Too early? Too bold? Probably.
The Seattle Mariners are not exactly tearing up the league this season, but this squad is (or at least could be) a playoff team. At 22-23, the Mariners are 7.5 games behind the Oakland A’s in the American League West, but the mighty M’s are only two games back of the Wild Card.
Not impressed? Understandable.
However, consider where this team is in terms of development. This could be one of the best pitching staffs in the league if Taijuan Walker and James Paxton can get healthy and are consistently effective.
Speaking of Smoak, he is actually having a decent season at the plate, as are Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders. James Jones has been a nice surprise, Kyle Seager is starting to come around and Mike Zunino has been solid behind the dish.
Sure, Brad Miller has been a disaster after a hot spring, but you can’t have everything in life.
What does this all mean? It means that the Mariners are hanging around. Hanging tough. Getting there. Starting to turn a corner. Pick your favorite sports phrase to describe a team that is generally heading in the right direction.
Are they a great team? No. Could they be a pretty good team? Yes. Based on the competition thus far, pretty good gets you within reasonable striking distance of a playoff spot.
Is there a long way to go this season? Obviously. However, it is reasonable to feel pretty good about this team. Lots could go wrong, but the Mariners can get better in 2014. Maybe, just maybe, there is a playoff spot in their future.