The 2014 Seattle Mariners do have players penciled into their outfield positions, at least according to projected depth charts. You will forgive me if the players that may roam the open grasslands of Safeco Field do not inspire a great deal of excitement.
We do have some time before spring training begins. There is time to make a trade or sign another free agent to join the club. Of course, this may be it. The Mariners may be planning on sending this group of players out to catch fly balls on a pleasant summer evening in the Emerald City.
Who are the candidates? I’m glad you asked.
Dustin Ackley – Projected in LF
Pros: Hit .273 in 2011.
Cons: Hit .226 in 2012. Not much of an arm. Actually a second baseman.
Ackley will be in the outfield if he can be a semi-productive offensive player. There is truthfully no other place to put him. He isn’t out there for his defense. Subpar arm.
Michael Saunders – Projected in CF
Pros: Decent arm. Hit .247 in 2012.
Cons: His 2012 average was his career best. Lifetime .224 hitter. Yikes. Appears to have reached his offensive potential.
Saunders is 27. If a “breakout” season is coming, it had better come soon. At this point, would a minor leaguer be any worse?
Logan Morrison – Projected in RF…or DH…or 1B
Pros: Hit 23 home runs in 2011.
Cons: Hasn’t hit over .247 since 2010. Coming off knee surgery. May need to platoon at 1B/DH.
This has all the makings of another reclamation project that will not pan out. Do the Mariners really think this guy is going to play outfield with any regularity?
Frankin Gutierrez: Based on history, only a matter of time before he hits the DL.
Corey Hart: Once upon a time he was a very productive hitter. Also has knee issues. Could be key addition or major bust.
Abraham Almonte: Intruiging, but unproven youngster. Had a nice start after call-up last season. Almonte may be starter by the time Mariners break camp.
Stefen Romero: Similar to Almonte, but without the tryout at the end of 2013. Has looked good in the minors, but so do a lot of players.
There you have it! Your 2014 Seattle Mariners outfield. Anyone excited?