Mariners struggling, but can you blame them?
The Mariners just got swept in four game by the hapless Toronto Blue Jays. What a miserable route to take after crawling back to .500, but is it reasonable to be upset with them?
There’s a lot more to the Mariners than the record indicates. The injury bug has hit them like a freight train, and you can’t exactly blame them for that. Just how injured are they?
They check in at seventh in man games lost to players on the DL (318).
They’re second in total players sent to the DL (14).
Last but not least, they have the highest lost WAR.
So pretty much, they’re not only losing quantity, they’re losing quality.
Oh, and this doesn’t include injuries to Cano and Cruz that haven’t sent them to the disabled list.
Also this doesn’t factor in the fact that the Mariners have lost three-fifths of the opening day rotation. Plus Drew Smyly who was injured in spring training.
When you factor in an already bad bullpen getting hit with injuries to Evan Marshall, Shae Simmons, Evan Scribner, and Steve Cishek, it’s not exactly a surprise the Mariners have struggled to hold onto leads in 2017.
Consider the injury to Mitch Haniger, Segura’s stint on the DL, and it’s pretty clear that this team is not losing games because they are incapable of winning, they’re losing, because they are so depleted of talent.
So maybe we’re being too hard on this team.
Next: Mariners of the Future: LHP Seth Romero
This isn’t the same Mariners team we’ve seen in years past. They aren’t a woefully bad team drowning in ineptitude. They simply do not have the firepower on the mound to keep leads.
The Mariners have struggled out of the gate, but imagine what the team will look like with Haniger back in the lineup; with Iwakuma, Hernandez, Smyly, Paxton, and Cishek back on the mound.
If this team can scratch and claw their way to a .500 record over the next few weeks until most of these guys return, we could be looking at a phenomenal second half push.
Now I know at 17-21, talking about the playoffs seems a tad ludicrous, and I understand that, but when healthy, this is a contending team.
This team has all the pieces it needs for a run down the stretch. It’s just a question if those pieces will be available or not.