Five surprises on the Mariners minor league opening day rosters

Hopefully the top picks of recent years will pan out better than in year's past.(Photo: AP).

NWSB insider and Mariners blogger Jeff Budke brings us his take on the biggest surprises of the Mariners minor league rosters to kick off 2013. Topping the list is the delegation of Mike Zunino to Triple A Tacoma, and the separation of Seattle’s “big 3″ pitching prospects. Jeremy Bonderman earns applause for his decision to stick things out in the minors. Keep your eye on Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and Danny Hultzen in 2013 as well.

This just in! The Mariners Michael Morse hates to lose

Michael Morse 2

NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners blogger Jeff Budke reports on the second game of the season versus the Oakland Athletics. Jeff points out that leadoff hits and two-out rallies were key in the 7-1 victory. Hisashi Iwakuma also had a great showing, along with Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager. If there’s anything to not like, it’s Yoenis Cespedes. But in this case, hate equals respect.

Mariners game 1 of 162, the begging of true love and a little bit of hate

Felix gets win number 100 in Houston on Monday night

NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners blogger Jeff Budke reports on the first game of the season versus the Oakland Athletics. The Headline: Felix Hernandez shines as the Mariners win their 7th straight opening day game. Jeff points out the bullpen, Charlie Furbush, Pryor, and Tom Wilhelmsen surrendered two walks in only 1.1 IP. That trend cannot continue, because hits will come too. Next game check out Michael Morse and his really strange batting stretch-thing.

Finally, Opening Day graces Seattle and expectations exist!

Michael Saunders

NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners Blogger Jeff Budke discusses his expectations for the team upon opening day. I see this team being one game better than the Oakland A’s, and getting the last wild card spot in a healthy American League. The M’s will receive a nice boost from playing the lowly Houston Astros. The Angels win the AL West, and the Rangers fall apart in the second half. We expect big things from two new acquisitions, Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales.

The Seattle Mariners starting lineup on April 1st, 2013 will be…

Michael Morse, Seattle Mariners

Five days from start of the season Seattle Mariners Bench boss Eric Wedge has given enough clues for the lineup on Monday night…right? Spring Training has been nothing less than exciting for the Mariners, something that has not been said around Seattle for quite some time. With plenty of wins and a spring home run record, a breakout year […]

Writing on the wall? Casper Wells future with Seattle

Casper Wells Wide

NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners’ blogger Jeff Budke talks about the trade that went down for the M’s today. On Monday, the Mariners signed OF Endy Chavez to a minor league deal, a competent to good defensive outfielder that could step in for emergencies if injuries occurred. Also, OF Eric Thames, who was sent to AAA, could step in as well. The writing is now on the wall for Casper Wells. It looks like Jason Bay will make the club too.

Brandon Maurer is about to force his way into the Mariners Rotation

Brandon Maurer

NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners’ blogger Jeff Budke talks about a young Arm in the Seattle M’s rotation battle this season. Brandon Maurer. His AA numbers in Jackson last season point to his potential, finishing with the most consistent stats on the team. AA: 137 IP, 1.315 WHIP, 7.6 K/9 and a 3.20 ERA. This year Maurer is rarely, if ever, mentioned alongside the “big 3” pitchers the Mariners have in AAA right now (Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton). He’s more than ready.

If Tom Wilhelmsen fades in second year with the Mariners…

Tom Wilhelmsen

NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners’ blogger Jeff Budke talks about a situation that not many Seattle fans are hoping plays out–that of Tom Wilhelmsen going down the same path as Brandon League. However, should that happen, Mariners’ fans can feel rest assured that Seattle has the talent to at least get them through the season, especially with the arms of Carter Capps and Stephen Pryor on the roster.

A Prediction. The M’s Hisashi Iwakuma will be worth every penny!

Iwakuma

NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners’ blogger Jeff Budke talks about the new two year $14 million dollar extension the Mariners gave to Hisashi Iwakuma. As a pitcher who started out in the pen last year, Iwakuma was later added to the rotation, starting 16 games while having an 8-4 record with an ERA south of 3.00. The extension proves that the M’s are serious about locking up talent in the rotation while awaiting the emergence of the “big 3.” This is great news for fans of the M’s.

News and Notes: Mariners beat Rangers 4-3 in Spring Training game

Mariners St. Patricks Day

NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners’ blogger Jeff Budke talks about the 2013 spring training matchup on Sunday between division rivals the Texas Rangers and M’s. He points out Blake Beaven started against a B-squad Texas Rangers squad, the only projected regular being 1B/DH Lance Berkman. There was some extra pressure on Beavan Sunday, as opening day approaches and his spot far from solidified.

Five reasons the Mariners Dustin Ackley takes the next step in 2013

Dustin Ackley

NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners’ blogger Jeff Budke talks about the 2013 season and the expectations for Dustin Ackley. He points out when looking at Ackley’s splits from a year ago, the numbers are almost identical. Unfortunately, they were consistently low. He goes on to say at this point in his career, Ackley has been more consistent with quality commercials than producing quality play at the plate. He is still young, give it time M’s fans.

Three reasons the Mariners Kyle Seager takes the next step in 2013

Kyle Seager Widescreen

NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners’ blogger Jeff Budke talks about the 2013 season and the expectations for Kyle Seager. He points out Seager is no longer fighting for his spot at 3B, he also knows about the grind of 162 games. Mariners fans are not hoping for better numbers in that department, just more plate appearances! M’s fans expect Kyle Seager to produce at SafeCo Field the way he has done on the road in his career.