Today, Ryan Divish over at the Tacoma News Tribune asks the vital question “What do you expect from the Mariners in the “second half” of the season?” I think this is just about the most perfect question at this juncture.
I had fun writing the whole “King for a day post” and I’ve kicked around a few other ideas, but everything comes back to a purpose to the rest of the season. If we aren’t going to the playoffs and aren’t going to really even compete, already sitting 7.5 games back, what’s the point at this time?
First, I want to see what happens with this pitching.
The Mariners pitching staff currently has the best ERA in team history by 0.30 runs margin. Can they continue to pitch this good? Not just good enough to set a new organizational record can it be enough to finish at such a high level as to bail up out this historically poor offense?
Second, can the Mariners hitters improve?
This offense has been terrible and while they aren’t good they aren’t this bad either. It needs to start with Ichiro then spread to guys like Franklin Gutierrez and Justin Smoak. This offense isn’t as terrible as what they are doing right now.
I believe that this team has two truely major offensive holes. That would left field and third base. Kyle Seager could possibly fill that hole at third and there are options in left that could potentially come up slightly average (what do we need to do to please see a Mike Carp/Greg Halman platoon? amirite)?
We’re also going to see Dustin Ackley the rest of the season and Justin Smoak should also improve upon his first half numbers.
Last, I want to see if the Mariners improve upon their first half record?
I don’t think the Mariners are going to compete but I do think the record they are currently producing is right even with their current skill set and maybe even a little bit below it. Meaning I think they can be a better team than what they have been the last few weeks.
I’m not the only person that thinks that there is some improvement to be had.
|Current wOBA||ZiPs (U) wOBA||Career wOBA|
Sure, these aren’t inspiring numbers but it’s improvement non-the less and even the slightiest improvement in the offense with the way this pitching has produced could equal additional wins.
The one thing that we have to realize is that the Mariners second half schedule is going to be rough, and while I don’t think it will be it’s possible that it would be much worse than the first half, one never knows what could happen.
There are still reasons to watch this team. No doubt, it’s going to be tough at times. But, this team actually has some entertaining pieces and regardless of how bad things get this team has so much more promise than what it did a year ago.