Monday, May 14, 2012

Seattle Mariners weekly recap: May 7th-13th edition

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners just completed a 3-3 week which saw them face two teams who had made the playoffs the last season. The Mariners began the week at home defeating the Detroit Tigers two out of three before heading off to New York. The Mariners lost two out of three to the Yankees in New York.  After last week which saw the Mariners lose seven in a row this week was a nice welcome change as the Mariners avoided such a long losing streak. The young hitters are still finding their stride this season as a few are starting to emerge. The Mariners also saw their starting pitching let them down in New York but had a surprise guy pitch well to earn the victory on Mother's Day. This week since the team went 3-3 I  chose to be positive so we'll discuss the good(young hitters), the bad(a struggling young pitcher) and the awesome(focus on a forgotten man in the Mariners rotation plus a rule 5 draft pick). I hope you enjoy yet another Mariners weekly recap.

The Good:

This week the Mariners went 3-3 against good competition which was mainly due to their young hitters. Now that Dustin Ackley has been moved to the leadoff spot he is currently in a nine game hitting streak. His former college teammate Kyle Seager continued to hit well this week as did Casper Wells who had a monster game on Mothers Day. Struggling first baseman Justin Smoak had a good week especially in New York which saw him it a home run off a left hander which prior to that at bat he was 3-31(.091) off of lefties. This week also saw Jason Vargas continue to dominate his opponents as he increases his trade value if the Mariners choose to let him go. Lucas Luetge the lefty specialist who was a rule five draft pick continues his scoreless streak. Overall this was a pretty decent week for the Mariners. It wasn't good but it also wasn't bad either. During a long season when you are facing teams such as the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees sometimes "not bad" is a good thing. The Mariners are hoping to have their young kids grow as this is the youngest hitting team for the Mariners since 1994. The Mariners youth at times can drive you nuts but they are for the most part doing a good job. Now if the veterans can start to carry their weight this team could actually be playing some meaningful games.

Good Hitting:

Kyle Seager: 5-18(.277), run, 3 RBI's, SB
Dustin Ackley: 6-20(.300), HR, RBI, 3 runs - 9 game hitting streak
Casper Wells: 2-7(.286), HR, run, 3 RBI's, 2 BB's
Justin Smoak: 7-22(.318), HR, run, 2 RBI's.....6-12(.500) vs NYY

Good Pitching:

Jason Vargas: 1-0, 8 IP, 1.12 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 6 K's
Kevin Millwood: 1-1, 12 IP, 4.50 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 9 K's
Lucas Luetge: 1.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, K, hold
Brandon League: 3 IP, save, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, K
Shaun Kelly: 2.2 IP, 3.37 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 4 K's
Hisashi Iwakuma: 3 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 5 K's

Lucas Luetge is a rule five draft pick  who was taken back in 2005 in the 31st round by the Chicago WhiteSox. Luetge is only 25 years old but is making his major league debut this season for the Mariners. So far he has appeared in 14 games where he is 1-0 having thrown 9.2 scoreless innings. He is sporting a 1.24 WHIP with 11 strikouts. He has three holds and opponents are batting .182 off of him. He has became the Mariners top left handed reliever this year pretty amazing that the Mariners got him off the scrap heap like most of their other bullpen parts.

The Bad:

This week wasn't as bad as it could have been with the Mariners avoiding the sweep in New York. Still seeing Hector Noesi continue to struggle is  starting to become a problem. The facts are the Tacoma Rainiers currently as a team have an era over six otherwise Noesi would be down in Tacoma where he rightfully belongs. This past friday also saw King Felix Hernandez get hit around a bit by a team he normally dominates in the New York Yankees. Herandez is still having a great year so that is bound to happen and probably just a minor blip on the season for him. Mike Carp continues to struggle since coming back from his injury. Last year he started off slow as well so maybe that is simply what he does. Brendan Ryan continues to be a liability at the plate despite his terrific glove. Eric Wedge moved him from the #2 hole(should have never been there to begine with) to the #9 hole. At what point does Wedge seriously consider DH'ing Ryan's spot in the order? The Mariners like I said didn't have a bad week overall. During a loss on Tuesday to the Tigers our fans did show why they are some of the worst in the country when allowing an oposing player to dive into our stands to making the winning catch. I bring this up because seven fans politely backed away. That play summed up the Mariners fans and Seattle fans in one giant nutshell.

