Jun 2, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) walks back to the dugout after striking out against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
It is hard to get excited about the Seattle Mariners these days. Felix Hernandez is having a great season, even with his setback against the New York Yankees. Nelson Cruz continues to be an offensive force, even if Robinson Cano has forgotten how to hit.
Beyond that, there are some nice performances, but nothing particularly spectacular. The starting pitching has been riddled with injuries, the bullpen is suspect, Mike Zunino is a strikeout machine and Fernando Rodney is…himself.
Could Cano start hitting again? Yes. Could James Paxton and Hisashi Iwakuma come back and give the pitching staff a boost? Sure. Is it possible for Zunino to cut down on his strikeouts? Possible.
Will Rodney regain his composure and become a dominant closer in 2015? Let’s not get too crazy.
Do you get the sense that Jack Zduriencik doesn’t really know how to assemble a consistently successful baseball team? Whatever goes on behind the scenes with a team like the St. Louis Cardinals, can we have some of that in Seattle? Seriously, we have seen this movie. Not only have we seen it, we have seen it again. And again. And again.
There are positive elements on this team. King Felix is awesome. He always is. Cruz has been fun to watch. Cano might figure it out. Beyond that, Paxton may have a hard time staying healthy, Taijuan Walker is not proving to be the ace that was promised and Hisashi Iwakuma is possibly gone after this season.
On the offensive side, Kyle Seager is a very good player. Cruz will probably come down at some point. Austin Jackson, Seth Smith, Logan Morrison and Brad Miller are solid, but not consistently spectacular. Dustin Ackley, Zunino, Justin Ruggiano and Rickie Weeks do not necessarily have jobs if they are on other teams.
Sorry, I wish I could be more optimistic but tell me how this is going to get better? Yes, the Mariners could win 4-5 games in a row and get right back into contention for the American League West. Unfortunately, the M’s have one four-game winning streak this season. The last time the Mariners were over .500 was on April 6, and at point they were 1-0.
Do you get the sense that Jack Zduriencik doesn’t really know how to assemble a consistently successful baseball team?
It feels like this team is waiting for something. Too many missed opportunities. Too many narrow losses. Or, they just aren’t equipped to consistently win. Blame the players, the manager or the GM if you want. At this point it doesn’t really matter. The Mariners are going backwards and we are in June. Time to start building momentum…or have another mediocre season pass us by.
Hang on, fans. This could be a bumpy ride.