Seattle Mariners Season In Review: 1B, DH


This is part two of our seven part series looking back at the 2014 Seattle Mariners season. In today’s segment, we take a look at the stats of the Mariners first basemen and designated hitters.

Now, several players were used as the DH this season. But for this, we are simply using Corey Hart and Kendrys Morales. With the first-baggers being Justin Smoak and Logan Morrison.

There are sure to be some changes in regard to these four players for next season. But before we get into that, let’s take a look back at this season.

Justin Smoak

We may have seen the last “Smoak Bomb” in Seattle. The Mariners have a club option on Smoak for 2015 in the amount of $3.65 million. However, it is believed that the club will buy him out for $150K and part ways.

It’s not hard to understand why.

2014: 80 G, 248 AB, 28 R, 50 H, 13 2B, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 24 BB, 66 K, .202/.275/.339

Smoak came out of Spring Training with his hair on fire. He collected six hits in his first 13 at-bats of the season, including two of his seven homers. It was nothing but a Smoak-screen.

Because after April 9th, his batting average would fall below .300, by the middle of May, it was hovering around .230 and by the 2nd week of June, with it at .208, Smoak was sent to Triple-A Tacoma.

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

He came up once in July for six games before going back to Tacoma. He was then called back up again in September. But he batted .083 in 12 games down the stretch.

In four-plus seasons with Seattle, Smoak has never batted over .249 and has struck out roughly a quarter of the times he has come to the plate. Sorry ladies, but Smoak is on his way out.

Corey Hart

One guy who is already gone is Hart. Signed to a one-year deal this past winter, the Mariners were hoping to get a healthy Corey Hart to return to some of previous power he displayed in his time with the Milwaukee Brewers.

All he did was give Mariners fans Hart-burn.

2014: 68 G, 232 AB, 17 R, 47 H, 9 2B, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 16 BB, 59 K, 2 SB, .203/.271/.319

Hart was designated for assignment, mostly for show, right after the season ended. Hart was set to become a free agent anyways.

At the end of April, the gamble appeared to pay off, at least a little. He was batting .240, was on pace for 32 homers and 73 RBI and seemed to be worth the small price the M’s paid.

Then all hell broke loose.

A .172 average in May with one homer, followed by an injury that forced Hart to miss all of June. He returned in July, but batted .203 with zero homers. He was hurt again in August and the Hart-ache was in full effect.

Logan Morrison

Like with Hart, I had written about how I wanted the Mariners to get LoMo this past offseason. I was one-for-two. While Hart was nothing but a waste of roster space, LoMo only started out that way.

With the continued struggles Justin Smoak, Morrison stepped in and his bat followed suit, especially late in the season.

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2014: 99 G, 336 AB, 41 R, 88 H, 20 2B, 11 HR, 38 RBI, 24 BB, 59 K, 5 SB, .262/.315/.420

And while many people will take those numbers without any further research, LoMo deserves some extra looks. He really hit his stride over the final two months, batting .302 in August and .342 with five of his homers in September.

Morrison is second-year arbitration eligible this offseason and will more than likely jump to about $5 million for next year (he made $1.75 million in 2014).

Morrison will most likely be the starting first baseman for the Mariners in 2015. Fans can only hope he continues his pace he ended 2014 with.

Kendrys Morales

Morales turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer this past offseason in order to test the free agent market. That backfired for him. Because of the draft pick that is attached to the QO, Morales sat unsigned until after the First-Year Player Draft.

Morales then signed with the Minnesota Twins and was traded to the Mariners about a week before the July 31 trade deadline.

2014: 98 G, 367 AB, 28 R, 80 H, 20 2B, 8 HR, 42 RBI, 27 BB, 68 K, .218/.274/.338
SEA: 59 G, 213 AB, 16 R, 44 H, 9 2B, 7 HR, 24 RBI, 21 BB, 41 K, .207/.285/.347

As you can see, Morales’ power numbers may have gone up as the season went on, but the average dropped. Morales has indicated that he would be open to re-signing with the Mariners this time around, forgoing free agency.

Of course he would, his numbers wouldn’t warrant a contract any larger than that of Robinson Cano‘s personal chef (assuming he has one). He will get little interest on the open market this time around.

If the Mariners were smart, they would let his contract expire, smile, wave goodbye and search for that right-handed power bat that has eluded them for the past few years.

On Sunday, we take a look at the outfielders.