Seattle Mariners: Time to wave the white flag on 2018 and prepare for 2019

Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Yesterday’s 8-2 loss by the Seattle Mariners was a backbreaker. It all but mathematically eliminated them from playoff contention. It’s time to see what some of the prospects can do.

The Seattle Mariners lost a game in Oakland yesterday they had to win in order to remain in contention for an American League playoff spot. Going into their four-game set on Thursday, Seattle was five and a half games behind the Athletics in both the AL West and Wild Card race.

At the very least, the M’s needed to take three of four games. They didn’t and are still five and a half games behind. With 25 games left in the season, including three at home against Oakland, the odds are strongly against them making the post-season. The Mariners brain trust needs to see how some of their prospects can compete at the big league level.

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I’m not advocating the M’s just give up and tell their fans “thanks, but we quit.” Rather I’m saying that it doesn’t do the teams future any good to give 37-year-old, pending free agent Nelson Cruz many at bats down the stretch. Let one of the younger players get some additional looks at major league pitching.

Speaking of pitching, Mariners manager has been criticized for his handling of the pitching staff, especially in the second half of the season. For lack of a better term, most of the arms have run out of gas. Why not rest some of the staff and bring up some kids. Let them get the experience of a tight game in a major league park and no place to put the hitter. This is how young players develop.

Rest Felix

One player who could use some rest is Felix Hernandez. At 32 years old, reports the King’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Every successful pitcher goes through the same thing during a long career. Physical talent can only take an athlete so far. Pitchers have to continuously adjust their game to compensate.

If you want someone to compare Hernandez to, try CC Sabathia. He needed to transition from flame-throwing hurler to crafty pitcher, It took him several seasons of struggle to get back in the New York Yankees good graces. King Felix is more than capable of doing the same. Shut him down now and give him some extra time to get ready for 2019.

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