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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M’s Projected 25-man Roster: Edition 2

One can make the argument there are more questions surrounding the Seattle Mariners’ 25-man roster four weeks into Cactus League play than when camp opened six weeks ago. We still don’t know for sure whether or not the club will carry a right-handed first-base platoon. Gaby Sanchez was released, Ed Lucas appeared to never have much of a chance and sources told Prospect Insider Saturday that the club had made a move with Jesus Montero. Montero, who is out of options, reportedly had cleaned out his locker at Peoria Sports…

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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…

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What to make of the Mariners’ spring thus far

We’re about halfway through the Cactus League schedule. The regular season begins in less than three weeks. The Seattle Mariners just got their ace, Felix Hernandez, his first official work in a spring game. The club’s position “battles” are well under way. Except position battles aren’t a real thing and spring results mean absolutely zero. Not kidding, spring training roster “battles” are not real, because the best “performer” isn’t the one that will necessarily win the job. In actuality they’re position “decisions” by the team and the results, as seen…

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Is Romero a dark horse for a roster spot?

In terms of positional flexibility and athleticism, this year’s iteration of the Seattle Mariners is much different than in previous years. Those are clearly traits that general manager Jerry Dipoto values and were apparent in the talent he accumulated throughout the winter. Among the offseason acquisitions was a new first baseman who perhaps, through no real fault of his own, stands out from the rest. Adam Lind‘s lack of positional flexibility — his outfield career ended in 2010 and shouldn’t be revisited — and large platoon split shouldn’t be held…

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Preview Capsules: Infielders

Robinson Cano, 2B 2015: 156 G, .287/.334/.446, .316 BABIP, .335 wOBA, .116 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR Cano was awful last year through the first full week of June, then he started hitting rockets right at people. Finally, the second half of June, Cano started looking like Cano and he went all pre-Seattle Cano on the league, batting .331/.387/.540 with 15 home runs in 70 games after the All-Star break. The abdominal injuries, plural, and double hernia didn’t show prejudice, though, robbing Cano of a step on the bases and in the…

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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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Are M’s better off without Trumbo?

Despite the fact many quality free agents are still available, the collection of players scheduled to arrive in Peoria, Arizona in a matter of days will be relatively unchanged. Unless of course, general manager Jerry Dipoto has another trick up his sleeve, but it seems unlikely most clubs focused on arbitration cases at the moment. As it stands, the club will begin the year with at least one fresh face at first base. Gone is Logan Morrison, the Opening Day first baseman from a year ago. Also departed is Mark Trumbo, the…

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