MLB The Show 20 is here to fulfill our baseball needs during this time of uncertainty.
In all likelihood, Major League Baseball is not going to get all 162 originally scheduled games in this season, whenever it may start. So, today, we’re going to see what a full season may have looked like for the Seattle Mariners had things all gone according to plan, thanks to Sony Interactive Entertainment’s MLB The Show 20.
We took to the game’s Franchise mode for our simulation and began by setting our 26-man roster. For some reason, Kendall Graveman cannot be found in this game, so he’s unfortunately been excluded from this simulation, and his place in our rotation will be taken by Justin Dunn. Jake Fraley is also not present on the current official rosters from the MLB The Show team, so he will not be included in this simulation.
We’re also going to pretend Mitch Haniger is healthy and have him make his 2020 debut on Opening Day, as well. Here’s how the overall roster shakes out:
Starting pitchers: Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, Justus Sheffield, Taijuan Walker, Justin Dunn
Relievers: Taylor Guilbeau, Yohan Ramirez, Erik Swanson, Brandon Brennan, Gerson Bautista, Sam Tuivailala, Yoshihisa Hirano, Carl Edwards Jr.
Catchers: Tom Murphy, Austin Nola
Infielders: Evan White, Daniel Vogelbach, Shed Long, Dee Gordon, Dylan Moore, Kyle Seager, J.P. Crawford
Outfielders: Mitch Haniger, Mallex Smith, Kyle Lewis, Tim Lopes
Some general notes for this simulation: We will not be seeking out trades until July or making free agent offers. We can accept trade offers from other teams. Generally, most roster moves will just be sending players up and down through the system.
MARCH & APRIL
The Mariners go 11-22 with series wins over the Royals (April 2-5) and Twins (April 21-23). Marco Gonzales got off to a brilliant start to his season with a 4-1 record and a league-leading 1.06 ERA, backed by two complete game shutouts. Yet, he’s somehow tied for 20th in the American League for pitching WAR at 0.8. Go figure.
Dylan Moore and Dee Gordon lead the team in hitting with batting averages of .347 and .325, respectively. Not a whole lot of power yet, however, as Kyle Seager’s five dingers tops the team leaderboard with Daniel Vogelbach and Mitch Haniger right behind him at four. Evan White’s off to a really rough start, slashing .243/.282/.297, but we’re gonna stick by him for the first week of May and see if things improve.
We have our first trade, as the Yankees offered us pitcher Jordan Montgomery for Patrick Wisdom. Uh, yeah, we’ll take that, thanks. He enters our starting rotation as Marco Gonzales lands on the IL with a hand contusion. Yikes.
We’ve also sent down both Evan White and Justin Dunn, who have greatly struggled up to this point, and have called up Nick Margevicius and Jose Marmolejos in their place. Austin Nola is also going to be the starting catcher for the foreseeable future, as Tom Murphy has hit a brick wall, slashing .207/.241/.304.
Gonzales returned to the rotation by mid-May, which led to the demotion of Margevicius. In his return, Gonzales kept the ERA low and went 2-1 on the month, but the Mariners only won four other games without him and their record goes to an abysmal 17-43. Time for some changes.
To start the month of June, we’re sending down Justus Sheffield (7.00 ERA), Sam Tuivailala (7.30 ERA), and Gerson Bautista (9.00 ERA) and designating Yohan Ramirez (9.75 ERA) for assignment while calling up Logan Gilbert, Nestor Cortes Jr., Taylor Williams, and Dan Altavilla.
In mid-June, the Nationals and Indians swung a massive deal that sent Trea Turner and Starlin Castro to Cleveland for Francisco Lindor. Damn. As for us, we’ve yet to receive any more trade offers but expect that to change soon.
It was a better month overall for the Mariners, but that isn’t saying much. They go 11-16 to move on to the second-worst record in the league at 28-59.
Gilbert took his lumps in his first month at the MLB level, going 1-3 with a 5.92 ERA. He struckout 26 batters in 24.1 innings pitched. Cortes got slapped around quite a bit, but the remaining call-ups from June 1 have been solid. He’s being sent down for Aaron Fletcher.
Jose Marmolejos is on a tear, slashing .341/.392/.485. We’re sending Shed Long down to figure things out after hitting .160/.250/.240 in limited playing time and calling up Evan White in his place after the first baseman has hit .340 in Triple-A since being sent down in May.
Who cares about the record? We get it, we suck. Let’s talk about the trades, because we made quite a few. Firstly, we traded Carl Edwards Jr. to the Diamondbacks for utility infielder Domingo Leyba. Then, we somehow convinced the Indians to give us Nolan Jones for Dee Gordon. Uh, yeah, we’ll take that all day.
The biggest deal of the month was a trade of Kyle Seager to the Phillies for outfielders Mickey Moniak and Josh Stephen. We were also able to package Yoshihisa Hirano and Sam Tuivailala to the Dodgers for Cristian Santana and Pedro Baez, then flipped Santana in a package with Nick Margevicius and Sam Haggerty to Detroit for Matthew Boyd (this is a weird video game).
As the month comes to an end, we’re getting crazy. With Seager gone, Jones is being called up to share third base duties with Dylan Moore, and Jarred Kelenic is coming with him to be the everyday center fielder. Boyd enters the rotation and Taijuan Walker shifts to the bullpen, while Dan Altavilla gets sent down for Jake Haberer. We’ve also sent Tim Lopes down to make room for Leyba on the 26-man roster.
Alright, onto August.
The struggles continue, despite rattling off 10 wins in the month of August (which is good for us). Logan Gilbert’s sitting on a 5.21 ERA, Jarred Kelenic’s hitting .136, and Nolan Jones is hitting .124. Sigh.
Taijuan Walker has at least adjusted to his new role in the bullpen well, bringing his ERA down from 5.12 to 4.86 on the year. Matthew Boyd is 2-0 in his first few appearances in a Mariners uniform. Jose Marmolejos is still dominating as well, hitting .300 with 9 home runs and 41 RBIs.
We’re 48-90, still a game-and-a-half ahead of the Tigers for the worst record in baseball. The tanking continues.
Fun fact, however: the Mariners lead the league in steals with 123, led by Mallex Smith’s 28.
SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER
We called up a few names for September, but nothing really of note. This is already a s*** show as is and I’m kind of over it. We won eight games and finished the year with 56-106, and guess what—we caught the Tigers and are officially the worst team in baseball and the first overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft is ours!
Unfortunately, I accidentally let it simulate past the regular season and into the postseason, which, for whatever reason, erases all the stats. So I have no idea how everyone finished up. They sucked. End of story.
In the postseason, the American League featured the Yankees, Twins, and Athletics as their division winners with the Indians and Astros making it in as the wild cards. For the National League, it was the Dodgers, Brewers, and Phillies who took their respective divisions and the Braves and Cubs took both wild card spots.
Eventually, the Brewers and Yankees met up in the World Series with New York taking it all in a 4-2 series win. The evil empire wins again. Woo-hoo. A fitting end to a rough simulation.