Well, the new baseball season is upon us. This is a great time of year because mathmatically every team is still alive and fans everywhere have hope that this will be the year their team finally wins a pennant or a World Series ring. Since Spring Training numbers don’t mean much it is hard to tell who will be good and who will flop this year. But since the Seattle Mariners are my favorite team here are some quick thoughts about this coming year:
The Mariners will be much better than last year. It will be hard to do worse than last years dismal 61-101 record. 100 losses? Totally unacceptable with that roster. Last year so many of the Mariners under-performed and if they can just play up to their potential that will be a marked improvement. Realistically I don’t think the Mariners will push the Angels too hard for the AL West title but I think they could be around 80-85 wins.
Defensively the Mariners are one of the most improved teams. Last year they were horrible with a -45 FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average which measures the runs saved or lost relative to the MLB average). This year they are projected to be at +11 so that is a jump of 56 runs. Last year the Rays made a jump from -117 to +59 and look where that got them. Defensive numbers are a much overlooked factor for most teams and with the addition of Franklin Gutierrez and Endy Chavez in the OF and dumping Raul Ibanez the Mariners outfield is much, much better than it was.
Griffy Jr. is back!!! While this won’t be huge in a statistical sense he does bring some much needed excitement to Safeco Field. Griffy is probably the most popular player ever in Seattle (maybe Edgar or Ichiro can make an argument here) and even though he isn’t gonna put up 56 homers and make acrobatic catches in the OF he can still provide some pop in the middle of the lineup and will make a big attitude upgrade in the locker room. Also being able to DH a few times a week should help save his legs and should cut down on some of the injuries.
We need big stuff from the starting pitchers. Felix Hernandez has so much potential it is sick and Eric Bedard needs to live up to his contract. If those two can be solid at the top of the lineup and push for 20 wins I think the back of the rotation will be good enough.
So there will be a lot of ifs and maybes this year with the Mariners. It could be a magical year like 2005 and they could totally outperform what they should do or it could be another disappointment. But I am guardedly optimistic this year. I think they Mariners will be better than most expect but don’t think they are in a position to push for the playoffs quite yet.
As far as the rest of the league? Here is my projected order of finish
AL East – Rays, Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles
AL Central – Indians, Twins, White Sox, Tigers, Royals
AL West – Angels, Mariners, A’s, Rangers
NL East – Mets, Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Nationals
NL Central – Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Reds, Pirates, Astros
NL West – Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Padres, Rockies
World Series – Mets over the Red Sox
Leave a comment to let me know how stupid you think I am or if you think I am a genius