I guess to start things off, I’m Nate, a DoD Project Manager during the day, but a huge Seattle Mariners (Seahawks, Cougars Football, Gonzaga Hoops) fan in the evening. Growing up in Spokane, baseball was the sport that I got hooked to from a young age. I played it growing up and continue to play today in an adult baseball league here in San Diego, where I currently reside. My dad worked for the radio station in Spokane that aired the Mariners and we got to meet a lot of former greats, to include a dinner with Gaylord Perry, lunch with Freddy Garcia, photos with the Griffeys. I’ve also got to meet Mr. Don Larsen.
From watching Ken Griffey, Jr. in the yellow and blue uniforms to the team today, I’ve always seemed to have fit the Mariners in my ever increasingly busy schedule. I’ve seen the Mariners play ball at Safeco, US Cellular Field in Chicago (now Guaranteed Rate Field), Angel Stadium, Petco Park, Dodger Stadium and Fenway Park. I’ve been to a lot of ballparks including those I just mentioned plus Yankee Stadium, Citizens Bank Park, Coors Field, and Citi Field.
When it comes to the Mariners, I’m a defender of their honor. They have been brutal at times (well, a lot of times) and they have been awesome. I watched them come back from the Padres losing 12-2 in the 5th and win the game 16-13. All the Mariners fans were leaving in the 5th…I stayed and watched one of the greatest games I’ve seen them play. Regardless, they’re my team, they’re your team, they’re the Northwest’s team.
I like numbers, statistics, and anything that you can prove using those two things. You will see a lot of statistical trends in the pieces that I write if you’re looking for that information. I’m also open to questions and I am willing to write to those questions based on research and statistics, if applicable.
Now that I’ve introduced myself, I want to dig right in. For my inaugural article, I’ve decided to take a look at all the folks we gathered from the shocking off-season trades and give a progress report of their Spring. Quick preface: Spring time stats don’t really mean a whole lot. I’m using them for comparison purposes.
On November 8th, the Mariners sent Mike Zunino and Guillermo Heredia to the Tampa Bay Rays and received Mallex Smith and Jake Fraley. Zunino is currently hitting .286, going 8 for 28 with three homeruns and five strike outs. Heredia is 6 for 22 with seven RBIs. Mallex Smith suffered a minor injury and has just been cleared to participate in baseball activities. Jake Fraley started off hot but since cooled off and is batting .269, going 7 for 26, 0 for his last 10, with 2 home runs. He has struck out nine times and been caught stealing three times in four attempts.
On November 19th, the Mariners sent James Paxton to the Yankees and received Justus Sheffield, Erik Swanson, and Dom Thompson-Williams. Pax has pitched 7.1 innings, walking three and striking out 10. He has allowed five hits, one of which was a home run. His ERA is sitting at 1.23. Sheffield has pitched four innings, striking out six, allowing a single walk and holds an ERA of nil. Erik Swanson has pitched 4.1 innings striking out five and walking four and holds an ERA of 6.23.
On November 28th, the Mariners acquired Ricardo Sanchez from the Braves for cash. He’s pitched a single inning, striking out two.
On November 30th, the Mariners sent Alex Colome to the White Sox for Omar Narvaez. Colome has pitched 4.2 innings and has given up seven hits, one homerun, and has an ERA of 5.79. Omar is hitting .250 with 7 hits in 28 at-bats, while striking out only three times.
On December 3rd, there was a blockbuster trade that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Mets. The M’s received Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Gerson Bautista, Jarred Kelenic, and Justin Dunn. Robbie has gone 12 for 29 with a .414 average. He has two blasts and six RBIs. Diaz has pitched four innings and has only allowed a homerun and three hits. Jay Bruce is 13 for 30 with a .433 average, has six RBIs and two homeruns. Swarzak has not appeared this spring. Kelenic has four 6 plate appearances, with 2 walks and a run—zeroes elsewhere. Bautista has pitched 4.1 innings, striking out three and walking four. He holds an ERA of just over 2. Justin Dunn has pitched eight innings striking out nine and holds a 4.50 ERA.
Also on December 3rd, the Mariners sent Jean Segura, Juan Nicasio, and James Pazos to Philadelphia for Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford. Segura is 9 for 31 batting .290. Santana never suited up with the Mariners as he was traded back to Cleveland. Nicasio has an ERA of 9.82 in 3.2 innings pitched striking out three. Pazos holds an ERA of 4.76 in 5.2 innings pitched. He’s allowed four hits, two have left the park. J.P. Crawford is batting .240 going 6 for 25 with a double and triple. He has struck out six times.
On December 13th, a three-team trade brought Edwin Encarnacion over to the Mariners and sent Santana to Cleveland. Edwin is batting a mere .129 going 4 for 31 and striking out ELEVEN times.
Merry Christmas, Seattle. On December 21st, the Brewers sent Domingo Santana over for Ben Gamel and his hair and Noah Zavolas. Ben is 5 for 26 batting .192 and has struck out ten times. Noah has not played this spring. Domingo Santana, however, has played this spring. A lot. He is hitting .400 going 10 for 25 with four home runs and nine RBIs.
What does this mean? Well, I’m not too worried about what the statistics say…it just gives perspective on how these players are performing before the start of the regular season. Like many of you, the trade that still bothers me is Segura to Philly. I know J.P. Crawford has a ton of potential to be a top player in the Majors, but he’s just not there yet, and he’s entering the prime of his life.
Looking at nothing but numbers, it looks like the Santana trade has worked out well for Seattle. He’s had a very good spring and it is exciting to see what happens when the season comes around. The same holds true about Fraley. Some sources are saying that Fraley is like Mitch Haniger in this trade with Tampa. While Mallex is the more known name, Fraley might actually be the guy to watch. Keep your eye out as he may follow the same trajectory as Haniger.
This spring has me excited and it should you as well. During this “restructuring” of the team, I believe the Mariners have an excellent opportunity to surpass all expectations. I’m going to make an early prediction that the Mariners will win over 80 games this season. I may be way off track, but I’m looking at this team and they have the potential to flourish.