The Mariners started the season as the surprise of baseball. A 13-2 start all while shattering home run records and pummelling their opponents.
Soon thereafter the baseball gods began to strike back and have sent the Mariners into a spiral and straight into the team that they were expected to be.
The fast start gave fans hope, but the cruel remind of the “step-back” season came quickly. While things have been dreadful to say the least over the first few months of the season, there are still good things coming out of T-Mobile Park.
Here are three quick “Good Things” going on with the Mariners right now.
1. The Catching Situation
When the Mariners traded Alex Colome for Omar Narvaez the reaction was mixed. Narvaez had shown offensive potential with the Chicago White Sox, but the defense was lacking. While the defense is still a work in progress, Narvaez has been a solid contributor at the plate and is developing into arguably one of the better offensive catchers in the American League.
No one should be surprised if Narvaez is an All-Star this season. Besides Narvaez the Mariners made an early season trade with the San Francisco Giants to acquire Tom Murphy to be the backup catcher. Murphy, once a promising prospect with the Colorado Rockies, has been a tremendous find for the Mariners.
An .857 OPS from your BACKUP catcher is nothing short of outstanding; plus Murphy has at least been solid defensively behind the plate. The Mariners might (key word is might) have the best catching tandem in the American League and arguably the top duo the club has ever had. This duo should be something that fans are excited about as both players could be (could because we all know Trader Jerry will trade anyone) Mariners for a significant amount of time.
I’ll admit it, prior to the season started I was not a huge supporter of Daniel Vogelbach (admitting that might get me shunned from contributing to this site). I didn’t see how he fit on the roster and wasn’t sure he could provide enough value with his bat to offset his defensive limitations (obviously this was before the entire organization decided to punt defense for the 2019 season).
As the season has gone on Vogelbach has become a steady contributor and is one of the few bright spots of the team up to this point. His prodigious power has fans clamoring for an appearance in the Home Run Derby (which might be easy for him since he could be an All-Star himself). Vogelbach has endeared himself to the fan base while showing that he could be a future middle of the order bat.
This is definitely a positive development as Vogelbach will be cost controlled for a few more years and if he keeps this production up he will far exceed his contract value which will allow the Mariners to spend money elsewhere.
3. Draft Position for 2020
When the talk of a “step-back” season first started it was frustrating to hear that the team wanted to be competitive as possible. If you’re going to step back, then step all the way back, be happy with being bad at the major league level and get as high of a draft position as possible.
Early on in the season when the Mariners were playing well it looked like their pick in 2020 would be in the mid teens, but now the team is hovering around a top five pick and will almost assuredly finish the season with a top 10 pick in 2020.
This is definitely a good thing as the team needs to continue to stockpile as many assets as possible and the higher the draft pick the better.