Running out of different combinations of titles for these weekly posts …
There were five games played in the last week, thanks to a New York rainout. The Mariners went 4-1, losing on Friday when Felix and the bullpen didn’t really have their best stuff.
Things are looking up since that 8-game losing streak. Let me be one of many who have already brought this up, but the Mariners have gone 7-2 since that losing streak, and both losses were the Felix starts. The Mariners kick off week 6 one game under .500. I’ve been thinking about it and this is probably as good as it gets. The Mariners are, as presently constructed, around a .500 team. If they can SOMEHOW stay around .500 through the rest of the month, we’re looking at a POSSIBLE best-case-scenario type of thing.
As I’ve talked about repeatedly, this starting rotation isn’t going to do it. The Mariners have too many long-reliever types (Maurer, Young, Ramirez) starting games for us, and zero long-reliever types in the actual bullpen where they’re needed. This bullpen has been pretty shoddily used, but it’s also done a tremendous job given the circumstances.
Take out Felix & Roenis Elias and the rest of our starters have combined for 69.1 innings over 14 starts, which amounts to LESS than 5 innings per start. Hell, if you throw Elias into the mix, you’re still talking about 104.1 innings over 20 starts, which is just a little over 5 innings per start. I mean, say what you will about the bullpen, but they have been seriously overworked. Seriously overworked WITHOUT a long reliever in the unit.
Now, obviously, Chris Young won’t be going anywhere. If nothing else, he could be a valued long man if Paxton & Walker manage to return this season. That’ll be nice to have, because it’ll mean Maurer and Ramirez will remain down in AAA where they belong. And, it’ll be nice because, obviously, we’ll have Paxton & Walker back, and they should be vast improvements over the alternative.
In other news, Iwakuma returned over the weekend and did pretty well. He pitched into the seventh inning, kept us in it, and got the win. HUGE boost to the team; here’s to hoping that he sticks around for the rest of the season.
Robinson Cano is still a godsend.
Michael Saunders has been on quite the hot streak over the last week and change. You still don’t want to see him in the everyday lineup long term, but it couldn’t hurt riding this out while he has the scorching bat.
Abraham Almonte was sent down after yesterday’s game. To start the season, the good out-weighed the bad with him, but over the last 3-4 weeks, he’s been pretty much a disaster. Considering he never really did all that much in Spring Training (yet, somehow earned daily starts in center and at the top of the lineup), I can’t imagine him returning to the Major Leagues any time soon. I don’t know what the team saw in him to give him so many chances, but you’re not going to win too many games on “potential”.
Someone I do see some potential in is Stefen Romero. He’s not necessarily rocking my socks off or anything, but he’s steadily gotten more playing time and is starting to look more comfortable at the plate. In the last 7 games he’s played in, he’s 7 for 27 with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 5 runs scored and an RBI. Again, they’re not the best numbers I’ve ever seen, but I’d like to see him get some steady playing time through the rest of this month to see what he’s got. He passes the eyeball test as a guy who will get on base and will hit for a little pop. At the very least, he’s not a guy the other teams will feel the need to pull a defensive shift on (words can’t describe how tired I am of the shift; why can’t these batters just hit the ball the other way once in a while?).
Charlie Furbush is terrible. He had a good year last year, which goes to show just how wild relievers will vary from season to season. He looks like another one of those guys who doesn’t know where the ball is going to end up when it leaves his hand. He also throws a very flat ball, which can’t be too terribly difficult to hit. His ERA in the month of May after two appearances is infinity. The manager has clearly lost some confidence in him, but what can we do? Lucas Luetge is no better. I don’t even know who we have beyond that in our bullpen.
Someone mind telling me again why we didn’t re-sign Oliver Perez? He ended up signing a 2-year deal for a little over $4 million TOTAL with the Diamondbacks. You’re telling me we couldn’t have gone 2 years, $5 million? Hell, in the month of May alone, he’s infinity better than Furbush, and Perez hasn’t really been all that good this year!
Sometimes, I get the feeling that this Mariners front office doesn’t know what the fuck it’s doing, but maybe it’s just me.