Seattle Mariners: October mailbag – Robbie, Sugar, and free agents

Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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Seattle Mariners
Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Q3 – How responsible is Robinson Cano for the Mariners missing the playoffs this year?

Matt Barry – Cano is fairly responsible for not making the playoffs, but not the whole deal. The Mariners did miss his bat and presence in the lineup. But their fade in the second half was with him in the lineup. He put up decent numbers and production. Missing the playoffs was more a result of some holes in the batting order and lack of depth in the rotation.

Ed Stein –  Remember, Cano had a hand injury which would have sidelined him for a while even without a suspension. In a sport where you can’t assume a double play, it’s also hard to assume wins and momentum. Maybe we can try.

For the sake of argument, Let’s say Cano didn’t miss any time between May 14 and August 13 and the Mariners won five more games than they actually did in his absence. It wouldn’t have made a difference for two reasons. First Seattle finished eight games behind Oakland, that still puts them three games away. Second, Seattle went 2-2 against the A’s without Cano. Even if the two of the five wins I just gave the M’s were against Oakland, they would have still missed the playoffs by a game.

Jordan Cordano – Robison Cano was suspended for 80 games on May 15th. At that time the Mariners had a record of 24-17. During the 80 games he missed, the Mariners held a record of 46-34 but were trending downward in terms of getting series wins as well as their overall record.

Once Cano returned to the team, the M’s put up a record of 20-21. So, in my opinion, Cano had little to no effect on the team’s playoff chances. Also factoring in the success of the Oakland Athletics and the Houston Astros, Seattle had little chance to catch those bundles of fire.

Herb Nightingale – I have to say he isn’t responsible for the Mariners missing the playoffs. The team had their best month of the season in June. They went 19-9 after he was hurt and then suspended in the middle of May. Actually, May was the Mariners second best month with a record of 18-11.

July and August were the two worst months of the season when the Mariners went 10-13 and 12-16. It’s hard to know what effect Cano with and without him was during that period? He was reactivated on August 14 and the Mariners went 6-9 from there on until the end of August. They were 14-13 in September. After his return, they were 20-22. This shows me the team was losing in the second half 31-34 with or without him.

Other reasons why it’s hard to measure the effects of no Cano include, Dee Gordon started slumping after he broke his toe in May. Around the same time, Guillermo Heredia became the regular center fielder and suddenly he couldn’t buy a hit. Other position players didn’t hit well during the second half plus Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino had terrible seasons at the plate all season long. Having Cano in the lineup all season long might have made a difference of five games but they still wouldn’t have made the playoffs anyway.