Jun 10, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager (15) hits a grand slam home run during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Mariners won big last night, 9-3. Offensive explosions are rare these days so they should be cherished.
Now, here is the bad news.
We are getting deeper into June, and the 2015 Mariners are still a work in progress. Unfortunately, that may be too kind. Truthfully, I am starting to have a few doubts about the future of this franchise. Just what is the plan going forward?
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I see one glaring problem that is starting to become very apparent. The Mariners as an organization have had a difficult time developing their own talent in recent years. Seriously, how many homegrown draft picks have really become stars or at least above-average players? Sadly, the list is short.
I’m not talking about Felix Hernandez, who came before the Jack Zduriencik era. We’re talking about the players that a few years ago were young and full of potential.
Kyle Seager? Very good player. On the cusp of being a consistent star.
Beyond that, which of the youngsters (or not so young anymore) are making a major impact?
Brad Miller? At times, yes. Consistent force, no.
If the Mariners fail to make the playoffs this year, a change of leadership at the top is warranted.
Dustin Ackley? Nope.
Nick Franklin? Gone.
Mike Zunino? If strikeouts were the goal, Zunino would be a superstar.
James Paxton? Effective at times, but health has been an issue.
Taijuan Walker? The jury is still out on whether he is the ace we were promised but it has been a rollercoaster of a year.
The struggling offense of recent years would have been even worse had the Mariners not overpaid for Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz. Can you imagine how low the OBP in 2014 and 2015 without those two? Scary.
It may be time to face the reality that Jack Zduriencik needs to go. As fans we have the luxury of calling for baseball executives to lose their jobs, but that goes with the territory.
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There have been whispers over the years that Jack may not have the baseball IQ to effectively assemble a winning baseball team. His latest trade for Mark Trumbo is just another reminder that Jack seems to dig the long ball.
Home runs are fun but are arguably one of the most overrated offensive stats in baseball. The Mariners are seventh in home runs but 18th in total bases. They continue to struggle with the necessary task of putting runners on base, as Seattle’s .300 OBP ranks 26th in all of baseball. Is it any wonder that this team has scored five or more runs in only 14 of their 59 games? Only nine of those 14 games were wins, by the way.
If the Mariners fail to make the playoffs this year, a change of leadership at the top is warranted. The Mariners could also stand to have a real owner, but that is a different sorry for a different day.
Go Mariners. Please don’t disappoint the fans…again.