2022 Mariners: Say Hello 2 Heaven

budcrew08

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Mar 30, 2007
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The Mariners have done it this year like the Red Sox SHOULD do it. They picked up a couple solid free agents and had some highly-touted rookies step up and produce. Right now, the Sox are cheaping out for some reason. I’ll be rooting on Seattle this postseason.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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May 5, 2017
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The Mariners added a few veterans – and thus payroll – through trades, with mixed results (Suarez, Winker, Frazier), but I only see one significant free agent they added. Robby Ray received a smaller contract than Boston gave to Trevor Story. I'm sure Boston would also have loved to do it by having some highly touted prospects step up at the major league level, but who would that have been? The two organizations don't look like they were in very comparable stages.
 

Just a bit outside

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Apr 6, 2011
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So you’ve decided to jump on the Seattle bandwagon…

First, welcome aboard! Plenty of space. It’s a fun team to root for!

Now, here’s some things you need to know, from one wagon-jumper to another:

We’ll start with the one you probably already know: Julio Rodriguez, one of the most exciting rookies of the last ten years or so. He hits, he steals bases, he plays a decent center (impressive since he hadn’t played it regularly before this season). He does strike out a lot, but he’s also a 21-year-old in his first MLB season. Even if he can’t reduce those, it just would limit his ceiling to, like, Curtis Granderson - maybe not a “face of baseball”-type superstar, but a really good player for a lot of years. He is on the IL right now, though, but the expectation is that he’ll be in the lineup for Game One.

You probably know Eugenio Suarez, but you might not know that he’s been a star for the Mariners this year. He was considered ballast in the Winker trade, but, this year, at least, he’s been the real prize - 30 HRs, .809 OPS. He’s also leading the AL in strikeouts and was on pace to break the all-time single-season record at one point, but let’s disregard that. Unfortunately, he, too, is coming off of an injury, a broken fingertip that’s limited him to DH duty. He played 3B last night, though.

A name you might not have known until last night is Cal Raleigh, the young star catcher. He’s not super-great at getting on-base, but when he hits the ball it goes a mile. He’s also been praised for his defense and leadership skills. His skill set reminds me of another star catcher who once led his team out of the wilderness and into postseason glory.

You might know that Ty France was an All Star this year, but he’s tailed off in the second half. He had a tendency to try to play through injuries rather than resting, and it brings his numbers down. Really, though, this is a dream scenario for a GM as they got France from an impatient organization who’d written him off as a AAAA guy in exchange for someone who was playing a bit above his head. (They got Munoz in the same trade!)

JP Crawford and Adam Frazier are your standard-issue “old school” middle infielders. Crawford in particular is lauded for his defense. You could call them both “pesky hitters.” You could also say that about utility guys Dylan Moore and Sam Haggerty, aka “Ham Swaggerty.”

Jesse Winker was kind of a disappointment - he should probably never play the outfield and he needs a platoon partner. Mitch Haniger had his season wrecked by injuries and this might be his last go-round in Seattle. Jarred Kelenic probably won’t make the playoff roster; he’s young enough that we can’t say he’s a bust yet, but he’s trending strongly bust-wards.

Carlos Santana is their DH. He’s not that good anymore, but he’s been at the center of some of their most memorable wins. Curt Casali is their backup catcher. I haven’t seen too much speculation about the postseason roster yet, but I’d imagine the other two names under consideration for a spot (or maybe two?) are Taylor Trammell and Abraham Toro. The former plays good outfield defense and can run, the latter plays the infield and is a switch hitter. Neither hits all that well, but both have had moments of competence.

I’ll do a separate post on pitchers, this is long.
It seems like Kelenic has been pretty good since his latest recall. Are you seeing somewhere he won’t be on the roster, is this your opinion, or is this what you think is going to happen?
 

LogansDad

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Nov 15, 2006
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It seems like Kelenic has been pretty good since his latest recall. Are you seeing somewhere he won’t be on the roster, is this your opinion, or is this what you think is going to happen?
Julio is coming back Monday. Regardless of his play since his callup, I think Kelenic is probably the odd man out among Haniger, Winker, Haggerty, Moore and Julio.

