Using the following line-up and Bill James projections (With the exception of Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak, whom I choose to use Fangraphs Fans projections for instead due to their lack of MLB experience) I used Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis to get some idea of how the Mariners line-up projects in scoring runs.
I don’t think many people would argue too much with this line-up. Yes, you could flip flop Ryan with Kennedy and while Kennedy is going to have a higher on-base percentage, Ryan is the better defender. It’s pure semantics. Ultimately with the guys in camp your not going to squeeze too much more out of the roster.
This comes out to a grand total of about 4.585 runs per game or 742.77 over 162 games. That’s 240 more runs than last year. That’s pretty significant.
This of course forced my hand to do a rough estimation of last year using 2010′s every day players. I took rough semblance of a 2010 line-up card that was used last year and using the previous years projections I just used their over all production.
This came out to a grand total of 3.755 runs per game or 608.31 over 162 games. With how horrible of a line-up that was used it still projected them almost 100 runs than what they produced last year (513).
That alone should give you a small clue that this team just completely sucked. They failed at everything and in just about every opportunity. That’s not normal and it’s not because of Ken Griffey jr, Jack Zduriencik, Don Wakamatsu or even Chuck Armstrong. It was just a pure and absolute chaos mixed with a bit of anarchy.
One day a study is going to be done on this and how things just fell apart and used as an example of Murphey’s law. Everything that could go wrong last year just about did.
This isn’t an opportunity to just rehash last year. But really a chance to look at the fact there isn’t a lot of changes that need to happen. In fact the Mariners look to be replacing 4 of those hitters and hope to see Saunders improve to such a degree it’s like getting a new hitters.
Obviously this isn’t a precise measurement. But, had the Mariners scored 743 runs last year it would rank 13th in the majors, 9th in the AL and 2nd in the AL West.
I’m not saying the Mariners will win the west or that they even have a shot (15% chance if you believe PECOTA). But the Rangers aren’t a complete team and neither are the Athletics. The Angels, are looking old and I’m not sure they aren’t going to just implode and come in last.
Should starting pitching hold-up (i.e. Bedard/Pineda pitch, and do it well) and the line-up score runs. This season could get really interesting, really quick. Do I expect them too? Absloutely not. But, that’s the wonderful thing about hope and spring training. Right?
Additional Note: this just is a general production statistic. It doesn’t account for many factors, such as injuries, base running, ect. Take the projection with a grain of salt.