Seattle Mariners– Projected Win Total: Under 81 wins – 4th in the AL West
Since we last checked with the Mariners, much of the news has not been good if you like Seattle and want to view them favorably. The bad news on starting pitchers Hisachi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker leaves two porous holes in the rotation.
According to George A. King III of the New York Post, Seattle scouts were intently surveying the Yankees David Phelps and thinking what kind of package they could put together to make a presumed win-win package for both teams. This really hurts Seattle since these are their No. 2 and possibly No. 4 starters and MLB handicappers have to look at this team differently from that perspective.
Also, Robinson Cano has made it known he would like another bat in the Seattle starting lineup for protection and a return of Kendry Morales, at least to him, is viewed as a very positive move.
The fact is this is a team that needs offense after finishing 12th in the American League in runs scored at 3.9 per game. While Cano is a positive, some of his numbers are expected to be negated playing Safeco Field as opposed to Yankee Stadium. This places more pressure currently on a Corey Hart, Justin Smoak and Kyle Seager to raise their offensive numbers if the M’s are to be any factor in their division.
Felix Hernandez was rocked for four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings and his body language throughout his appearance suggested Opening Day was a ways away and he was not concerned. In Allen Iverson fashion, King Felix added, "We're in spring training, man," he said. "I don't look at any results."
If much traveled Fernando Rodney is slated to be the Mariners closer, today was another bad day as he could not even finish one inning in surrendering two runs on two sharp hits and walk.
MLB Season Projections
It is really a challenge to pick Seattle anywhere other than fourth in their division and if they are without two key starters, reaching .500 appears to be a stretch for the Mariners if you take the sportsbooks number at face value.