2010 Seattle Mariners Baseball Preview
Just when will the Seattle Mariners (85-77) take the division title again? The Mariners looked good much of last season but then they faded. This season could be different. In the off-season, Seattle added some fine talent, including Chone Figgins, Cliff Lee and Milton Bradley. All are quality signings.
The Mariner starters include two lefties—number two man Cliff Lee (14-13, 3.22 ERA, 176 SO) and number four guy Ryan Rowland-Smith (5-4, 3.74 ERA, 52 SO). Lee, who came over midseason from the Indians, has a way of disarming hitters by changing the location of his pitches. Rowland-Smith is an aggressive hurler with a solid delivery. He had problems staying healthy last season but looks ready to go. The main man in the mix is number one starter Felix Hernandez (19-5, 2.49 ERA, 217 SO). Hernandez has a great arm and a fastball that hits 96-mph.
Closer David Aardsma (3-6, 2.52 ERA, 38 SV, 80 SO) is a strikeout pitcher who throws a late sinking splitter. He’s an aggressive pitcher who rarely gives up a homer. There’s depth in the bullpen with Mark Lowe (2-7, 3.26 ERA, 69 SO) throwing a 98-mph fastball and offering fine setup services.
The best of the best is right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (.352 BA, 11 HR, 46 RBI). He has a quick bat and no one gets out of the box quicker. Ichiro is a fine base stealer and smart player. He is one of the best fielders in the majors. Newly arrived third baseman Chone Figgins (.298 BA, 5 HR, 54 RBI) and left fielder Milton Bradley (.257 BA, 12 HR, 40 RBI) have good bats. Both are switch-hitters with fast swings. Bradley is a much-travelled malcontent. If he finds a home in Seattle, he could become very productive. In the field, Figgins is a fine athlete but has trouble with being consistently accurate in his throws.
Future hall of famer Ken Griffey Jr. (.214 BA, 19 HR, 57 RBI) will be the DH. But don’t look for him to play everyday. Griffey has an array of injuries and has lost some bat speed but he can still be effective. Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (.283 BA, 18 HR, 70 RBI) eats up left-handed pitching. In the field, he’s very effective. Shortstop Jack Wilson (.255 BA, 5 HR, 39 RBI), who came over last season from Pittsburgh, is in the game for his great defensive play. He’s a contact hitter.
Manager Don Wakamatsu had a fine rookie season last year, taking the Mariners to 85 wins. That was a 24-game improvement—a huge move up in the win column. GM Jack Zduriencik has made some solid moves in his first few seasons and the future finally looks promising for the Mariners.
The Seattle Mariners have a solid pitching staff and a boatload of skilled hitters. There are questions when it comes to depth on the pitching staff and there’s no clear-cut closer. But the Mariners do possess talent, and in a four-team division, they certainly have a chance to get into the playoffs.
For more info on Seattle check out the MLB website for the Mariners Clubhouse.