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Seattle Mariners 2013 Preview

Updated on April 4, 2013
King Felix
King Felix | Source
Raul
Raul | Source

2012 Finish: 75-87 (40-41 at home) 4th in AL West with Manager Eric Wedge (288-360, .444 with M's)

2012 Good: Team .988 FPCT & .708 Defensive Efficiency Rating each led Majors; 1.24 WHIP (2nd in AL), 3.76 Team ERA, & .248 BA Against (both 4th best in AL).

2012 Bad: Team .234 BA, .296 OBP, .369 SLG, & .665 OPS (each last in MLB); 619 Runs, 1285 Hits, & 241 doubles (each last in AL).

2013 Projection: 82-80, 4th AL West

2013 Additions: DH/1B Kendrys Morales, OF/1B Mike Morse & INF Robert Andino - in separate trades; OF/DH/1B Raul Ibanez, C Kelly Shoppach & SP Joe Saunders - as FAs acquisitions; & non-roster spring-training invitees SP Jon GArland, SP Jeremy Bonderman, & OF Jason Bay

2013 Losses: Ichiro*, INF Jack Wilson, RP Brandon League* (*2012 mid-season trades), SP Jason Vargas, C John Jaso, OF/1B Mike Carp, & OF Trayvon Robinson (separate off-season trades), SP Kevin Millwood, RP George Sherrill, C Miguel Olivo, INF Chone Figgins, & INF Munenori Kawasaki (either unsigned/declined/optioned/or designated for assignment)

Kendrys Morales
Kendrys Morales | Source
Mike Morse
Mike Morse | Source

Projected Batting Order

  1. 2B Dustin Ackley L - Career .273 BA, .312 OPS leading off an inning
  2. CF Franklin Gutierrez R - "Death to Flying Things" hit .260 in 40 2012 games
  3. DH Kendrys Morales R - .273 & 22HRs in first year back from ankle
  4. RF Mike Morse R- .291 & 19 HRs in 102 games
  5. 3B Kyle Seager L - 20HRs, 86 RBI, 35 Doubles, 154 Hits each led M's in 2012
  6. C Jesus Montero R - .260 BA & 15 HRs in 2012
  7. 1B Justin Smoak S - Hit .340 in September/October
  8. LF Michael Saunders - L 19 HRs & 21 Steals, .261 BA against righties
  9. SS Brendan Ryan R - .985 Fielding Pct in 138 games

Seattle traded Phillipe Aumont & Tyson Gillies for Cliff Lee; & Lee for Smoak.   Had the M's not traded Lee, his FA loss would've netted a 1st-round sandwich draft-pick.   Thus, the M's traded Aumont for either a sandwich pick, or as it was,  Smoak.
Seattle traded Phillipe Aumont & Tyson Gillies for Cliff Lee; & Lee for Smoak. Had the M's not traded Lee, his FA loss would've netted a 1st-round sandwich draft-pick. Thus, the M's traded Aumont for either a sandwich pick, or as it was, Smoak. | Source

Storylines:

  1. How well can the drawn-in Safeco fences effect Mariners batsmen in purely psychological terms?
  2. How much intimidation will Morales & Morse add to the middle of the order?
  3. Can Guti or Saunders maintain a high-enough OBP to the set the table, or will Seager have to move up to the two-hole?
  4. Will Smoak finally begin to realize his once-perceived lofty potential?
  5. Is there anything uber-catcher and No. 2 overall pick Mike Zunino can do to force his way into breaking camp with the big-league squad, given Wedge's pledge to leave Smoak on first?

How will the batting order play out?

