mariners

State of the Mariners – weekly notebook | April 9th

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Welcome to the second edition of the State of the Mariners update for the 2012 regular season.  In these weekly updates you will find all the information and news regarding the Seattle Mariners Baseball Franchise.

Upcoming Match Ups

The M’s will head to Arlington for a 4 game match up against the American League reigning champions two years running, the Texas Rangers. These games will open up opportunities for the 3-4-5 pitchers in the rotation to have their first starts of the season.  This will be a bit of a trial by fire test for each of them.

These games will gain a lot of press with, Japanese superstar hurler, Yu Darvish making his major league debut and Neftali Feliz making his first start after being a solid closer for the Rangers.

Texas is a slow starting club and their ballpark is hitter friendly. 

If the M’s can continue on their surprising early season offense they could fair very well against Texas in this early outing, before making their homecoming to take on the Athletics yet again next weekend.

Recent Results

The M’s tallied a surprise 15 runs over the two games re-opening up their series in Oakland after a week back at spring training.  Jason Vargascontributed to an rare stat by starting in back-to-back games for the Mariners and did well with 7 runs of support.

Statue of Dave Niehaus

Seattle Mariners Weekly Notebook - April 9th

Felix Hernandez struggled through his first outing since the trip to Japan, nearly blowing an 8-2 lead.  Michael Saunders would deliver a late inning home run that would become critically important as the M’s held on to win 8-7.  The Mariners are now 3-1 for the season.

The Good News

Surprisingly Chone Figgins did very well in his duties as the lead-off hitter.  (especially when he turned a nine pitch lead off at bat into a triple). It is still too early to tell if his two year slump is behind him, but it is a good start to getting his way out of the most hated Mariner in history pit.

Kyle Seager started both games at third base while Chone Figgins was placed in left field.  Seager was a solid presence defensively as well as offensively and is proving the mangers faith in giving him a roster spot.

Munenori Kawasaki, who led the Cactus League in hitting this spring continued to swing a hot stick when he filled in for Brendan Ryan.  His exuberance and performance make it difficult to keep him on the bench.

Speed and aggressiveness on the base-paths were just as much a part of the two wins against Oakland as the well timed hits were.  This is a style of play M’s fans have not seen much the past few years.

The Bad News

Felix Hernandez, who has been the subject of some debate due to a declining fastball velocity, showed vulnerability.  His line for his second start of the year was concerning.  In 6.1 innings he gave up 6 runs on 8 hits with a walk and 7 strike outs.  His Season ERA stands now at 4.40.

While some are touting the Mariners as finally moving potential to production. The Athletics defense was terrible and there were several runs that came across the plates for Seattle that Oakland assisted with.  The jury is still out on if the M’s are contenders or merely pretenders in 2012.

Roster Moves / Trades

Chone Figgins, Seattle Mariners

Wait..you DID say Chone Figgins, right?

Adam Moore began his rehab assignment with the AAA Tacoma Rainiers and looked strong and healthy although he was limited in playing time.  He could pressure Wedge to replace John Jaso as the backup catcher.

Carlos Peguero continues to swing a hot bat in AAA while Casper Wells has been benched thus far.  For Peguero it seems it is not a matter of IF he will be in Seattle, but when.

Injury Report

Brendan Ryan sat out of the second game against Oakland due to neck stiffness he noticed during a pregame workout.  Ryan’s pain in the neck injury sidelined him for a good portion of the end of the 2011 season.  If this trend continues he could see himself as the new Jack Wilson…Trade Bait.

M’s in the Community

The front office for the Seattle Mariners made a public relations nightmare for themselves by sending a letter stating their concerns with the NBA/NHL arena proposed to become neighbors to Safeco field.  If the Mariners have a legitimate complaint about the infrastructure in the Sodo area of Seattle or not, there approach in this manor has led to a lot of controversy and backlash from angry fans.

At the same time this was going on, the Mariners celebrated their 35 anniversary in the MLB.  Their first game was on April 6th, 1977.  The M’s will wear a commemorative patch of this milestone on their left sleeve this season.

Gossip

Many fans are petitioning to boycott the Mariners due to their perceived stance in opposition of the Seattle Sonics return, and for the decade of garbage quality performance on the field.

Division News

Hold on to your hats!  The Mariners are in first place in the A.L. West with a 3-1 record.  Both the Angels and the Rangers are starting off the season slow.  The extra time in Spring Training could be just the advantage the M’s needed to get a leg up on the division rivals early in the season.

What’s on tap this week?

NEXT 5
Date vs Last Meeting
4/9/12 @TEX W 6-4 3/12/12
4/10/12 @TEX W 6-4 3/12/12
4/11/12 @TEX W 6-4 3/12/12
4/12/12 @TEX W 6-4 3/12/12
4/13/12 OAK W 8-7 4/7/12

 

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