The Seattle Mariners’ first quarter has definitely had its ups and downs. As of today’s writing, they sit tied with the Oakland A’s for last place in the American League West. This is pretty surprising given the excitement and energy coming into this season. Although their record is not what they were hoping for at this point, it doesn’t tell the whole story. The Mariners season has just begun.
The M’s have had quite a few pleasant surprises so far this season. Julio Rodriguez has definitely found himself, raising his year average to a crisp .268 while also tied for the lead in MLB with 12 stolen bases. Ty France has picked up right where he left off last year, holding a .325 average, while also having knocked in 28 runs. Logan Gilbert has continued his stellar start, with a 4-2 record and a 2.60 ERA.
While these three definitely stand out as positives in the frustrating first couple months of the season, there is real reason for concern with other aspects of the team. The M’s have the most shutouts against in baseball, having six so far. The roster has been exposed as being thin, with injuries to Tom Murphy and Mitch Haniger leaving them short-handed.
In the time those two have been out, Jarred Kelenic has been sent down to AAA due to his struggles at the plate. These series of moves leaves the M’s with the revolving door of Mike Ford, Steven Souza Jr., Dylan Moore, and Luis Torrens/Cal Raleigh to make up for their absence. This has not been too successful, as the lower end of the lineup has not been able to pull their weight.
While there definitely is cause for concern in this young season, there is not reason to panic. The Mariners have reinforcements coming, with Haniger and Murphy expected to be back soon. The 2020 Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis is expected to finish his rehab assignment on Monday, and should join the club shortly after. When Jarred Kelenic can figure out his approach at the plate, he will be warmly welcomed back to the lineup.
Robbie Ray also has not shown his 2021 Cy Young award winner numbers, as he currently sports a 4.77 ERA with a 4-4 record. When he figures out how to return to his former self, the Mariners can get back into contention.
This time last year, the M’s had a 21-24 record, and now they’re at 17-25. While certainly worse, it’s not terribly different. The Seattle Mariners can string together series wins and can definitely come back from this disappointing start to the season.