Is it the right move? I don't know. But chemistry has been a huge part of this team over the last few years, and I'm not sure whether dropping one of those guys (two of whom are pretty versatile) for Kelenic would have a positive effect on that.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Jul 19, 2005
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It seems like Kelenic has been pretty good since his latest recall. Are you seeing somewhere he won’t be on the roster, is this your opinion, or is this what you think is going to happen?
Basically what @LogansDad said - you’re not going to drop one of those guys based on 8 games of Kelenic looking better. Are the playoffs the right time to find out if whatever adjustments he made in Tacoma are for real?

Kelenic is Mr. Autumn Man, though, career .887 OPS in September and October.

EDIT: Maybe I should rephrase - I don’t think Scott Servais is going to abandon one of the established starting OFs based on 8 decent games out of JK in September.

DOUBLE EDIT: This guy says he will probably be on there instead of Toro, so I guess we’ll see.
 
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Yelling At Clouds

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Jul 19, 2005
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Pitchers!

You know Luis Castillo. He was their big deadline acquisition, and he’s mostly been as advertised - the last couple of starts notwithstanding. I’m sure they’re very comfortable with having him start the first game of a playoff series.

You know Robbie Ray - he miraculously cut down on his walks in Toronto and won a Cy, then signed a big deal in Seattle. He hasn’t quite been his Toronto self, but he’s maybe been better than you realized if you tuned out back in the early season. In August in particular, he was lights-out: 6 ER in 5 starts; 41 Ks in 33 innings.A big issue for the Mariners: the Astros just destroyed him this year - 10.97 ERA in three starts with as many walks as strikeouts! Not going to cut it.

George Kirby is another highly-touted rookie who strikes out a lot of hitters and walks few -he’d be third in the league in K/BB ratio if he qualified. But there’s the rub: he’s way over his career high in innings. I read there was once a plan to limit him, but I’m not sure if they carried that through or not.

Logan Gilbert is a fine mid-rotation starter, possibly may become more. He’s had a strong September, and last night’s game was his first time completing eight innings. He deserves a postseason start, and very well might get one.

The bullpen might be the team’s real strength. They even have a collective nickname: Los Bomberos, or “The Firemen.” They do a whole thing at the games. Penn Murfee, Matt Festa, Matt Brash, Andres Muñoz, Erik Swanson, and Paul Sewald have been a lights-out unit. (Diego Castillo is also there.) I’d expect either Chris Flexen or Marco Gonzalez to pick up some innings in the postseason, and Matt Boyd is reborn as a situational lefty. (Sorry if this isn’t enough depth.)
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Jul 19, 2005
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Another thing about Cal Raleigh is that his nickname - and I promise you this is true - is “Big Dumper.”
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Yep, increasingly seems that I am wrong and Mr. Autumn Man is in and Toro - incidentally optioned today - is out. I’d be surprised if Winker didn’t make the cut, but I’ve been surprised before.
 
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LogansDad

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Haggerty suffered a groin injury Monday and is out for at lest the Wild Card series. Sucks, as he has been quite the sparkplug for them this year, and filled in admirably when the other guys were on the IL.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Jul 19, 2005
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Haggerty suffered a groin injury Monday and is out for at lest the Wild Card series. Sucks, as he has been quite the sparkplug for them this year, and filled in admirably when the other guys were on the IL.
Yep, the injury probably moots most of this postseason roster discussion. Also, Servais says he plans to only bring 10-11 pitchers, so that means there’s room for pretty much everyone.

And with that, I think I’ve made my last post about this team until after they’re eliminated. It’s been a fun ride, and I was glad to have a space to talk about it - even though I stopped posting once they got good for fear of jinxing it! Thanks to everyone who’s tolerated this random wagon-jumper.

Really, just making the postseason feels gratifying, and I’m just a tourist here - I can only imagine what the actual lifelong fans are thinking. I don’t expect much out of this run, I would be stunned if they got past Houston and surprised if they got past Toronto. And I’m ok with that - like I said, breaking the streak was a huge deal.

Then again, I’m a big believer in the idea that the MLB playoffs are chaos. And the Mariners’ whole deal for the last two years has been chaos! So maybe they’ve got a shot!
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Jul 19, 2005
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Ok, fine, one final note: it’s amusing to me that after all that they finished with the same record as last year.