MLB Baseball Update: M’s
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While the team is shut down for the year, the M’s are sending seven of their players to join the Arizona Fall League which runs from October 4-November 19.
These matchups are important for assessing the Mariners plans for 2012 so try to keep a pulse on the stats coming out of the AFL.
From Sunday the 25 to Wednesday the 28th The M’s went 1-3. Texas finished up a 3 game sweep on the weekend in a 12-5 Texas Victory. As humiliating as that was the Mariners would only score four total runs on fourteen base hits against Oakland in three days. The season ending with a failed check swing by Mike Carp.
Of course not many noticed as all the MLB excitement was focused on the wild card drama happening on the same night.
1. The bad news:
While pitching wasn’t expected to be a huge strength in the last three starts, the fans were at least expecting a bit more out of the offense which seemed to be baffled by the Oakland hurlers.
2. The good news:
Smoak, who was acquired last season in the infamous Cliff Lee deal had a rough season dealing with the loss of his father and multiple injuries including a broken face left him stunned.
However he provided 3 of the Mariners 4 runs with his 15 home run of the season. Given a healthy year it wouldn’t be surprising to see him hit double that number next season. Tom Wilhelmsen.
The bar tender turned MLB pitcher seemed to work out the kinks in his control toward the end of the season and could be a dependable reliever for the whole of next season.
Texas moved on to host the first game of the ALDS playing against the surprise AL wildcard, Tampa Bay losing badly – which makes Mariners fans smile.
• OF Casper Wells is being treated for vertigo like symptoms.
Mariners skipper Eric Wedge has a long term plan to make Seattle a winning club as opposed to a one time wonder as they have been in the past. This will require players follow his strict instructions for the offseason. There will be a lot of competition in the 2012 spring training camp. Those that show up in the best shape are likely to have the best shot at making the roster.
Look for the Mariners to be adding veteran leadership and consistency to the team during the offseason. While Jack Z does have a good connection with Prince Fielder, (Jack originally drafted Prince while with the Brewers organization) who is the favorite free agent for fans to speculate about. The big money free agent may not be on the table at this point for the M’s. With the depth they have in the farm system they will want to be sure they do not already have the next prince already within the organization.
MLB will be opening in Japan next season featuring the Mariners and the Athletics. One has to imagine that there is no doubt about Ichiro for the next season or it is likely this deal would not have been made. The Mariners are the most televised MLB team in Japan due to Ichiro and the ownership connection.
It was also reported that Ichiro has openly confessed that he is willing to more around in the order. This makes one wonder – who else could fill the leadoff spot. Figgins?
Would that make him a better player again? With two years left on his contract it could be worth a shot.