I was going to write this post yesterday, but my internet completely decided to take a shit on itself, and I was unable to do so.
Anyway, long story short, my internet is so bad that I was unable to write a post yesterday.
Since the last time I posted, a week ago, the Mariners have decided to lose like a bazillion games. Three to be exact.
Even though they’ve lost a bazillion games (three), the M’s are still proving that they are going to be an exciting team to watch this year.
They’ve already hit 30 homers this Spring, which is two more than last year. We still have 17 games (more than half of ‘em) to go in Spring, which is very bueno.
The pitching staff appears to be shaping up. Hector Noesi sucks eggs. He will fo’ sho’ be starting (and hopefully ending) the year in Triple A. Maybe the M’s can trade him for nothing in return, because *nothing* (everything) is better than Noesi. That last sentence is confusing.
Erasmo Ramirez is making a strong case for a rotation spot. In six innings he’s allowed zero earned runs and has struck out five.
Blake Beavan is doing the exact opposite, essentially by sucking. He’s allowed three homers in eight innings pitched.
Jon Garland, like Ramirez, is having a good enough Spring showing to make an argument for a starting spot, even though his strikeout rate is a HUGE concern.
Jeremy Bonderman, like Beavan, isn’t doing so hot. He has six earned runs in six innings pitched to go with two homeruns allowed and only three strikeouts.
If I had to predict the Mariners starting rotation right now, it would go something like this:
- Felix Hernandez, Amazing Number 1
- Hisashi Iwakuma, Slightly Below Average to Average Number 2
- Joe Saunders, Slightly Below Average to Average Number 3
- Erasmo Ramirez, Potentially Good Number 4
- Blake Beavan, Slightly Below Average to Below Average Number 5
Based on that expert analysis, the Mariners starting rotation looks like they could be, well, average. That’s pretty good in my opinion considering the situation in which the M’s entered the offseason.
If I could choose the starting rotation, everything would be the same except I’d replace Blake Beavan with Jon Garland, because Blake Beavan is really bad at baseball.
The outfield logjam is still very much up in the air. Casper Wells is on-and-off, and is only batting .259. He does have two homeruns and a triple and is slugging .667. Mike Morse is doing pretty much the same as Wells, batting .304 with a comparable slugging percentage in four fewer at-bats.
And the outfield situation is being even further complicated by sudden and unexpected emergence of Carlos Peguero, who is batting .385 with three homeruns.
Wouldn’t that be cool if Carlos Peguero swept in and stole the final outfield spot out from underneath Mike Morse’s nose?
Meanwhile, Jason Bay is doing pretty well, batting .400 in 15 at-bats. Presently, there is no reasonable way to predict the Mariners opening day starting outfield. Other than Gutierrez in center and Saunders in right, the last outfield slot is completely unpredictable right now.
The prospects are doing, well, prospect-esque. Nick Franklin is playing pretty poorly, and definitely will not start the year off with the Big Club. Brad Miller is doing a bit better than Franklin, but not good enough to steal the starting shortstop spot in Seattle from Brendan Ryan. Mike Zunino is batting only .222 in 18 at-bats. He’ll have a one way ticket to Tacoma.
Meanwhile, the Big Four are pitching nicely. The three of them not named James Paxton have actually looked quite capable on mound . Danny Hultzen has done well to the tune of zero earned runs in three innings of work. His current K/9 rate is 18.00. Taijuan Walker is doing ok-ish, he has an ERA of 5.40. James Paxton is not doing so hot–he has an ERA of 14.73. That happens to be the same ERA as Hector Noesi’s. Brandon Maurer, the final member of the Fantastic Four, has only one earned run in six innings of work.
Sadly (for me, anyway), Kelly Shoppach is outperforming Ronny Paulino. I have a strong preference for Paulino being Jesus Montero’s backup this season, but that seems less and less likely as this Spring wears on.
In conclusion, many balls are bouncing the right way for the Mariners organization this Spring. If players continue on their current Spring trajectories, the M’s roster could end up looking pretty damn good. But, a lot of things can change in the remaining three weeks of Spring. Stay tuned.