Spring Training 2014, Outfield Preview

Last week I previewed the Mariners infield; this week I’ll tackle the outfield. Where the Mariners have been able to develop a number of strong infielders, the organization has been almost completely incapable of developing any major league talent in the outfield. They’re hoping to change that trend this year with the promotions of Abraham Almonte and potentially Stefen Romero. Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders are the returning incumbents and their inconsistent play has made them a pain to project. There is some upside here but this position group is clearly one of the team’s weaknesses.

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Spring Training 2014, Infield Preview

Spring Training is in full swing and there’s just two weeks until Opening Day! The Mariners enter the 2014 season after handing out the largest contract to the top free agent during the offseason. Personally, it feels like the Mariners have turned a corner from rebuilding mode to win-now mode. Whether it was the right time or not is up for debate but I’m excited to see where this takes us. Just like last year, I’ll be offering my thoughts on the projected roster, broken up by position group. I’ve simplified the amount of data I’m presenting–just a personally built 2014 projection. I trust that you’re able to look up historical data on your own.

First up, the 2014 Seattle Mariners infield. A bunch of young guys out to prove themselves surround a star who will be counted on to lead this team back to the promised land. The signing of Robinson Cano brought a lot of fanfare but three of the five positions in the infield will be held by players drafted and developed by the Mariners. This organization has been able to identify and develop strong talents across the infield and this position group is now one of the strengths of the team.

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Mariners Busy on Day Three of Winter Meetings

The Mariners had a busy day today, adding two players, one via free agency and one via a trade with the Miami Marlins. First baseman/outfielder Corey Hart, previously of the Milwaukee Brewers, was signed to a one year contract worth up to $13 million and RP Carter Capps was traded to the Marlins for first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison. Both of these players have high upside and high risk/reward but their overall cost is fairly low so they shouldn’t be a burden to this team. Both Corey Hart and Logan Morrison are coming off of fairly significant knee injuries, Hart lost the entire 2013 season to his injury and Morrison has only played in 178 games the past two seasons. They’re both healthy now but caution should be used when projecting them to be in the lineup everyday. They join Justin Smoak in a trifecta of first basemen now on the roster.

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Mariners Fumble, Disappoint Before Griffey

Week 19 Recap

Date Away Team Score Home Team Score Result
8/5 Blue Jays 3 Mariners 1 L
8/6 Blue Jays 7 Mariners 2 L
8/7 Blue Jays 7 Mariners 9 W
8/8
8/9 Brewers 10 Mariners 5 L
8/10 Brewers 10 Mariners 0 L
8/11 Brewers 0 Mariners 2 W

This weekend was all about reliving Mariners history as Ken Griffey Jr was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame and the former Seattle Pilots came to town for a three game series. It was disappointing then when the Mariners allowed twenty runs to score in three games and only mustered seven of their own. Luckily we came away with a win, sparing us from the sweep but it was definitely a disappointing week all around.

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Mariners Rebound After Meltdown in Boston

Week 18 Recap

Date Away Team Score Home Team Score Result
7/29
7/30 Mariners 2 Red Sox 8 L
7/31 Mariners 4 Red Sox 5 L/15
8/1 Mariners 7 Red Sox 8 L
8/2 Mariners 8 Orioles 11 L
8/3 Mariners 8 Orioles 4 W
8/4 Mariners 3 Orioles 2 W

The Mariners started the week with a tough series in Boston against one of the best teams in the AL. A sweep later and the Mariners were off to Baltimore. The last two games in the Boston series were particularly frustrating losses; our #1 and #2 starters didn’t factor into either decision and both were walk-off losses, one in the fifteenth and one in the ninth. After losses like that, you might expect a disheartened team to throw in the towel against a good Baltimore team but the Mariners bounced back and scored 19 runs in three games against the Orioles, winning two of three.

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Mariners Stand Pat at Trade Deadline

Week 16 & 17 Recap

Date Home Team Score Away Team Score Result
7/19 Astros 7 Mariners 10 W
7/20 Astros 2 Mariners 4 W
7/21 Astros 5 Mariners 12 W
7/22 Mariners 2 Indians 1 W
7/23 Mariners 4 Indians 3 W
7/24 Mariners 1 Indians 10 L
7/25 Mariners 8 Twins 2 W
7/26 Mariners 2 Twins 3 L/13
7/27 Mariners 0 Twins 4 L
7/28 Mariners 6 Twins 4 W
  • The Mariners came out of the All-Star break on a roll, sweeping the Astros and taking two of three against the Indians. We stumbled against the Twins over the weekend, splitting a four game series. This July surge is eerily reminiscent of similar surges in 2009 and 2011 except this year it’s almost completely driven by our young core.