Bad Hitting:

Jesus Montero: 3-21(.143), HR, 2 runs, 2 RBI's, 5 K's
Mike Carp: 2-16(.125), HR, run, 2 RBI's, 4 K's
Brendan Ryan: 2-18(.111), 3 runs, RBI, SB, 3 K's

Bad Pitching:

Hector Noesi: 0-1, 7 IP, 6.42 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 4 K's
Felix Hernandez: 0-1, 6.2 IP, 5.39 ERA, 1.94 WHIP, 7 K's
Tom Wilhelmsen: 1.1 IP, 13.53 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 3 K's

Although he didn't pitch poorly this particular game for the year Hector Noesi has been terrible minus two starts against two crappy offenses at home. For the year he has started seven games sporting a 2-4 record having thrown only 37 innings. He has 6.32 ERA and 1.30 WHIP with 22 K's. His main problem is he has walked 13 batters and allowed eight home runs. He needs to keep both numbers way down as opponents are only hitting .248 off of him.

The Awesome:

Jason Vargas is kind of the forgotten man in the Mariners rotation. With Felix Hernandez grabbing all the headlines along with the new upcoming big three of James Paxton, Taijuan Walker and Danny Hultzen. Vargas was also part of the J.J. Putz trade along with Franklin Guiterrez and Mike Carp. Vargas has been a solid pitcher for the Mariners since the 2009 season. He may have a career losing record but that is mostly because this team can't score any runs. Vargas is enjoying a terrific season so far and is increasing his value.

Which begs the questions, should the Mariners hang onto Vargas or trade Vargas? I think with Vargas struggling in the second half in years past possibly trading him wouldn't be such a bad idea. Hopefully turn Vargas into a Doug Fister type of package where you land four guys who will help your major league team(Charlie Furbush, Chance Ruffin, Casper Wells and Francisco Martinez). Vargas like Fister was the unsung guy of the team and is very "boring" as he isn't a big strikeout guy. Vargas has a ton of value and if the Mariners can speed up their rebuilding by turning him into some valueable pieces that even better. Vargas has been terrific this year and regardless of what the Mariners do with him I'll remember him fondly.

Awesome Pitching:

Jason Vargas: 8 starts, 4-2, 51.2 IP, 2.79 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 38 K's, .200 BAA
Felix Hernandez: 8 starts, 3-2, 59 IP, 2.29 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 58 K's, .216 BAA

The problem with trading Vargas is right now the Mariners have no pitching. Those two are giving the Mariners everything while Blake Beavan, Kevin Millwood and Hector Noesi along with what is down in Tacoma has given the Mariners franchise mostly crap.

Al West Standings:

Texas Rangers: 23-12, first place
Oakland A's: 18-17, 5.0 GB
Seattle Mariners: 16-20, 7.5 GB
L.A. Angels: 15-20, 8.0 GB

The Mariners completed this tough week and will face the struggling Boston Red Sox on the road and the Cleveland Indians as well. The Mariners are still four games under .500 as they hope to stay competitive this season and avoid losing 90+ games for the third straight year. The Mariners are winning with youth which has been nice to see. Hopefully the young kids keep growing and the wins start to come in bunches.


  1. People have to remember that this will be a season that will have its ups and downs.

    You are dealing with a lot of young kids that are learning on the fly. I foresee some good stretches followed by some pretty frustrating stretches.

    I have been pleasantly surprised by the growth of Vargas and Sieger. I also believe that Ackley will turn it around and make it through this phase where pitchers have adjusted to him.

    Of more concern, is Justin Smoak. For Seattle to make the leap forward all Mariner fans hope for, we need some pop in the middle of the lineup (especially in the A.L. West). With his long swing and inability to make consistent contact, I find it difficult to see a time where he can be a force in the 4 or 5 spot. At best, right now he is Calos Pena without the ability to take a walk. Not a good combination!

  2. I'd say he's worse than Pena cause Pena provided some big power years. Agree with everything in your post! Smoak strikes out way too much for having such limited power(plus he's bad defensively).

    As for Ackley he was riding a nine game hitting streak so perhaps leadoff is where he belongs?

    Vargas last two years has pitched well first half then fallen off considerably in the second half. Why I wouldn't mind trading him if you can.

    Seager has been a pleasant surprise that is for sure!