Mariners Analysis: Examining the 2009 Royals


Miguel Olivo as a Mariner.

I always thought the 2009 Royals were special. I always had a soft spot for them.

Not because they were great. They only went 65-97 that year. Not because they had any huge name players. Zack Greinke was still there. He was, and is, really good.

Billy Butler was there. He was also really good at that point in his career.

No, what made the 2009 Royals special was the fact that the ’09 Royals were a combination of Mariners cast-offs and former players. I thought that the Mariners were a farm club for the Royals, or that the Royals were the AAAA team that the M’s sent all their players to, depending how you want to look at it.

Five former Mariners took the field for Kansas City that year. And well that may not seem like a huge number, it’s still 20 percent of a major league roster.

Miguel Olivo, our favorite whooping boy behind the plate, played in 114 games that season for the Royals. He hit .249 and showed off some serious pop, blasting 23 home runs. He showed some pop for the Mariners too, remember. He hit 19 homers for the M’s in 2011, his second tenure with the team.

Yuniesky Betancourt, who I regret to inform Mariners nation that I liked way more than everybody else, hit .240 with an amazingly Yuni-like .269 OBP in just 71 games. In 2010, he magically blasted 16 homers for those Royals. His best total with the Mariners? Nine in 2007.

Jose Guillen, another former Mariner, had 40 RBIs in 81 games. He also stole one base for good measure. Guillen actually spent one nice season in Seattle (2007) in which he hit 23 home runs and drove in 99.

Willie Bloomqust back with the Mariners after his time with the Royals, Reds, and Diamondbacks (Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports).

Where do we go next for the ’09 Royals? Our favorite former Mariner (now twice) Wille Bloomquist. Willie hit .265 in 125 games. He had four home runs and also stole 25 bases. It was that versatility and ability to run that also made me like him more than anyone else did.

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And finally, on the mound, one of my all-time favorite Mariner curveballers, Gil Meche! I like his curveball in the same way I liked Joel Pineiro. Sidenote, did you know that Joel Pineiro is still playing AA for the Blue Jays?? Me either.

But Gil Meche, everybody…Sadly, he only went 6-10 in 23 starts with a 5.09 ERA. And this makes me very sad.

I guess, with these numbers, the 2009 Royals were just the AAAA team that Mariners cast-offs went to after all.

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