Seattle Mariners: Where they are in 2019, and why
The Seattle Mariners began the season going 13-2 but since have gone 10-25. They have scored in double figures eight times with four of those during the 13-2 start while giving up double digits of scoring 11 times.
The losing started happening on April 12 when they lost three straight to the Houston Astros and then three more to the Cleveland Indians at home. The Mariners went on the road beating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the first three games before losing the final game of the series then losing two to the San Diego Padres. So outside the Angels, they have won only seven games and two of those are against the Oakland A’s, who they are undefeated against in four games so far on the season.
The Mariners had three saves in the series against the Angels in Anaheim and have had only one more save since. The last save was on May 14 when the Mariners beat the Oakland A’s in the second game of a two-game set, 4-3. Roenis Elias had three of the four saves while Anthony Swarzak had the other one. Swarzak was traded to the Atlanta Braves on Monday, May 20.
The two areas of weakness the Mariners have had during the 10-25 slide has primarily been with the bullpen along with defense. The Mariners lead the major leagues with 54 errors on the season. Tim Beckham leads the Mariners with 12 errors with eleven of them playing at shortstop. Ryon Healy is second on the team in errors with nine. Sort of understandable since he had to take the place of Kyle Seager who was injured near the end of spring training.
Speaking of Seager he is eligible to come off the injured list on May 25. He will improve the defense of the Mariners for sure. Whose spot he will take on the roster right now is up in the air. Healy will either be sent down to Tacoma or make first base and designated hitter more crowded. Besides Healy, they have Edwin Encarnacion, Jay Bruce, and Daniel Vogelbach.
Healy is the Mariners best defensive first baseman though Encarnacion has done a solid job since no one expected him to play much first base when the season started. The news came out that Healy has been placed on the 10-day injured list because of his lower back so this means the Mariners can delay the move of being overcrowded at first base.
The Seattle Mariners have used twenty relievers so far on the season with most not having much success. This will go up soon with the acquisition of Jesse Biddle from the Atlanta Braves for Swarzak. The Mariners have also signed Anthony Bass out of the Cincinnati Reds organization. He had an opt-out clause option with the Reds. At this rate, the Mariners will go through at least 40 if not 50 relievers before the season end.
The Mariners two best relievers have been setup man Brandon Brennan and Roenis Elias who has the most saves for the Mariners with five on the season. Brennan has been a big surprise since the Mariners took him in the Rule 5 draft before the season from the Colorado Rockies. Brennan has appeared in 20 games with a record of 2-2 and an ERA of 2.13. Elias, besides his five saves, has appeared in 19 games with a record of 2-0, and an ERA of 3.04.
Two other pitchers who have had decent times coming out of the bullpen is Connor Sadzeck and Cory Gearrin. Sadzeck has appeared in 15 games with an ERA of 2.41 and Gearrin has been in 22 games with an ERA of 3.93. Gearrin got off to such a rough start that a lot of people, including myself, wanted him gone but he has rebounded to be among the top four relievers the Mariners have.
Another reliever having a good season was lefty specialist Zac Rosscup. He appeared in 19 games with ERA of 3.21. The Mariners designated Rosscup for assignment last week.
Reliever Sam Tuivialala, who has been out since last August, has been on a rehab assignment and is currently with the Tacoma Rainiers and is expected to be back soon too. Also, Gerson Bautista is on a rehab assignment as well. Whether he will be activated on the roster or stay longer in the minors is anyone’s guess right now; however, I expect he will be on the roster at some point on the season.
We do hope with upgrades in the bullpen and on defense, the Mariners will start winning consistently. Since they have done well against sub-par teams, I expect they should do well over the next couple months.