After just about two weeks of baseball the Mariners are atop the standings in the American League with a 6-3 record. There’s no doubt the team has been playing well. The pitching, in particular, has been great. But as the Mariners have known from the past, you cannot win without offense.
Robinson Cano has been living up to the massive contract he signed over the winter, although he is still seeking that first homerun, hitting .324 with a .425 OBP. Those are the kind of numbers you want to see from the third batter in your lineup. Despite how well he has been hitting and his position in the lineup, Cano has just 3 RBI on the year.
Hitting at the top of the order should allow for more RBI opportunities, and they will come, but the Mariners have been able to get solid production from the bottom of the order.
They have been able to help each other out with Ackley getting on base at a good rate and Zunino hitting well. Currently only Cano has a higher batting average than the two of them (and Willie Bloomquist with one hit in three at bats). Both of them were top prospects that the team expected to produce at the major league level.
Ackley had a rough few seasons after a good rookie year. Despite the problems he experienced hitting he was still able to produce honest OBP. After a few stints back in Triple-A it seems he is ready to be the hitter we need him to be.
Zunino flew through the minors after being drafted in 2012 and in limited time last year did not have a good showing. This gave no reason to give up on the 2012 Golden Spikes winner and he is proving he can hit, however; it’d be nice if he proved he can take a walk.
A lineup change is not necessary just yet as the others at the top are not playing too bad themselves, but if they continue to do well it wouldn’t be surprising to see them bumped in the order.