Seattle Mariners News: Tight Race in the AL West


Apr 9, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Logan Morrison (20) catches a fly ball hit by Los Angeles Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Stop the presses! The Seattle Mariners are in the race to win the American League West division.

Admittedly, we must temper our enthusiasm since it is only the second week of April. The Mariners have played a grand total of eight games. Despite the fact that the mighty M’s throttled the Los Angeles Angels in the opening series, Seattle has since cooled a bit and are now a respectable 5-3. Here are the current standings:

Oakland A’s: 6-3

Seattle Mariners: 5-3

Los Angeles Angels: 4-5

Texas Rangers: 4-5

Houston Astros: 4-6

Even the Astros and their $21 million payroll are hanging tough. As a side note, Adrian Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Dodgers ($220 million payroll) makes more than the entire Astros team. Competitive balance? I think not. But, I digress.

As Charles Spencer-Davis of Sodo Mojo correctly pointed out, the baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint. It is very, very early to be projecting the outcome of this long race.

Still, it is fair to suggest that it could be tight all season. Injuries, particularly to pitchers, may be the story in this division. The team that keeps their rotation intact may be the franchise that eventually comes out on top.

If the Mariners are going to continue this momentum, they will need Taijuan Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma to come back strong. They will also need James Paxton to heal quickly.

In addition, the Mariners will need to decide if the offense can actually be effective. There was much celebration after the first Angel series, but the bats have slowed a bit since then. The one-hit performance against Garrett Richards on Wednesday was vintage ineffectiveness for the Mariners lineup.

It is a tight race right now, and the lead could change hands a number of times this season. Stay tuned.

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