The Mariners are the hottest team in Spring Training. Franklin Gutierrez hit yet another homerun in yesterday’s contest against the Dodgers, and added a two-run double for good measure. Many other Mariners are having hot springs (bad pun) too. There are a few poorer showings that could be vital in creating this year’s roster.
Despite top prospect Mike Zunino hit his first spring training homerun, Zunino has produced little to talk about. Barring a complete and utter hot-streak, he is destined to start the year in Tacoma.
Despite all of the positive vibes surrounding the M’s, 4 of the 6 Mariners who have 15 or more at-bats are batting .200 or lower. Those players are Casper Wells, Nick Franklin, Alex Liddi and Brad Miller. Casper Wells and Alex Liddi are competing for spots at the Big Club, but their poor showings so far in Spring have likely hurt their chances to get ample Major League at-bats. Nick Franklin and Brad Miller, the M’s two top shortstop prospects, are definitely not going to make the Big Club out of the gate. That was expected though, so it’s don’t get too disappointed about their poor play.
Some of the best Mariners so far are Justin Smoak, Franklin Gutierrez, and Carlos Peguero. Smoak has hit two homers and has more hits than outs. Gutierrez has three homeruns already in only 11 at-bats. Peguero is batting .429 with three homers in only 14 at-bats. The Big Peg* is making a case for a big-league spot that is more than just 6th or 7th outfielder/Tacoma guy. If he keeps hitting like this, he could be the 4th outfielder in Seattle.
As a team, the Mariners have more homeruns than the Angles, Red Sox, Brewers and Dodgers combined. That means the M’s have 20 homeruns, which is a damn high number. Some ominous stats would be the M’s 29th-lowest walk total, their 4th-highest strikeout total, and their next-to-last stolen base total.
After seeing those nightmare stats, I’m a little less impressed by the M’s eight consecutive wins. Don’t let your enthusiasm be tampered by a few bad stats. I’m not. Hopefully the homerun parade can continue while the M’s steal some bases and get some free passes.
Tremendous Springs have rarely translated into winning seasons for the M’s. In fact, of the M’s ten winning Springs, only three of them have translated into winning seasons. However, it’s still awesome to win games. Winning games is by far more exciting than losing them in Spring (duh), and it makes me more excited for the regular season.
Anyway, GO Mariners! Win games!
*Yes I did just make up that awesome nickname for Peguero.