Mariners have had it bad in 2017, but just how bad?
After a miserable, crushing four game sweep at the hands of a prime wild card competitor, the Los Angeles Angels, morale seems really low in the Mariners camp. In fairness, the thought that this Seattle team is really a playoff team seems a little far fetched.
It’s not their fault. This team entered the season looking like a real contender in a solid AL. That expectation was derailed quickly after the rotation fell apart before opening day. This storyline is old though, so why am I still talking about it? Well you need to see just how rough this Mariners team has had it, and why just two games under in mid-August is actually way overperforming.
So where do we start first? Well I’ll just break down the Mariners Opening Day roster (plus Smyly) and look at who they lost to injury and you’ll see just how bad they’ve had it.
Drew Smyly – Out for season
Evan Scribner – 60-Day DL (Since April 26)
Hisashi Iwakuma – 60-Day DL (Since May 7)
Felix Hernandez – Two 10-Day stints (First from 4/25-6/23; currently on his second since 8/2)
James Paxton – Two 10-Day stints (First from 5/3-5/31; currently on his second since 8/11)
Evan Marshall – On the DL from May 6 to August 2
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On top of the Mariners four top starters spending significant amounts of time (or the whole season) on the disabled list, their bullpen has been hammered too. Tony Zych and Rob Whalen spent the first month of the season on the DL. Shae Simmons, a solid reliever acquired last offseason from Atlanta has yet to throw a pitch for Seattle since coming off Tommy John. Ryan Weber is currently on the 60-Day DL after going down in mid-May. Just to top it all off, after acquiring David Phelps from Miami and getting a solid product, he hit the DL with an elbow issue.
So, recapping, the Mariners have seen 11 Major League pitchers hit the DL, and as of today, are pitching four men that weren’t supposed to be on the team on Opening Day. This pitching staff is beleaguered, and there isn’t much help coming from anywhere.
Mitch Haniger – Two 10-Day DL stints (First from 4/26-6/11; currently on his second since 7/30)*
*Let the record reflect that Mitch Haniger was also leading the league in WAR at the time of his first trip to the DL, and was slashing .342/.447/.608. Since that time, he’s going .203/.303/.316. I don’t have to tell you that’s a steep dropoff.
Jean Segura – Two 10-Day DL stints (First from 4/11-4/25; second from 6/2-6/21)
Robinson Cano 10-Day DL from May 13 to May 23
Nelson Cruz while never actually sent to the DL has also been gimpy at times this season, jeopardizing the Mariners offense.
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Four of the Mariners best offensive players sidelined for a heavy chunk of games, and when you pair that with the blows to the pitching staff, this team has had everything chopped off. They are dragging themselves by the little they have left, and the wheels are finally beginning to fall off. It was a good run of contention, but it’s time to look ahead. In a few years, the Mariners will be an okay team again if they develop right.
It’s time to look to those years. Not towards a one-game playoff where Seattle sends Erasmo Ramirez to the hill.