The Mariners had their best season in years but I still believe this team has more improving than what is on the surface.
The Mariner pitching this year overall was fantastic. Strong performances all around including a comeback player of the year and Cy Young worthy performances. Even with many returning it would be unfair to ask for the same results as this season.
The pitching will still be a strength the team will be able to boast in 2015 and maybe everyone returns the same type of numbers.
The real issue is that the Mariners should try to share the load a little with the offense. While it wasn’t the historically terrible offense fans have suffered through, it wasn’t exactly potent.
The Mariners ranked 19th in the MLB in runs this season but keep in mind that they only beat out three American League teams. Still great pitching gave them a positive differential of 80 runs. How were these runs being scored though?
The Mariners weren’t much for the long ball this year ranking 10th in the AL. They had the second worst batting average and the worst on base percentage. They struck out over the AL average and drew walks below the AL average. None of this seems to be adding up to success.
Despite all this, the Mariners were able to put up runs. Clutch hitting was in the Mariners favor this year. The results were great but it’s not something to depend on. The Mariners team batting average was .244 this season, with RISP they had a .262.
Again, I won’t argue with the result but they should not count on being clutch. I think it’s easy to say that everyone would rather have good hitter at bat than someone who has been somewhat clutch that season. A good player can be counted on.
The gap is larger than it seems and some more big moves need to be made to ensure a playoff spot next season. A few minor moves might make a better team but I think the Mariners need more than that to secure them being in contention again.