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By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent): Follow @NRoss56
It has been over ten years since the Seattle Mariners found themselves as participants in the American League playoffs. Over the course of that time, the M’s have had their ups and downs (quite obviously more downs), and they have come close to getting back to the post-season on several occasions. However, the last three years have been frustrating for Mariners’ fans as the team has ended each season in last place in the AL West. Along with the post-season drought, the Mariners have made some poor contractual decisions. This seasons payroll will not be exceptionally high, but Seattle is far from a small market team. One of the benefits of this season is that the Mariners are not flooded with a lot of long term, massive contracts. The future for the Mariners can be bright, but they need to find some talented offensive pieces and a couple of arms to back their superstar ace, Felix Hernandez.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the big deals that make up the top end of the Mariners payroll in 2013. I think most Mariners fans will ultimately be pretty disappointed in which player is following up King Felix on the payroll for the upcoming season.
Mariners 21 Rangers 8 on May.30/2012 Highlights:
Tuesday October 30th, 2012
Sam Evans: The 2012 Major League Baseball season featured more no-hitters than any season since 1991. Of the seven no-hitters thrown in 2012, only one of them involved more than one pitcher. While pitching has regained its presence since the Steroid-Era has started to dissapear, the amount of no-hitters and perfect games in Major League Baseball has certainly taken off. Here’s a look back at the seven games in 2012 where one team was held hitless:
April 21st, Philip Humber, White Sox Vs. Mariners: Philip Humber finished the 2011 season with a 3.58 FIP in twenty-eight starts. In 2012, Humber pitched in twenty-six games, sixteen starts, and posted a 6.44 ERA. However, on one day in April, everything clicked for Humber as he struck out nine and finished with a perfect game. Putting aside a debatable strike call with a full count against Brendan Ryan in the bottom of the ninth, Humber truly was perfect. His slider and changeup both were tremendous pitches in this one outing and against a weak Mariners offense, Humber was able to dominate the game. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday May 29th, 2012
Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): There is bad news in Seattle and that is Brandon League has been taken out of his ninth inning role for the Mariners. League who has been struggling to get the job done lately, hasn’t lost his closer’s role permanently. He just needs to work on his command for the time being in non-save situations. League has blown 4 saves in 13 chances this season and the Mariners want to work with him to see if they can change that. The same thing happened last season with League, when he was taken out of the closer role to work on mechanics. He ended up finishing the year with 37 saves. For a closer that is what you call a successful season.
The Mariners aren’t naming another closer because as manager Eric Wedge put it: “Brandon is our closer. We’ll match up with what we think works”. The Mariners only have 7 guys in the bullpen and they could end using up to 6 of them, depending on the situation, in the ninth inning. Using the closer by committee could help the Mariners while League works on command, or it could end up putting them in a worse hole to dig out of in the West. We will just have to see how long it takes League to get back to his game saving ways.
The Mariners are doing everything they can to get League’s command back, as he threw an extended bullpen yesterday. With this being said, League should be back in the closer’s role in a couple of weeks. He is doing everything he can to regain his command and that is all Wedge is asking of him. “The same thing happened last year”, Wedge said. This is nothing new for League- so it should be a quick fix.
The candidates for the job in League’s absence are Tom Wilhelmsen, Charlie Furbush and Lucas Luetge. Wilhelmsen is going to see the most attempts. This should be a great few weeks for him to get a chance to show what he’s got in the ninth and maybe become trade bait come July. Good luck to Brandon League on regaining his form. The Mariners are counting on League to become once again a valuable trading chip at the deadline, with League looking to cash in during the free agency the coming offseason. We hope to see League back in the ninth inning soon.
Ryan Ritchey is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports. I am a high school senior, play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter (@Ryan13Ritchey)
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