Seattle Mariners: The Latest Progress Report


Apr 19, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton (65) walks back to the dugout after being relieved for during the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Just like that, the Seattle Mariners are (almost) 10% of the way through the 2015 baseball season. Time for a brief progress report, just like when you were in school.

For the sake of the analogy, would it be appropriate to give the Mariners a grade of C+? I suppose you could argue that a .500 record would be average, which is theoretically supposed to be a C on the grading scale. However, let’s just say that the Mariners are theoretically better than their record. At least, they should be.

It is a little early to predict the outcome of this season, but right now something is lacking.

To extend the analogy even further, right now the Mariners look like that kid who has a lot of potential but just isn’t living up to expectations. We have seen some grade-A work from the M’s, but we have also seen them lose focus and forget to turn in their homework.

Enough talk of school. The bottom line is that the Mariners look like they just aren’t getting into a consistent flow. One day the pitching looks great and the next day the bullpen blows a lead and loses the game. The offense has been equally inconsistent. Nelson Cruz is hitting the cover off the ball, while Mike Zunino is hitting .159 with 19 strikeouts in 44 at-bats.

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Now, some of this is just part of baseball. The season is long. Teams and players have ups and downs. Some nights the pitching and hitting go together nicely, but other times a franchise can simply get out of sync for days, or even weeks.

The other reality of baseball is that strengths and weaknesses can shift. Could the Seattle lineup be inspired by the presence of Cruz and actually develop into a semi-potent offense (currently 14th in team average)? At the same time, might the vaunted pitching staff take a step back in 2015? We sure hope not.

It is obviously too early to tell, but right now the Mariners are adequate at best. The American League West looks like it is wide open, but Seattle cannot take that for granted. At some point they will need to get hot and find a groove.

Until the Mariners get more consistent production from James Paxton and Hisashi Iwakuma, this team isn’t going to build any sort of momentum. Felix Hernandez can’t do it all. Taijuan Walker showed signs of progress on April 21, but that is only one game.

Hang on, Mariners fans. It is a little early to predict the outcome of this season, but right now something is lacking. The Mariners still have a lot of potential, but it could be a bumpy ride.