Seattle Is Poised For 2015 Dominance: But Off To A Slow Start
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But more importantly Seattle had themselves a great offseason. Yes.. you read that right. I am endorsing Jack Z. for a job well done, even though he saw fit to sign Endy Chavez and Franklin Gutierrez for yet one more year. But since the club is full with depth, I am hoping the guys wont be counted on.
Last year the club had to start the year without Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker for the majority of the 1st half, and while Paxton has still been bothered my a flexor strain early in the year, his arsenal speaks to the of an ace.
The club brought in the reigning AL HR champ Nelson Cruz. While he may not hit 40+ HRs for the Mariners, I think his usual 25 HRs would be a realistic achievement. Cruz is also familiar with the AL West, with spending all of those years in Arlington, Texas,
Under the radar, were the moves to pick up Justin Ruggiano and Seth Smith. Both are prolific hitters against their opposite hand pitchers. If you have these guys as a platoon, than this could workout nicely.
Of course Smith could also pick up some reps at 1B should Logan Morrison see some time on the shelf, like he has done so much.
The flexibility is a lot better, with Cruz potentially taking some innings in the OF as well.
While I would never count on Jesus Montero for anything, at least he showed up in shape this year, and by all accounts he looks decent in camp so far. He could add depth at 1B or DH as well. The man did have a .839 OPS last year in Tacoma, even though he was pushing 250 LBS. He does start the year in Tacoma, but with Morrison’s injury history, his number may be called quick.
The club has a solid Bullpen, anchored by another year of Fernando Rodney manning the position. Tom Wilhelmsen, Yoervis Medina, Danny Farquhar and Charlie Furbush return again, and all they lost were Brandon Maurer and Joe Beimel (the latter brought back on a Minor League deal.)
The Mariners were 1 win away from a playoff spot in 2014, even after they struggled with their offense all of last year. When you add the Rotation and the Relief Core together, the Pitching Staff is the best in the American league this year.
With Texas losing Yu Darvish for the season, the Mariners will not have to face many aces within the Division.
There is no doubt the Angels will still be a strong adversary in the Division. But they are without Howie Kendrick, Josh Hamilton, and they will start the year minus Tyler Skaggs. Garrett Richards is also coming back from injury, and should take some time to round into form.
I would say the M’s and the Angels will both make the playoffs this year but I am picking the PAC NW club to take the division.
The lineup is nicely balanced more than it has since the franchise has Edgar Martinez in the last years of his service, with a productive Bret Boone, Ichiro Suzuki, Mike Cameron and Jay Buhner at the early stages of the millennium.
The Seattle squad started 9 – 14 in 2014, before finishing 78 – 61 to end the campaign. This year the results are looking the same. The good news is the Houston Astros are on top the Division, and they are just a few games back,
Good news is that the Halo’s have jumped out of the gate slow too. The Rangers and A’s are also under .500 to begin the year. It is only a matter of time for this club to kick. When they do, it will have a lot of writers and reporters fist bumping and chest pounding.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
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Posted on April 25, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged austin jackson, brad miller, brandon maurer, bret boone, chris taylor, chris young, danny farquhar, Dustin Ackley, edgar martinez, endy chavez, felix hernandez, fernando rodney, franklin gutierrez, hisashi iwakuma, houston astros, ichiro suzuki, j.a. happ, james paxton, jay buhner, jesus montero, Jesus Sucre, joe beimel, justin ruggiano, kyle seager, Lloyd McClendon, logan morrison, los angeles angels, mike cameron, mike zunino, nelson cruz, oakland athletics, robinson cano, seattle mariners, seth smith, texas rangers, tom wilhelmsen, yoervis medina. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.