Since starting out red-hot at 13-2, the Mariners have gone 10-30 and the pain just keeps on coming. And it may only get worse from here.
From first to last in the blink of an eye, the feeling of disappointment and letdown is all too familiar as a Mariners fan. Spiralling downward at an exponential rate, a rich history of devastating meltdowns just grew larger, capped off by a 7-1 loss to Oakland to bookend an 0-6 road trip.
While there is a significant talent gap between the Mariners and the higher echelon of teams in the league, there’s an even larger divide within their 25-man roster. You’ll be hard pressed to find a game in which Seattle dominated each and every facet of a game.
Dealing with a fluctuating starting rotation will do that to a team. As the Mariners have seen Wade LeBlanc and Félix Hernández both land on the Injured List this year, they needed the likes of Marco Gonzales and Mike Leake to step up in order to sustain success. They haven’t gotten that thus far, and that doesn’t seem to be due for a change anytime in the near future.
And while there has been success galore for Seattle’s hitters this year, including a breakout season from Daniel Vogelbach, players like Mitch Haniger and Domingo Santana have significantly regressed and it’s made a large, negative impact on the offense. The youth infusion of Shed Long and J.P. Crawford has made the offense a bit more bearable to watch through their struggles, but being forced to witness Jay Bruce and Mallex Smith get at-bats on a nightly basis has been a chore at best.
The Mariners aren’t a complete talentless void, but the bad outweighs the good by a large margin. They have a group of players that give them a chance on paper most nights, but the lack of depth at several key positions truly becomes apparent once they take the diamond.
On the rare nights Seattle has received a commendable outing from one of their starters or their pitching staff as a whole, they’ve failed to produce at the plate and vice-versa. It’s an endless cycle of mediocre baseball that makes this team destined to fail at an astronomical level.
It’s time for the Mariners to accept their own futility and fully commit to the youth of this ballclub. Recently, Colby offered a few ideas as to how they could accomplish just that. That was the expected purpose of this season before it all began, so it’s no surprise as to why they’re in the position they now find themselves in. It’s just how they got here that’s maddening.