State of the Mariners: April Conclusion

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Felix looking bewildered at having to leave the game (image courtesy of yahoo sports)

Buck up, my Mariner fans. April’s over, and the Mariners now sit at 12-16, 7 games back from the first place Astros. The naysaying and lamenting from fair weather fans has already begun, chiefly due to the injuries to Felix Hernandez and Mitch Haniger. We’re down 2 starting pitchers from the scheduled 5 man rotation and on top of that we waived our center fielder (though he was kept and is in Tacoma now).

Bad news, right? Not so fast. What just happened is a crazy little thing called the month of April. In baseball, weird things happen before the heat of summer sets in and the veterans settle in for the long haul. Things like Eric Thames leading the league in HRs (he isnt anymore). Things like the Minnesota Twins leading the AL Central when they will most likely finish about 15 games out of the playoffs by the end.

The point is, stranger things have happened. Take a deep breath and let it out. The temperature is rising and a lot of veterans are just getting into the swing of things. There’s 5 whole months of baseball to come, and the Mariners are still in great position to make the playoffs.

This year Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto has constructed a roster of quality depth. Even with the loss of 2 starting pitchers, we have things covered with pitchers who give us a decent chance to win. Would things be easier with the King? Absolutely. But whereas in the past we’d be forced to rely on some under qualified players, we now have major league talent backing them up.

Jean Segura went down with an injury for example, and a star was born. Taylor Motter has been a true revelation and as a result our depth in the infield has never looked better. Leonys Martin was seriously struggling,  so we designated him for assignment. Who’s the backup? Ben Gamel and Boog Powell come up. Tyler O’Neill is available in a pinch as well.

So I look at this roster and I say, dont panic. There’s depth, and there’s serious talent on the roster as well. We may not be the Astros (and I never felt we could beat them out for the division), but we can absolutely make my prediction of wild card slot and end the longest playoff drought in the MLB.

Side Notes:

  • Ex-Mariner closer and part-time explorer of the trees in Coors Field Fernando Rodney is on pace to get 36 saves but with a 12+ ERA as the Diamondbacks lack a better option apparently.
  • TEBOW WATCH – Faith in reality has been restored to my co-workers at SSU, with Tebow’s stat line taking a relatively quick dive off the deep end. He’s now batting just .231 with 2 HRs in 22 games.
  • One of SSU’s favorite players in the Mariners minors system, Jordan Cowen(the first Aquasox player we ever interviewed and genuinely one of the nicest we met) has been lighting up High A Ball in Modesto this season. He’s leading the team with a .342 batting average. He’s even pitched for 2 innings, getting 1 strikeout and gaining a win! Go Jordan!

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