It’s easy for one person or another to point out things that are unusual that have taken place so far this season. But the things that would be said “unusual” are just again more brutal facts about how the Mariner offense just doesn’t produce. But while it’s fun to point out the lame OPS/OPS+ it’s unfair to say that this is the same offense that we saw flounder in 2010.
While it’s one thing to point out rate statistics and say “see we are just as bad as we were last year” it’s quiet another to watch the game and not hold that feeling of hopelessness. While the offense is by no means a positive thing for this organization it’s going in the right direction and that was apparent over the last week of games when we saw the patience of the hitters at the plate. The Mariners come in 7th (43.8%) as of today in total Swing%. That’s an improvement of 16 spots after ending last year at 23 overall (46.1%). So it’s fair to say they are showing patience at the plate.
That lack of Swing% has helped to improve the teams low walk percentage. Last year they placed 27th (7.7%) but as of today they sit at 13th overall (8.4%). Obviously with the pickups of Cust and the development of Smoak this is something that doesn’t completely surprise in improvements but what has surprised me is the development of patience in Ichiro who already has 4 walks and is tied for second on the team so far this year.
We can point out that this team isn’t producing and that’s absolutely true. But with the BABIP still below .300 and among the leaders for line drive percentage it’s not the same story as last year having a BABIP below .300 and among the bottom in LD%. The guys in the line-up are hitting the ball hard. They are taking pitches and earning walks. They aren’t swinging at bad pitches. These are all really good things and they all point towards an improvement in this offense over the course of the season.