Sunday, November 25, 2012

Seattle Mariners Season 21 Outlook

Season 20
Won/Loss (place in division) & Playoffs:  92-70 (1st); won 2 rounds and lost ALCS to Yankees
Offense:  700 runs (15th)
Pitching:  3.77 ERA (2nd)

Major Changes: 
FA losses: RP Andy Hahn, OF Bruce Page, SP Mike DeJean, RP Joe Davis, OF Fernando Sosa

FA Signings:  OF Roosevelt Thomas, SP Calvin Nielsen, DH Todd Hines, RP Ernie Porter, C Aurelio Hernandez

Season 21 OutlookWhat is the deal with Albert Santayana?  Ballpark effects cannot explain how this guy is a .235/25 HR player (comparably-talented Nate Hood averages 39 HR's in even more pitcher-friendly Petco).  Look for Albert to finally break out with a .300/45/120 campaign.

That would surely help the scoring-challenged offense.  So will the FA additions of a good OB guy (Thomas) and power bats Hines and Hernandez.   Brian Coleman is not the answer in LF (.569 OPS...really?) or in any role, but Season 17 IFA Cristobal Almanzar is ready to take over at LF or 1B shortly.

Staff ace Eswalin Comacho leads a tough rotation; Nielsen will make Mariners fans forget DeJean.  The bullpen isn't always pretty, but it did convert 44 of 53 save opportunities last year (Chip Bowles heads the committee).

If Seattle can get their offense on track and produce even league-average runs (say, 750), watch out.  They've certainly made some good moves and right now are the odds-on choice to win the division.

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