Seattle Mariners: Spring Training Record Is Overrated


Feb 23, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak (17) fields grounders during camp at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners had a statistically success spring training last season. Specifically, the Mariners went 22-11. Good, right?

Hardly. Shall we do the chant together? Over-rated! (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap).

22-11 in spring training. 71-91 in the regular season. Any questions?

Justin Smoak hit .407 last year in spring training. Jesus Montero hit .400 for the spring. During the regular season, Smoak hit .238 and Montero hit .208 in only 29 games.

Wins are nice, but that isn’t exactly the point of spring training.  

If you have been to spring training, you know that it can be a great atmosphere. The sun is shining, hot dogs are grilling, stadiums are much smaller and every team has a chance. Alright, not every team.

The point is that it is a time of hope, optimism and anticipation. Baseball is about to begin again, and spring training can be a fun experience for the fans.

Of course, the actual spring training games are an interesting mix of strategies, particularly in the later innings. After a few innings, some of the stars actually pack up and leave. As in, walk out of the ballpark and go home.

Particularly in the early weeks, the later innings are a opportunity to look at young talent. You know it is a prospect when they have a high jersey number and the scoreboard does not even have a picture of the player. If a collection of Double-A and Triple-A rally against a Triple-A pitcher to win the game, teams do not necessarily consider this to be a lost opportunity.

Therefore, the record in spring training can be a bit deceptive and overrated. Fans can celebrate the wins and hope that these inflated personal statistics will translate to the regular season.

However, don’t count on the Mariners riding the momentum of Arizona into a dominant 2014 season. Baseball gets much more serious in April.

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