M’s Mid-Season Report: Bench, Injuries & Roster

“When the unexpected becomes the expected, strange becomes familiar.” — Jason A. Churchill | May 20, 2016 Forty games into the 2016 season, hopes and expectations were soaring for the Seattle Mariners. Then, unexpectedly, one of the best teams in Major League Baseball (MLB) became one of the worst in the span of just six weeks. The team that could do no wrong suddenly couldn’t catch a break. What exactly caused the Mariners’ downward spiral? Can the team get back on track and compete for a postseason berth? Considering the…

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Post-Draft Top 10 Prospects

Changes are afoot in the Seattle Mariners farm system. The draft immediately impacts each club’s farm system and represents an opportunity for organizations to gain ground on their competitors across Major League Baseball. The Seattle Mariners began 2016 with one of the worst five farm systems in the game. They may fare a bit better today thanks to some performances of Top 25 talents, but the acquisitions in the draft may make the biggest difference. Here are my Top 10 Mariners Prospects including the draft picks. One note: Players currently…

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2012 deadline deals in retrospect

Last June, I wrote a piece reflecting on several non-waiver deadline deals made in July 2011. My rationale for looking back so far was simple. Most of these trades involve prospects who are years away from reaching the majors — assuming they ever do. Since I enjoyed picking away at those old trades last year, I thought I’d do it again and put several 2012 deadline deals under the microscope this time. There weren’t many sexy moves that year, but I chose a few that I found interesting. I hope…

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Dipoto and his layers of depth

It’s early June and the Seattle Mariners are dealing with injuries. Every club faces the same challenge. It’s part of baseball. Sometimes, injuries are short-term. Other times, they have season-changing consequences. So far, the Mariners’ injury losses haven’t changed the course of their season. That’s good news for a club with a realistic shot to remain competitive for the entire season and — possibly — earn their first postseason berth since 2001. This year is different in Seattle. The notion that the Mariners could actually be different in 2016 —…

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M’s Prospect Monthly: O’Neill, Moore, Herb stand out

The Seattle Mariners began the season the owners of one of the thinnest farm systems in baseball. The only depth in the organization resides on the mound and all but one of the upside plays there began the season above Advanced-A ball and three of them didn’t start the year assigned to a full-season affiliate. Player development, the biggest factor in the sinking of the farm system under Jack Zduriencik — a system once ranked among the Top 10, only to fade fast thanks to rush jobs and poor planning…

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Preview Capsules: Outfielders

Leonys Martin, CF 2015: 95 G, .219/.264/.313, .270 BABIP, .254 wOBA, 50 wRC+, 0.5 fWAR Martin is, and always has been, considered by some to be an all-glove, no-bat center fielder, but one doesn’t have to look very far to get solid offensive production from the Mariners new free safety. In 2013-14, Martin combined to bat .268/.320/.373 with a .307 wOBA and 88 wRC+. The latter metric is adjusted for park and league, and Martin ranked in the middle of the pack among MLB center fielders — No. 14 to…

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Mastering the JeDi code

From what I’ve been able to determine, social media bestowed Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto with the nickname of “JeDi” while he was still working for the Los Angeles Angels. I wasn’t aware of this clever nod to the fictional characters in the “Star Wars” movie franchise until I noticed it on Twitter after his Seattle arrival. I have to admit that it did make me chuckle a bit. [pullquote]The lineup needs to be a little bit longer. The rotation needs to be a little bit deeper. The bullpen…

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Churchill: M’s Top 25 Prospects

It’s the 10th annual Prospect Insider Seattle Mariners prospect rankings. A few things you should know before continuing: Ceiling/potential value is only part of the equation. Probability, among other things, also is a significant factor. The player’s likely future role can dictate his value as much as his chances to get to the majors or his upside. While I do not crawl into each organization’s farm systems with a microscope, I did have numerous conversations about where the weakest Mariners system in some time fits in baseball right now. Keith…

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