Good defense is catching on with Mariners

With 30 games behind them, the Seattle Mariners sit atop the American League (AL) West division standings with an 18-12 win-loss record. That’s right; the club that’s failed to be relevant for most of the last decade is actually off to a quick start. Every sophisticated baseball fan knows that a good record with less than 20-percent of the season completed means nothing — especially with the Mariners. For those not familiar with Seattle’s plight, the situation has become so frustrating that having a winning record on Mother’s Day is…

CLICK

M’s shortstop situation

The Seattle Mariners find themselves in familiar territory once again. They have not one, but multiple potentially-viable shortstops. This time, both will make the 25-man roster out of spring training. In recent years it was Brad Miller, Chris Taylor and Nick Franklin vying for the regular role at the position. This season, Ketel Marte entered camp the overwhelming favorite to get the everyday job at shortstop. He’s still going to get that nod to start 2016, but Luis Sardinas also is going to make the club, and it’s not just…

CLICK

The Mariners versatility matrix

Prior to his decision to sign a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers, I don’t recall any pundits suggesting former Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond as a good fit for the Rangers. I certainly didn’t expect that he’d end up with a team that already has Elvis Andrus at shortstop and Rougned Odor manning second base. On top of that, the organization has young middle infielders like Jurickson Profar and Hanser Alberto ready to burst onto the scene. The signing of the 30-year-old was a surprise, but how the Rangers…

CLICK

Three Mariners facing uncertainty

New Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has repeatedly discussed adding “layers of depth” to his organization roster since taking over the club’s baseball operations four months ago. Accordingly, he’s added 17 new players to the club’s 40-man roster and extended Spring Training invites to over a dozen non-roster players. Despite Dipoto’s hectic pace, he didn’t throw out the baby out with the bathwater. The 47-year-old retained 23 players from the Jack Zduriencik era for good reason; his best players were already with the team when he became general manager….

CLICK

Mariners need: outfield defense

  In recent years, the Seattle Mariners haven’t placed a high value on defense, especially in the outfield. This becomes particularly clear when you look back at their most recent corner outfield pickups, via the trade and free agent market. Since 2013, the team has used players with limited range like Nelson Cruz, Mark Trumbo, Corey Hart, Raul Ibanez, and Michael Morse to play left and right field. Further proof of the low importance placed on outfield run prevention by the Mariners was their trial and error attempts of putting…

CLICK

Concerns on M’s lack of Triple-A depth

One of the first things mentioned by new Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto upon his hiring was how the club lacked general depth, particularly in the upper minors. Many clubs welcomed impact and contributing rookies to their rosters this past season. But Seattle’s inability to develop talent at the higher minor league levels during Jack Zduriencik’s tenure nearly left the Mariners out of the aptly named ‘year of the rookie’ in 2015. Ketel Marte and Carson Smith were major league contributors as rookies though Seattle didn’t have a Kris…

CLICK

Analysis: M’s deal Miller for SP, RP, CF

Jerry Dipoto didn’t wait very long. The Seattle Mariners announced Thursday evening they have completed a six-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. Incoming are right-hander Nate Karns, lefty C.J. Riefenhauser and outfielder Boog Powell. Heading to Tampa are infielder-outfielder Brad Miller, first baseman Logan Morrison and right-hander Danny Farquhar. The Mariners are getting pitching depth as one half of the deal. Karns, 28 later this month, was solid in 27 appearances for the Rays this past season, 26 as a starter. He posted a 4.06 FIP and showed he…

CLICK

Did Edgar fix Mariners offense?

  I’m not a native of Seattle and I only moved to Washington in early 2009. So, the most vivid highs and lows in the history of the Seattle Mariners aren’t embedded into my psyche like they are for so many Pacific Northwesters. The team’s trade of Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez’s departure via free agency, and the infamous late inning melt downs of Bobby Ayala don’t make my blood boil just like the Mariners’ historic 116-win season isn’t the first thing that I recall about the 2001 baseball season. Perhaps,…

CLICK