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Seattle Mariners 2013 Preview
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)
Projected Batting Order
- 2B Dustin Ackley L - Career .273 BA, .312 OPS leading off an inning
- CF Franklin Gutierrez R - "Death to Flying Things" hit .260 in 40 2012 games
- DH Kendrys Morales R - .273 & 22HRs in first year back from ankle
- RF Mike Morse R- .291 & 19 HRs in 102 games
- 3B Kyle Seager L - 20HRs, 86 RBI, 35 Doubles, 154 Hits each led M's in 2012
- C Jesus Montero R - .260 BA & 15 HRs in 2012
- 1B Justin Smoak S - Hit .340 in September/October
- LF Michael Saunders - L 19 HRs & 21 Steals, .261 BA against righties
- SS Brendan Ryan R - .985 Fielding Pct in 138 games
- How well can the drawn-in Safeco fences effect Mariners batsmen in purely psychological terms?
- How much intimidation will Morales & Morse add to the middle of the order?
- 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?
- Will Smoak finally begin to realize his once-perceived lofty potential?
- 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?
- RHP Felix Hernandez - 3.06 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 232 IP, 223 Ks
- RHP Hisashi Iwakuma - 3.16 ERA, 30 Starts, 125 IP, 2 SVs
- LHP Joe Saunders - 2.66 road ERA, road .237 BA Against
- RHP Erasmo Ramirez - 3.36 ERA, .217 BA Against
- 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
- Can Saunders replace the quality innings of the swapped-for-Morales Jason Vargas?
- How much effect will the drawn-in fences have on the pitching staff?
- How many more wins will the addition of division-mate Houston provide?
- Will either Garland or any of the Big Three arms (Hulzen, Walker, Paxton) force their way onto the staff out of Peoria?
- Will King Felix (with his newly minted 7-year, $175 million deal) get his mitts on another Cy Young Award?