and will need replacing. Progress was made this year and now it’s time to do the heavy lifting. Next year must be about improving our competitiveness and our place within the Division. Another last place finish is unacceptable.

  4. Between all the losing, & having to lower to broadcast only cable due the USA’s 2nd depression, I’m really having difficulty caring at this point.

    At least the Hawks look exciting!

  5. I don’t see the team’s production in 34 games since the All Star break as a fluke. I think they are just starting to live up to their abilities. They will be an up and down crew but the ups will last a little longer and the down times a little shorter. The majority are still young and learning their craft, some will succeed and some will fail but they are on the up escalator. More people are coming to the games, which will encourage the FO to up the budget. .500 is still my goal for this season and I now believe they can do that. Next year is going see how close to 90 wins they can get. That will make them a playoff contender.

  6. Kevindot1 says:

    The problem for me is that these late-in-the-season winning streaks, when we are well out of contention mean absolutely nothing. They have never ever carried over to the next year and translate into a winning season. And, until we can have a sustained winning season for an entire baseball season, this will always be for naught. Besides King Felix’s perfect game, our combined pitcher no-hitter, and the perfect game thrown against us at The Safe, this year was another huge bust in a long long line of busted years.

  7. Knowing how to win is an important skill. Beating Tampa Bay two games of three in a stretch when they are going 8-2 means something; much more to Tampa than to Seattle, in fact, which is one reason Joe Maddon was so po’d about the Felix game.

    What we fans have learned is up for grabs, but there’s no question that the young players are learning more with each pitch and at bat. I’ve been encouraged by Saunders and Smoak in the past few days. Wells needs to find something as they may have done. Consistency, hopefully, comes with experience. That’s what these games are about for the M’s, that and evaluation by M’s management.

  8. GaryEWash says:

    Fluke? Meh. What it shows me is that the younger players are starting to realize what it is to be a major leaguer. The FO has a ton of evaluationg and moves to correspond with what they see over the next six months. They HAVE to eat the final year of Figgys salary, if and this is a big if, they can find a veteran utility player to take his spot. We have infield talent in the minors, but from what I see, they are not ready for the bright lights just yet. Franklin, Liddi, and Catricala are not ready, and they are the closest infielders to the big show. Outfield….I see this as a crowded situation with prospects. Saunders makes a good number 3 outfielder, but we have to find one and two. Catcher…if it were me, I would go with Jaso until the kid Z is ready. I would use Montero as back up and DH, while tutoring him on the side to play first. Smoak, I would give one more year to prove himself while I prepped Montero. Our Pitching staff is going to be the gem of the team, and I have no worries about it at all. So, there you have my opinion you jackals, LOL! Go at it.

  9. grottowes says:

    This organization, minors included, has a huge hole at 1b. Smoak is not the answer, and appears to have lengthened his swing again. Maybe Montero at 1b? Perhaps a free agent? Maybe Jaso? Is Zunnino the catcher of the future? I have heard that having you DH in the 3 hole or 4 hole is problematic, and a reflection that your position players cannot hit. Pretty sure that is a problem also that needs addressing.

  10. Smoak’s long-swing problem is more from the left side than the right. He needs to solve it. “Not the answer”? Well, not this year, but I’m not ready to give up on him.

    And, “Is Zunino the catcher of the future”? Why do you have to ask?/Bob Dylan The question is, what will they do with Jaso and Montero as Zunino works his way into the position? Coach81 thinks Zunino will make the big club in spring training next year. Considering he’s a catcher, I find that optimistic; but I expect him to be the #1 catcher in 2014. Of course, stuff happens. (I note that Olivo is being left out of the discussion of the future by us fans. I wonder what Wedge and Zduriencik are thinking?)

    I’m more convinced than ever that teams hit–and don’t hit–together. I’d like to see them bring in a big bat too–but I don’t know who that might be, or at what cost.

  11. Thanks for the shout-out! Spread the word, Zunino is going to jump through the minors. With Olivo off the books after this year, and Montero being the projected DH for the majority of his AB’s, Zunino is going to make the team out of ST (or be called up as soon as the team can avoid him being a Super-2). Even if Zunino starts the year splitting catching duties with Montero and Jaso, he will be the full-time (80%) catcher by mid-season. I see a lot of Buster Posey in him.

    Olivo is being left out of any discussion I am having because he is a below-average offensive and defensive player.

    Smoak definitely has a longer swing from the left side, and it is still a work in progress. I’m not counting him out, and I hope the FO isn’t either. And he has a pretty good glove over there.

    That Cliff Lee trade is looking better and better, even with Smoak’s struggles. None of the guys we gave up to get him has contributed anything at the ML level to a last-place team, while Beavan, Jaso (for Lueke) and Smoak have all paid dividends this year.

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