Mar 20, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; The Seattle Mariners mitts and caps rest in the dugout against the Chicago Cubs at Cubs Park. The Mariners won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Mariners wrapped up spring training, packed up their bags, said goodbye to Arizona and hopped a flight to Los Angeles for their Opening Day tilt with the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
In their final spring game, the Mariners fell to the Colorado Rockies 2-1. Newly-acquired RHP Chris Young impressed in his only Mariner tuneup before the season. Young pitched 4.2 shutout innings scattering four hits while striking out four and walking none.
The Mariners finish the Cactus League with a mark of 18-12 (they were 22-11 last year). As we learned in 2013, spring success isn’t necessarily indicative of summer and fall success.
There were some encouraging signs however.
– Dustin Ackley led the Cactus League with 26 hits (trailed only Melky Cabrera of Toronto for the overall spring lead). His 16 RBI was tied for third in all of baseball. If he can carry this over into the season, we are in for quite the show.
– The Mariners stole 27 bases in 30 games. Not exactly setting the world on fire but it was good for a third-place tie in all of baseball. They only had 49 stolen bases all of last season.
– The Mariners pitching staff was 12th in ERA. But the starting five in the rotation combined for a 2.43 ERA during the spring.
But that also brings me to some bad news.
– Cano may have hit .412 with 13 RBI but he did not hit a single homerun. Concerned?
– What about one of the last big acquisitions, Fernando Rodney? The should-be closer gave up seven runs in seven innings of work. The league batted .355 against him. He was also kicked out of a game for arguing a pitch call.
– Corey Hart already missed some time this spring tending to some soreness. He batted .132 with 18 strikeouts in 38 at-bats.
Spring is the time to work out the kinks, shake off the dust and get ready for some real baseball. So which Mariners team will show up on Monday? The one that started spring 10-3? Or the one that ended the spring on a 3-6 run?
Luckily for all of us, we only have to wait a little under 48 hours to find out.