Stop the presses…the Seattle Mariners can hit.
Alright, so this isn’t the most powerful offense in the known universe, but when you look at where this team was a few years ago, things are looking up.
There are a lot of statistics that you can use to measure a team’s offensive effectiveness. For simplicity sake, you can look at team batting average. After all, it is kind of important to measure whether a team can consistently get on base.
Right now the Mariners are hitting .245 as a team, which ranks 21st in the league. That may not seem like an amazing number but in previous years the Mariners were a consistent 30th. This is progress.
For all the complaints about lack of power in the outfield and from Robinson Cano, the Mariners rank 15th in home runs. In many ways, home runs can sometimes be overrated.
Then there are the individual performances. After yesterday’s win over the Astros, the 2-3-4 hitters for the Mariners were hitting .293, .323 and .283. Those numbers have not been seen in a Seattle lineup for quite some time. For those of you scoring at home, those averages belong to James Jones, Cano and Kyle Seager.
Now, there is still room for improvement. The M’s rank 28th with a .303 on-base percentage, so a few more walks wouldn’t kill them.
There are also a few individuals who are dragging down the average. Brad Miller is finally coming around, but he is still hitting .205 for the year. Justin Smoak (.208), Corey Hart (.209) and Mike Zunino (.223) are not necessarily helping the cause, though Zunino has been hitting better of late and contributing some power. Dustin Ackley (.231) is, well, Dustin Ackley.
This team is still, in many ways, built around pitching. The Mariners are not necessarily the type of team that can get into a slugfest and win. Still, there is great improvement in the offense and the confidence level appears to be on the rise.
Could this team perform even better at the dish? They could.
Great pitching and just enough offense is why this team is nine games over .500 for the season. The best may be yet to come.