After an exciting 13-2 start that ended up being a fluke, our Mariners sit three games under .500. To put it another way, they have won just seven games since early April! A few of those losses were close but the awful bullpen choked in the later innings.
But since the Mariners allowed two touchdowns and an extra point to the Rangers on April 27th, four games after that have been disgusting blowouts.
Two of the teams who blew us out were the Cubs and Red Sox. You could argue that both those teams are dominant, having both won the World Series in recent seasons. But come on Mariners, no opponent is that good. The Mariners’ defense and bullpen are that bad. During our hot start, the bats looked like the Murderer’s Row of Seattle. And still scoring 10 runs was barely enough to scrape by.
In fairness to the Mariners, few teams can sustain the hitting barrage they displayed early. With a 162-game season, teams will inevitably come down to earth. For the Mariners, their ship malfunctioned and crash-landed into T-Mobile Park.
Right after the six-game win streak to get to 13-2, they immediately lost six games the other direction. And at home in front of all the fans revved up about their 2019 Mariners.
A 7-21 stretch is not down to earth, it’s bad. There’s no working your way around a record like that. So what should Jerry Dipoto do? Inking Neftali Feliz to a minor league deal is a start. But unless Dipoto makes quick changes to this bullpen, he should sell our rental veterans pretty soon.
The Astros are already distancing themselves from the rest of the West (shocker). No other West team, including the Mariners, has the horses that they do. There is always wild card but these relievers don’t stand a chance against any contender.
If Dipoto leaves this bullpen alone the rest of the year, then he should right away find suitors for Bruce, Encarnacion, and Beckham. Mallex is off to a horrible start but he’s young. Domingo is a junior Nelson Cruz and the future slugger of this franchise. Mitch is struggling but is still a future MVP.
Ryon has always struggled with average but makes up for it with power and is younger than Bruce and Encarnacion. And Omar Narvaez is as defensively talented as Gary Sanchez but that could improve and he has power as well.
Bruce and Encarnacion have no problem hitting home runs but if their averages keep tanking, no trade suitor will want them and they are stuck as Mariners. Encarnacion is in the last year of his Cleveland contract and the Mariners can’t let him walk free without anything in return. Bruce is still below Mendoza so unless he’s in a package plan, his numbers are low demand.
And as loyal as I need to stay to “My Guy”, Tim Beckham, Dipoto needs to prioritize the future and he isn’t part of that. In the few games, JP Crawford has played at short, he is already a Gold Glover in comparison to Tim Beckham’s defense.
So unless the Mariners really turn it around this homestand, Dipoto should begin his phone calls. There is no reason for the team to wait.