Sometimes in baseball there are teams that can have a good season but still not make the playoffs. After a 162 game season if you finish with 10 more wins than you do losses and not make the post season is devastating. Bad luck would be the best way to describe the Seattle Mariners.
Seattle finished 86-76 during the 2016 campaign which was good enough for 2nd place in the American League West. Unfortunately with the late surge of the Texas Rangers denied Seattle of making the post season. Seattle has not made the MLB playoffs since 2001 but has had several winning seasons since. In 2002 and 2003 Seattle had 93 wins but were beat in the division by Oakland. With the absence of this team from the AL West, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto is not afraid to open up his check to book to make sure the team has a chance. The clock is ticking because many of these high priced players are veterans.
The big four in Seattle
SP, Felix Hernandez: This six time All-Star is known as King Felix. Hernandez is entering his 13th year in the big leagues and with Seattle. The veteran right handed pitcher had 11 wins last season which was 2nd best on the team, his overall Major League record is a dominating. Felix has 159 wins in his career and only 104 losses.
3B, Kyle Seager: The young player in the big four for Seattle. This 29 year old third baseman brings a ton of power to the lineup. Seager hit 30 home runs in 2016 and drove in 99 runs. Both of those stats were 3rd best on the team. Kyle finished with a .278 batting average last season which was a career high.
2B, Robinson Cano: Entering his 4th season with the Mariners after spending nine years with the Yankees. Cano has made the All-Star team 7 times over his career. The veteran 2nd baseman hit a career high 39 home runs in 2016. For Cano’s career he has 278 home runs.
DH, Nelson Cruz: One of the biggest power hitters in this lineup, Cruz hit 43 home runs for Seattle in 2016 which is one short of his career high. This 13 year veteran led Seattle in home runs and RBI’s last season. Cruz has made the All-Star team four times with three different teams.
The biggest problem last season for Seattle was starting pitching in 2016. In 57 games the starting pitching only went five innings or less resulting with a record of 13-44 when this occurred last season. Seattle went and got some help making a trade with Tampa Bay in the off season to acquire Drew Smyly. Despite a bad season for Tampa Smyly was able to get 7 wins in 2016.
The power hitting Mariners could have a tough time keeping up with a very good AL West. Seattle hopes to build off a winning season from last season. Can Seattle make the post season for the first time since 2001? Only time will tell.