Well, that was an interesting week. The Mariners split a four game series against the Angels, pretty normal stuff. Over the weeked, the Mariners took on the best team in the AL, the Detroit Tigers, and won two of three. We’re a third of the way through this season and this team continues to surprise.
The win on Saturday featured Chris Young holding the Tigers to just two runs and significant contributions from Willie Bloomquist and Cole Gillespie. Of the eight position players who started on Saturday, just three of them also started on Opening Day–Smoak, Seager, and Zunino.
The win on Sunday featured a complete game, shutout from Roenis Elias who was making just his twelfth major league start. The lineup included Endy Chavez starting at designated hitter and a Brad Miller home run off the reigning Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer.
Well, we’re now more than a quarter of the way through the season and the Mariners sit just a game under .500. A rough week against the Rays and the Twins pushed the Mariners back in the win column but we’re still on the cusp of greatness.
After a twelve run offensive outburst on Monday, the Mariners didn’t score for 21 straight innings before scoring a single run in the fifth inning on Thursday. Woof.
All puns aside, the Mariners had a terrible week. Being swept by the Marlins is never a good sign but throw in a few bullpen meltdowns and it felt down right hopeless. Tony Blengino wrote an excellent piece on FanGraphs about the Mariners and game strategy during this series.
It’s way too early to overreact to a six-game losing streak. With all of the boom or bust players on this roster, we knew this team would be up and down. Let’s just hope they’re up sooner rather than later.
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.
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.
Blech, that was a week to forget. The Mariners split a four game, home and home series against the Padres and then flew to Minneapolis to play the Twins and lost that series. There were two more walk-off losses this week, raising the season total to six. Those kind of losses are particularly hard to swallow because a good team should be able to win those kinds of games and the way the Mariners are losing them really exemplifies our weaknesses. This is not a good team.
Well, that was an eventful week. Obviously, the biggest news is the roster shake up. Gone are Jesus Montero, Dustin Ackley, Robert Andino, and Lucas Luetge. In their place, Nick Franklin, Carlos Triunfel, Jesus Sucre, and Hector Noesi have been called up from AAA-Tacoma. I’ll discuss these moves below, but the short version is, it’s about time. I definitely wasn’t rooting for their demotions, the success of the Mariners is pretty directly tied to the success of these young players. But it had gotten to a point where the level of competition and pressure in the majors was detrimental to their development. Now we get to see if Franklin has anything to offer and if Montero and Ackley are able to turn their careers around.