Time to Give Mariners Some Credit: Current Record No Easy Feat

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 3: Robinson Cano
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 3: Robinson Cano /

The Seattle Mariners have concluded their first 10 games of 2018 with a 6-4 record. As a well documented 2018 skeptic, I must admit I am presently surprised. I’ll tell you why.

Do you realize the Mariners are on a 97 win pace? Seriously, win 60% of your regular season games, and you’ll win 97 games. Okay, obviously we are dealing with seriously small sample size. We have only played 6% of the season. But the fact remains, the current record is, well, impressive.

The Seattle Mariners have had to overcome quite a bit early in the season. Perhaps the biggest roadblock for the team were the injuries. The hits started early, and they kept on coming throughout the first 10 games.

After losing Ben Gamel, Erasmo Ramirez, and David Phelps in Spring Training, the Mariners have lost 3 more starters in their first 10 games. Edgar Martinez Award winner Nelson Cruz sprained his ankle tripping down the steps of the dugout after a home run. He has played in just 2 games.

This is still 2 more games than what Mike Zunino has played in. After being in the original opening day lineup, Zunino was scratched with an oblique strain. After further testing, Zunino was placed on the 10 day DL, and has yet to make his debut in 2018.

Finally, the Mariners placed starting first baseman Ryon Healy on the DL on Sunday. Healy sprained his ankle in a post-game workout. Healy has missed 3 games and is not expected back when eligible.

Yet, despite 44 % of the starting lineup currently missing, the Mariners still have the tenth highest team OPS in the Majors. This despite 2 shutouts in 10 games.

The second biggest obstacle for the team has been the schedule. The Mariners will enjoy their 5th day off tomorrow. The team has yet to get into a rhythm of the usual season. They have played in frigid temperatures, traveled across the country, and are still 6-4.

The early season schedule has included series against the reigning AL Central champs, a 2017 AL Wild Card team, and an inter-league battle against the veteran San Francisco Giants.  And yet, the Mariners are 6-4.

The season is still young, and despite these positive signs, I am still unconvinced that this team is good enough to win anything of importance in 2018. After all, we are 2 times through the rotation, and 3/4 of said rotation have had at least 1 abysmal start. The bullpen, except Dan Altavilla and Edwin Diaz, has been shaky. Even the defense has been sub-par thus far.

Nonetheless, the Mariners deserve credit for surviving thus far. Reports indicate that the Mariners could add Nelson Cruz to their roster on Friday. Ben Gamel could be activated this weekend as well. Mike Zunino is being eased back, but reports still suggest we could see Z before the next road trip.

Next: Kyle Seager is Good. Deal With It.

The Mariners have been fun to watch in 2018. Whether or not that will lead to winning remains to be seen. But for somebody as pessimistic about the team as I was, it seems fair to heap some praise on the squad. They have battled, adapted and overcame adversity over their first 10 games. Now, they only need to continue over the next 152.