Our team previews start in the northwest of the US where the weather says baseball is still months away, but I believe the calendar. The Seattle Mariners represent a bit of what I love about baseball. Perpetual hope. They might not be the best now, but they have plenty of young talent that make the future look brighter.
Let’s do a run down of the Mariners.
Major Off-Season Moves:
Now on to who is going to take the field this year.
Likely Starting Lineup:
There is a lot of potential in the Mariner’s new lineup. They have young players that should take a step forward in Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager, and Jesus Montero. They also have some quasi-reclamation projects in Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse. Both have showed the ability to rake and to provide much needed power to this lineup. Morales never really fit back into the Angel’s lineup after he came back from the dumbest injury ever. And Morse also struggled with injuries last year. They have some veteran hitters to come off the bench and spell the outfielders – Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay. Ibanez showed up last year and gave an all-time playoff performance, wile Bay has been toiling in Citi Field for the past few seasons. Their top pick last year, Mike Zunino, will eventually provide the player they need at cather to allow Jesus Montero to move to full-time DH. He is not a good catcher.
Likely Starting Rotation:
This rotation is noticeably lopsided. At the top, you have a top 5 pitcher in baseball. The rest…well, I can say there is plenty of pitching talent int he minors. Dannny Hultzen should be ready to contribute this year depending on how the currently slated starters perform. Taijuan Walker is also a rising star, but probably won’t give the Mariner’s much this year. Tom Wilhelmsen fell into the closer’s role last year when Brandon League imploded and should hold on to the spot this year.
Taylor’s 2013 Mariners Predicted Record:
72-90, 4th place in AL West
The Mariners have a ton of room to grow, but it remains to be seen if they will. They were building up a solid foundation and then made some moves that make it seem like they want to compete this year. More likely they wanted to get butts in the seats. I can attest to the lack of excitement in SafeCo last year. Unfortunately, I think the most Mariner’s fans have to look forward to this year is more home run and the hope that a stocked minor league brings.