M’s Q-3 report: Standings, Trends, Offense

“When the unexpected becomes the expected, strange becomes familiar.” — Jason A. Churchill | May 20, 2016 At the halfway point of the 2016 season, the rotation of the Seattle Mariners was in disarray and their bullpen ineffective. It looked as if the Seattle’s season was quickly slipping away, especially after going 10-18 during the month of June. Then, the calendar turned to July and the Mariners slowly regained their footing and crawled back into the contention with just over 40 games remaining. So, how did the Mariners reverse course?…

CLICK

What happened to Ketel Marte?

In early May, Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto made his feelings clear regarding his starting shortstop when told “Danny, Dave and Moore” of 710 ESPN Seattle “I’ve said from the day I got here, maybe the most surprising player of those that I was fortunate enough to inherit is Ketel Marte.” Dipoto had good reasons for heaping praise on Marte. After a sluggish start to the season, the 22-year-old had a .303 batting average and .328 on-base percentage (OBP) on May 10, plus his defense had significantly improved. It…

CLICK

Building a roster for Safeco

From the moment Jerry Dipoto became general manager of the Seattle Mariners, he’s emphasized the need to build a roster capable of taking advantage of the expansive Safeco Field dimensions. As I see it, the 48-year-old executive envisions a foundation of athletic and accomplished players, who are adept at reaching base and wreaking havoc through productive aggressiveness on the bases. Equally important are outfield defenders who can run down balls in Safeco’s spacious outfield. In Dipoto’s world, a run save is as valuable as a run scored. To be honest,…

CLICK

M’s Mid-Season: Standings, Trends, Offense

“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…

CLICK

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 —…

CLICK

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

Age is just a number for the Mariners

As a relatively new baseball writer, I’m constantly trying to expand my knowledge by watching games, reading other writer’s work, and listening to the thoughts of analysts and pundits from outlets such as MLB Network and MLB Radio. I don’t always agree with what I hear or read, but that’s okay. Diverse opinions help broaden perspective. A popular topic that I’ve encountered during my quest for added baseball intelligence is the belief among pundits that the current crop of 25-years-old and younger position players is historically special. Perhaps, you agree.…

CLICK

Run Mariners! Run!

The upcoming three-game series between the Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Mariners gave me reason to pause for a moment and consider the trajectory of both ball clubs since the end of the 2014 season. Seattle finished with just two fewer wins than the Royals, who went on to win the American League (AL) Championship before losing the World Series to the San Francisco Giants. After doing unexpectedly well in 2014, the Mariners and Royals entered last season with many pundits projecting a deep postseason run for both clubs.…

CLICK