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Mariners Midseason Report: Hope is on the Way

Week 15 Recap

Date Home Team Score Away Team Score Result
7/8 Mariners 11 Red Sox 4 W
7/9 Mariners 8 Red Sox 11 L
7/10 Mariners 4 Red Sox 11 L
7/11 Mariners 7 Red Sox 8 L/10
7/12 Mariners 8 Angels 3 W
7/13 Mariners 6 Angels 0 W
7/14 Mariners 4 Angels 3 W
  • Well that was a fun week. The Mariners lost three of four against the best team in baseball, the Red Sox and then swept the Angels in three games just before the All-Star Break. During this seven game homestand, the Mariners scored 6.86 (!) runs per game and hit eleven home runs. It also included two excellent performances by King Felix and the return of Erasmo Ramirez to the rotation. The Mariners head into the All-Star Break having hit a home run in twenty-two straight games and having won three of their last four series.

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Mariners Future is Now!

Week 13 & 14 Recap

Date Home Team Score Away Team Score Result
6/24
6/25 Mariners 4 Pirates 9 L
6/26 Mariners 2 Pirates 4 L
6/27
6/28 Mariners 5 Cubs 4 W/10
6/29 Mariners 3 Cubs 5 L/11
6/30 Mariners 6 Cubs 7 L
7/1
7/2 Rangers 2 Mariners 9 W
7/3 Rangers 2 Mariners 4 W/10
7/4 Rangers 5 Mariners 4 L
7/5 Reds 2 Mariners 4 W
7/6 Reds 13 Mariners 4 L
7/7 Reds 1 Mariners 3 W
  • After taking a week off, here’s my recap of the last two weeks of Mariners action, and it’s been an eventful couple of weeks. The Mariners dropped a five game home stand to end the month of June, losing to the Pirates and dropping two of three against the Cubs. That Cubs series was a fun one to watch as all three games went down to the wire, two of them in extra innings. The Mariners started the month of July with two road series against the Rangers and the Reds and surprisingly won both of them.

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Mariners Powered by 41-Year-Old Machine

Week 12 Recap

Date Home Team Score Away Team Score Result
6/17 Angels 11 Mariners 3 L
6/18 Angels 2 Mariners 3 W/10
6/19 Angels 1 Mariners 0 L
6/20 Angels 10 Mariners 9 L
6/21 Mariners 3 Athletics 6 L
6/22 Mariners 7 Athletics 5 W
6/23 Mariners 6 Athletics 3 W/10
  • The Mariners started this week in third place with a four game series against the rival Angels and a three game series against the division leading Athletics on the docket. We end this week still in third place after dropping the series with the Angels but winning the series against the Athletics. Just try and predict these Mariners and they’ll surprise you every time.

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What’s Up With All These Extra-Innings Games?

On June 5th, the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago White Sox played thirteen innings of scoreless baseball before both teams erupted for twelve runs in the last three innings, ending in the sixteenth. On June 8th, the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins played more than two games in one—a twenty inning battle that took over six hours to complete. Only three runs were scored and there was a ridiculously long period—from the bottom of the fourth to the top of the twentieth inning—where no runs were scored at all. The Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays played eighteen the same day. Since June 8th, there have been eleven other extra-innings games, including another eighteen inning game between the Athletics and the Yankees. Recently, one of my friends asked me whether I thought the recent rash of extra-innings games is unusual. Brandon posed the hypothesis that since less and less runs are being scored per game, are more games going to extra innings as a result?

Do you think that all of these extra-inning games are indicative of the trend of the past 2 decades where pitching skill is outpacing hitting skill…I dunno. I may be imagining this, but I think runs scored in baseball have gotten lower in the past 5 years alone and now we’re having a ton of extra-inning games lately.

I thought this was an excellent question and worthy of a bit of research. Let’s start by establishing how many extra-innings games there have been for the past two decades and see if there is any correlation with the amount of runs scored each year.

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