On the surface, the Mariners seem like a team who’s poised to break out of a slump. The guys over at U.S.S. Mariner listed four reasons for optimism, two of which, were based on offensive numbers that were simply too low for the team not to improve.

The Mariners are hitting .228 as a team with runners in scoring position (dead last in the AL) and have a .309 OBP (also dead last in the AL); and Adrian Beltre is hitting a mere .244. On the flip side, the team slugging average is slightly less than the league mean, which means they’re at least putting some of those at bats to good use; and…

Adrian Beltre has a .239 batting average on balls in play despite a line drive percentage of 20.5%. His career BABIP is near .300, and considering how well he’s hitting the baseball, there’s no reason for the ball to continue to find fielders gloves at this rate. Beltre’s skillset makes it likely that his performance will improve as the year goes on.

But then, a team that was built around pitching, hasn’t exactly been lights out, hovering near the cellar in ERA, and batting average against. Eric Bedard, who was supposed to be the key addition to the rotation, has been inconsistent at best, as has been King Felix (although his 3-5 record is more due to lack of run support than anything else).

So what can you expect the Mariners to do now that we’re entering June and they’re 10+ games out of first place? Well, for the purposes of this exercise, you’d say they need hitting. Especially when you have a Miguel Cairo over Richie Sexon mini-controversy going on (oh and not to mention, the release of Brad Wilkerson after only one month of services).

Barry Bonds’ name was floated around as a possibility before the season began; but given the recent legal proceedings against the slugger, it’s a long shot. There are rumors the M’s are looking at Scott Hatteberg and of course, there was that idea about one Ken Griffey Jr. returning to Seattle next season (which could be hastened if the M’s decide to shake things up mid-season).

Other than that, if they don’t make things interesting by the trading deadline, then I guess the Mariners need to think about rebuilding (or at least, purging bloated contracts… then again, they go and sign Johjima to a 3-year, $16 million deal).

– What They Need Index –

6 Responses to “What They Need – Seattle Mariners: Some offense, please…”

  1. eh, I’m not worried yet. they’re one groin pull away from being back in the basement. I do appreciate the hustle though,fellas, really. and you are welcome to start basebrawls whenever the hell you feel like it.

  2. Not worried yet? Oh, you will be. Maybe not this year (though I think around a .500 finish is definitely possible), but next year Kaz, Shields and Price could quite possibly become the top threesome in the league. Combine that with the rest of their pitching talent that is developing and with the offense they have, and you’ve potentially got a pretty nice looking team.

  3. Also, whose groin is getting pulled? Because the Rays already have their ace pitcher down with an arm injury, their starting DH is out with an injury, their primary set up man is out with an injury, their starting 3B out with an injury (though I do love that Longo is now up instead), and their number three pitcher was out with an injury for two weeks just a bit ago. And yet, they’re in first place. Make of that what you will.

  4. alright, way to rub my face in it. didn’t realize someone was such a rays fan. jeeeez let’s remind ourselves that it’s still a) ONLY APRIL and b) everyone in the division is separated by a 1 1/2 games at MOST.

    Evan Longoria can kiss Jacoby Ellsbury’s ass. I’m still not worried.

  5. Nick Kapur says:

    Yeah, the Mariners definitely need more offense, but as you say, the offense is likely to improve. But another thing the Mariners REALLY need is defense. The pitching staff has actually pitched better than its numbers, but last time I checked the Mariners were 29th out of 30 teams in defensive efficiency, which is just brutal. And it’s amazing that they can be that low, given that they have defensive whizes Ichiro and Beltre on their team, but that tells you just how terrible guys like Ibanez, Lopez, Bentancourt, and Sexson are with the glove.

  6. Nick Kapur says:

    But even saying that, the pitchers have been pretty bad! I didn’t even know this, but it turns out that Seattle’s starting pitchers are last in the entire American League with a 5.17 ERA!

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