The Mariners Are Not Good Enough As They Are

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 23: Starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 23: Starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

The Mariners just finished perhaps the toughest two home series of the year. They played seven consecutive days against the beasts of the east, the Yankees and Red Sox. Seattle went 3-4 in those games, losing the four-game series against New York but winning against the Red Sox.

Seattle sits at 51-52, in sole possession of second place in the AL West. They are also 3 1/2 games back of the Wild Card.

We all keep waiting for them to turn it on and for it to stay on. It hasn’t happened. They have gotten as high as two games above .500, only to lose four in a row immediately after that and have not been above .500 since.

The Mariners have had plenty of chances to grab ahold of the Wild Card and take what is theirs. They have failed each time. It has been one step forward, two steps back. Here we are, 103 games into the season and we are having the same “just waiting to turn it on” conversation we had 50 games ago. Treading water is no longer good enough.

OAKLAND, CA – JULY 19: Sonny Gray /

Now, this isn’t a doomsday, death sentence kind of article. I am simply stating that as the team is currently, it is not good enough to make the playoffs. They need to add something, or some things.

The M’s did add David Phelps, the reliever from Miami and recently signed Danny Espinosa. Phelps has had three scoreless outings since his arrival. However, it’s not good enough. A rotation that has Yovani Gallardo and rookie Andrew Moore in it is not what most consider a playoff-caliber rotation. The Mariners need to add a starting rotation piece and fast.

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There are a few options out there still. Sonny Gray of the Athletics seems like the acquisition that would bring the most juice of all the likely trade pieces. Gray has 94 strikeouts in 97 innings with a 122 ERA+ (league average is 100). Jhoulys Chacin of the Padres could be a back-end of the rotation “innings eater.” He is having a career-year of sorts with 10 wins and 109 strikeouts in 119 innings. He hasn’t missed a start all year. Edinson Volquez could be another option. He is controllable through the 2018 season. He is on the 10-day DL, however. Before that, he had a 4.19 ERA and right around a league average 98 ERA+ (in comparison, Gallardo has posted a miserable 76 so far).

Seattle needs to do something if they have dreams of ending the postseason drought. It’s clear the team is just a .500 club if they stand pat. The schedule doesn’t lighten up much as after their series with the New York Mets. They go on a road trip to the always-tough-at-home Texas Rangers and the surging Kansas City Royals.

Next: Mariners Flip O'Neill for Gonzales: Yay or Yawn?

The Mariners are 17th in the American League in starting rotation ERA at 4.73. They will miss the playoffs if they do not add a major league starting pitcher.