The Seattle Mariners currently have the best record in the MLB. With their hitters leading the charge, could the M’s slug their way into contention?
Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and prospects kicked off what looked to be the Mariner’s rebuild this past offseason. General manager Jerry Dipoto appeared to finally fold after years of coming up short and spending a lot of money to do just that.
The Mariners looked to shed long-term contracts and bring in young prospects for the future, which meant shipping out the likes of Cano, Diaz, Jean Segura, James Paxton, Mike Zunino and Alex Colome.
Although, after all of that turnover, the Mariners have band-aided their lineup and rotation with veterans and young players looking to establish themselves in the major leagues. Now, the team owns the best record in baseball at 11-2, and they also have the most potent offense so far.
Of course, this club has “don’t jump too soon” written all over it. Meaning, the Mariners may still end up scuffling as many expected them to do coming into the year. But, at the same time, the Mariners can contend if this offense is sustainable, which it may very well be.
Disclaimer before we go any further: contending does not mean they must make the playoffs. It simply means the team can be competitive and potentially have a winning season, which may result in a playoff berth.
Furthermore, the Mariners lead the league in hits (138), home runs (33), RBI (103), batting average (.294), slugging percentage (.568) and ops (.948). Bruce’s seven homers are tied for the league lead, Edwin Encarnacion and Tim Beckham have been obliterating the ball and Domingo Santana and Daniel Vogelbach have been nice surprises in the middle of the lineup.
Yes, the team will tail off eventually, but these are professional hitters who could be able to continue some of this success if not traded towards the end of the season. Although, Bruce, Encarnacion and even Beckham could be players that team’s pursue come trade deadline time.
Regardless, having proven hitters like this indicates that this is more than a flash in the pan. When you check the back of many of these player’s baseball cards you will see accolades and All-Star appearances.
Unlike the Baltimore Orioles who came out hot after many young, unproven players played well, the Mariners have impact bats who know what they’re doing.
Until the trade deadline, or until a decision is made, the Mariners have a deep lineup that can make some noise and hit the ball all over the ballpark. In an attempt to tear it down to build it back up again, the Mariners have stumbled upon on a group of sluggers that have taken the MLB world by storm early in 2019.