After a strong start to the 2019 campaign, it seems that the Mariners are clicking. Offensively, they are hitting the ball with both power and finesse to get runners on base and around the bags. To be honest, it’s ends up being a surprise when they don’t plate runners in scoring position—which historically has been a huge problem for the Mariners. From the top to the bottom, every starter has multiple hits and multiple RBIs. Every starter but Dee Gordon has at least one homerun. I’m telling you, they’re on fire. Again, it’s early and I would expect a cool down period, but seeing this kind of productivity early on in the season gives every Mariners fan a glimmer of hope for what could come in the months to follow.
There are, however, some areas that are of major concern;
In my previous post recapping the Red Sox series, I showed that the bullpen isn’t as bad as it seems—from a statistical perspective. However, the inability to find the strike zone, especially near the opponents’ bottom of the lineup,can be disastrous by extending innings and allowing better hitters to move them around the bases. I (we) see a major need for relief pitching. I would imagine the front office sees these needs as well. I expect them to be addressed with trades or other acquisitions. Remember, the front office is in the mentality of a restructure, even though the team isn’t playing like it.
*Facepalm* If you were watching the game with me, that would have been my posture during last night’s contest against the Angels. FOUR errors were committed—two by Narvaez, one each by Santana and Healy. Out of the three runs that crossed the plate while Felix was pitching, only ONE was earned. The Mariners have committed 13 errors on the season—7 games. Sloppy fielding, coupled with a questionable bullpen will absolutely cost them precious wins. At this point, every win is essential due to the historical volatility of this team.
Yes, I’m legitimately concerned about hitting. It is hard for me to imagine that Beckham is going to sustain a .423 average. Same with Haniger, Healy, and Santana who are all hitting over .300. The latter three, I think, is somewhat sustainable. The Mariners have also hit 16 homeruns to open the season—Santana, Bruce, and Beckham leading the way with 3 each. As the season progresses, I expect that to taper off. Although, I definitely want to see these bats to remain explosive. As I previously mentioned, the Mariners are going to need as much run support as they can get with the shaky bullpen and defense.
The Mariners, though successful thus far, are striking out. A lot. 66 times in fact. Surprisingly, Mitch Haniger leads the team. Conversely, they have only walked 25 times. Here is the takeaway: They are being aggressive—and it shows. The K to BB ratio proves they are swinging hard and often, which is both high risk and high reward.
I’m excited. How about you?