See results
Wilhelmsen
Wilhelmsen | Source

Pitching

  1. RHP Felix Hernandez - 3.06 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 232 IP, 223 Ks
  2. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma - 3.16 ERA, 30 Starts, 125 IP, 2 SVs
  3. LHP Joe Saunders - 2.66 road ERA, road .237 BA Against
  4. RHP Erasmo Ramirez - 3.36 ERA, .217 BA Against
  5. RHP Blake Beavan - 3.66 home ERA, 152 IP, 11 wins

Closer - RHP Tom Wilhelmsen - 2.50 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 29 SVs

Setup - LHP Charlie Furbush - 2.72 ERA, .95 WHIP, .174 BA Against

Iwakuma
Iwakuma | Source

Storylines:

  1. Can Saunders replace the quality innings of the swapped-for-Morales Jason Vargas?
  2. How much effect will the drawn-in fences have on the pitching staff?
  3. How many more wins will the addition of division-mate Houston provide?
  4. Will either Garland or any of the Big Three arms (Hulzen, Walker, Paxton) force their way onto the staff out of Peoria?
  5. Will King Felix (with his newly minted 7-year, $175 million deal) get his mitts on another Cy Young Award?

Who will man the bump on the fourth and fifth days?

See results
Mariner Moose
Mariner Moose | Source

How many games will the Mariners win in 2013?

See results
GM Jack Z
GM Jack Z | Source
Ackley
Ackley | Source
Seager
Seager | Source
Source

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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 4 years ago from Auburn, WA

      Great article. We're left with more questions than answers. Isn't Morse a free agent at the end of the year? Not sure about him. But Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong are the primary problems. And I also go against the convential wisdom that Jack Z. is some sort of great GM. Why did it take so long for him to get his first GM position? My feeling is that he's gone after this season and they'll try to bring in another "yes" man. I feel bad for M's fans. Even with attendance down, management does not seem to care. But keep hope alive. Good luck. (full disclosure...I'm a transplanted Yankees fan in the Northwest)

    • Justin Earick profile image
      Author

      Justin Earick 4 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Jack I think is good overall. He traded Putz, Vargas, Pineda, Clement, Aumont...

      Nintendo governs the Mariners' budgetary realities...

      Chuck & Howard have won, with both high and low payrolls - and lost with both high & low payrolls.

      Supposedly we will gain mucho TV moneys in 2015, and thus Morse & Morales are reasonably cheap mashers who can attract a decent number of fans in the meantime...

    • Justin Earick profile image
      Author

      Justin Earick 4 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      No one called Maurer winning fifth spot in rotation! Including me...

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 3 years ago from Auburn, WA

      Justin, your impressions on the first half of the season? Will Wedge finish the season? I don't think so. He should, it's not his fault. I've already given my opinion of the rest of the exec team.

    • Justin Earick profile image
      Author

      Justin Earick 3 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Well, I didn't expect Smoak, Morales, and Ackley to all get sent down to Tacoma. Thought Guti would give us some run. Thought Garland would make the rotation over Maurer.

      The Condor setting the table has been very effective.

      'Kuma and Fifi, of course.

      Raul, Morse, Kendrys, and Bay have all played as well as could reasonably be expected.

      Though Trader Jack swapping Vargas-for-Kendrys created a logjam that has been (luckily?) loosed by the poor performances of both Smoak and Jesus Montero.

      I like Wedge, I like the culture he demands. The clubhouse attitude seems positive. The higher-ups in Japan don't much care, so Lincoln and Armstron have no worries. The only way Wedge loses his job is if Trader Jack gets nervous and feels like he needs to shake things up in order to try and cover his own behind.

      Montero shouldv'e been a DH/1B all along, we traded Pineda for a bat, not a catcher - that much I do put on Wedge, the former catcher. Especially once the M's drafted Zunino, a far superior tradesman of the tools of ignorance.

      Franklin has been a quality second-sacker and batsman.

      Not surprised Joe Saunders and Harang have been pretty bad, slightly impressed with Bonderman, very surprised Wilhelmsen has recently imploded - but I'm holding old hope he can regain his form.

      Bottom line, we have solid players up and down the roster, it's just a matter of (finding a third starter) staying healthy and putting it all together.

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