Mariner’s Mid-Season Review

As I sit here watching the Mariners play their first game of the 2nd half of the season, I thought I should look back the first half and review a bit how we got to where we are. Here have been the major story lines from the first half of the season:

  • Contending? After a horrendous 8-15 start, the Mariners got hot and pulled back to within a half game of the Rangers as of about 10 days ago. The M’s have cooled off over the last 9 days and are now 4 and half back, but the Rangers aren’t running away with this. We’ve been debating whether or no the Mariners are truly contending for some time now, and unless the Rangers really start to pull away I expect the debate to continue for some time.
  • Brilliant Pitching. Especially the starters; all 5 have ERA’s under 3.75. Erik Bedard and Michael Pineda have been particularly brilliant even though very little was expected of them before the season started. The bullpen has been very solid as well, including unlikely setup man David Pauley and new closer Brandon League.
  • Anemic Hitting. The offense hasn’t been good. Other than Justin Smoak and Adam Kennedy, it’s actually been pretty awful. Ichiro’s average bottomed out at .252, Figgin’s average is still dropping and is down to .187. LF has been a black hole in the lineup no matter who’s been playing out there, and CF has been equally as bad. As a team, the Mariners struggle to score 3 runs in almost every game.
  • Injuries Franklin Gutierrez missed 6 weeks with a stomach ailment, end up losing 15 pounds from his frame where he didn’t have 15 to lose, and has struggled with his strength since returning. Adam Moore is gone for the year. Erik Bedard is now on the DL with a sprained knee, and Chris Giminez going to be out for a long time with a grade 3 oblique strain. Plus, both David Aardsman and Shawn Kelley have run into elbow troubles in their attempts to return from other injuries and likely will never pitch for the Mariners this season.
  • Rookies! Lots of them, and for the most part, they’ve been good. Michael Pineda has looked like an ace, and recent callup Dustin Ackley looks like he’s  going to be a superstar. Outfielders Carlos Peguero, Mike Carp and Greg Halman have all contributed. Other rookies who’ve seen time, though with lesser productivity, include Mike Wilson, Tom Wilhelmsen, Josh Lueke, Adam Moore and Dan Cortez. Jose Yepez is now on the team, though he hasn’t played, and there’s a good chance we’ll see pitcher Blake Bleaven in a few days. Sometimes I find it amazing that Tacoma has enough players to field a team.

 

Topics: Shawn Kelley, Tom Wilhelmsen

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  • http://Retired maqman

    All in all the sum total of the first half of the season is about what was expected, but after our close approach to first place a couple of weeks ago it seems a disappointment. Ackley, Smoak and Pineda have emerged as core players for the future. Figgins, Saunders, Cust and even Ichiro have not produced up to expectations. Guti has an excuse to a degree and his glove makes up for his weak offensive production. Seagar seems to be the closest offensive reinforcement, hopefully he continues to produce. The farm continues to improve and so does our future. If we stay the course Z has plotted then we will get better.

  • Keith Myers

    I’d have to agree. I’m definitely in the “don’t go for it” side of the debate. I’ve got a post coming about how the M’s can improve the offense and keep most of their prospects.

    With the recent promotions and success of Franklin and Seagar, I definitely have hope for the future, especially with the pitching on the way (i.e Paxton, who was also promoted recently)