Sunday, March 06, 2005


2005 Season Preview: Seattle Mariners

Many people think that Seattle is going to contend after signing Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson because the lineup has two "power" bats in it. Well, run scoring was a problem last year for the Mariners, but so were runs allowed, and they did not do squat about their rotation. Also, Richie Sexson is a guy who already hit his peak, is coming off labrum surgery, and is coming to a pitcher's park. I think his numbers will suffer just a tad. His was probably the worst signing of the offseason, considering the amount of money thrown at him for an unsure thing (4 years, $50 million). Do you really expect Carlos Delgado (4 years, $52 million) to be outperformed or even matched by Richie Sexson the next few seasons?

Adrian Beltre, 3B: Sure it helps the lineup a lot. But Beltre may never see his astonishing 2004 numbers again. His numbers probably won't take a hit from pitcher friendly Safeco since he played with Los Angeles, but they may suffer some from the NL to AL switch. Not to mention none of the good pitchers are on his team, so he's going to have to face them.

Ricky Gutierrez, SS: Hey, Boston won a World Series with Gutierrez and Pokey Reese.....sort of.

Pokey Reese, SS: $1.2 million to play defense, because he sure as hell isn't going to hit in Safeco if he can't hit in Fenway.

Aaron Sele, SP: Back to the place where his success began. If he can stay healthy he might be able to help this team, but that isn't saying much for the rotation.

Richie Sexson, 1B: See above. Even if he produces this year, what about the next year he's overpaid? And the year after that? Ugh.

1) Ichiro Suzuki
2) Randy Winn
3) Adrian Beltre
4) Richie Sexson
5) Bret Boone
6) Raul Ibanez
7) Bucky Jacobsen
8) Dan Wilson
9) Pokey Reese

Ichiro probably won't have the hits record again, so some regression is expected from his spot. Randy Winn hasn't hit all that well since coming to Seattle. Beltre should regress some, and the same since Sexson's last full season. Bret Boone will show us whether he is entering the real decline phase of his career or just hit a bump in the road. Ibanez still sucks, sorry guys. Bucky Jacobsen should be interesting this season, just because he is getting a full year. He projects to 34 homeruns in 162 games if you take his 42 game homerun rate from last year. I'm not saying he'll hit that many, but it'd sure help.

1) Jamie Moyer
2) Joel Piniero
3) Ryan Franklin
4) Bobby Madritsch
5) Gil Meche

Moyer is finally showing his age, but Piniero isn't as bad as he showed last year. Ryan Franklin is alright enough, and Madritsch did well in his 11 starts. Gil Meche is a #5 starter at best. Basically, this rotation can be decent enough, but not good. And they need more than good to contend in a division where on paper they are the fourth most talented team out of four. Sadly for Seattle, I think a lot of overhyped hearts are going to be broken this summer.

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