Dipoto and the draft

One of the biggest complaints that Seattle Mariners fans had with the Jack Zduriencik era — other than the multiple losing seasons — was the inability of the organization to produce top-notch prospects despite owning a top-three selection in three of the first four Major League Baseball (MLB) amateur drafts of Zduriencik’s tenure. Whether draftees Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino, Brad Miller, Danny Hultzen, Nick Franklin, and Chris Taylor and acquired prospects Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero were bad choices or improperly developed is a debate that still rages on in Seattle. In the…

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Preview Capsules: Bullpen

Steve Cishek, RHP: 4FB, SNK, SL, CH 2015: 59 G, 55.1 IP, 7.81 K/9, 4.39 BB/9, 46.1% GB, .313 BABIP, 3.86 FIP, 0.0 fWAR Cishek was dominant two straight years as the Miami Marlins closer 2013-14, missing bats and limiting bases on balls to let his stuff take over high-leverage innings. None of the above occurred in 2015, with the 29-year-old taking a step back in performance, but perhaps most importantly all the areas that led to those two top-flight seasons. The velocity was down a full tick from 91.7…

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The Mariners and reliever volatility

At some stage of their baseball career, a relief pitcher was no longer viewed as starting pitcher material by an organization. Perhaps, they couldn’t consistently repeat their delivery, didn’t possess a viable third pitch, or had physical limitations due to their injury history. These “flaws” can make it challenging to forecast the performance of many relievers, especially during stressful game situations. That’s why baseball analysts frequently use the term “volatility” when describing the inconsistent nature of relief pitching. “Volatile” is certainly an appropriate way to describe Seattle Mariners relievers during…

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Projected Lineup, Rotation 2018

As part of Prospect Insider’s prospect coverage of the Seattle Mariners, I’ve always projected a future lineup and starting rotation. It’s fun to take a 3-year snapshot glance at what the team might look like, based on what the club has now and what’s on its way. Free agency and trades are not considered and undoubtedly will impact the eventual roster in 2018, but here we go: Seattle Mariners Projected 2018 Lineup POS PLAYER 1B D.J. Peterson 2B Robinson Cano 3B Kyle Seager SS Chris Taylor C Mike Zunino OF…

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Prediction: Mariners will need more than five starters in 2015

With starting pitcher Roenis Elias being optioned to Class-AAA Tacoma today, Taijuan Walker appears to have a clear path to the fifth spot in the Mariners’ starting rotation. Considering that the 22-year-old Walker hasn’t surrendered a run and looked spectacular in 18 Cactus League innings, today’s announcement wasn’t a great surprise to most observers. Some Mariners fans, however, would prefer that Elias join Walker in the rotation with veteran J.A. Happ being bumped to the bullpen. That scenario isn’t likely since manage Lloyd McClendon is on record stating that the…

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Prospect Rankings: 11-15

The Seattle Mariners’ farm system has taken a hit the last couple of years with the graduations of the likes of Mike Zunino, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, Brad Miller and Chris Taylor, among others. Still, the organization boasts a solid collection of talent, despite the lack of pitching in the high minors. The club has taken advantage of the strengths in the draft classes the past three years, adding right-handed hitting outfielders with power and more depth in the middle-infield. Seattle also has done fairly well internationally, even with the…

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Temper big league expectations for Hultzen in 2015

It seems like a lot more than three-plus years ago that the Seattle Mariners made University of Virginia standout Danny Hultzen the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. Hultzen appeared to be on a fast track to the majors after tearing through Double-A for the first half of 2012 but struggled with his command after making the jump to Triple-A. The left-hander started 2013 strong in four Triple-A starts, but was shut down in late April after experiencing shoulder discomfort. He would reappear again in late June to…

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ICYMI: January 7 — February 10

Pitchers and catchers are now just days away from reporting to Spring Training complexes, signalling the nearing of Opening Day. As of Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners are just 55 days away from opening the season against the Los Angeles Angels on April 6 at Safeco Field. Now that James Shields has signed on with the much-improved San Diego Padres, the Hot Stove season is all but finished. Once we reach the mid-point of March and teams have began to make roster decisions things will heat up slightly with several out-of-options…

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