By Blaidd Drwg
I had mostly written a post about how it was time for the Mariners to hit the panic button and then the Mariners went and did it in the worst possible way – they went out and traded for Mark Trumbo, which is exactly what the Mariners did not need to do. Granted, the Mariners traded a bunch of spare parts to get Trumbo (contrary what people may say, Gabby Guerrero, Vlad’s Nephew, is probably not going to be anything beyond a 4th OFer in the majors.
David Schoenfield wraps up the Mariners issues really well in this article. Basically, the team doesn’t get on base. The team has spent most of the Zdrienick era near or at the bottom of the AL in OBP which is why this team is consistently near or at the bottom of the AL in runs scored and near or at the bottom of the standings. This is a fundamental flaw in organizational philosophy. How many hitters have the Mariners developed into all-star caliber players under Z? One – Kyle Seager, despite having multiple top 10 picks. Ackley is looking like a 4th OFer, Zunino can’t hit a curve ball and looks like he will struggle to get to .200 every season, Brad Miller is really a league average SS as a hitter, Chris Taylor looks like he is going to be the same, Nick Franklin, who was traded to TB last season is looking like a 4A player and there isn’t much hope on the horizon.
Those who know me know that I wasn’t high on the Mariners coming into 2015 – they didn’t fix their on-base issues in the offseason and they were historically good last season at preventing runs, which meant that regression in that capacity is likely. Any offense that they added was going to be offset by a bigger increase in runs allowed, which is exactly what has happened so far this season.
Back to Trumbo. The guy has power, which puts him in 30 HR territory. That is great, except that the Mariners already hit a ton of home runs. Trumbo has a career .299 OBP which is horrible. He is a terrible defensive OF (although he isn’t bad at 1B, but it seems that the Mariners are convinced that Logan Morrison is the answer there). He probably ends up as a full time DH and occasional 1B, which is probably about right for him. The other thing that Trumbo has going for him is that he hits right handed. The M’s have an incredibly left handed heavy lineup and this will help balance it out. It doesn’t solve the issue of getting on base.
While we are at it, it is past the time where Fernando Rodney is the Mariners closer. Rodney has converted 14 of 17 save opportunities, which makes him look better than he has been. He has managed to compile an ERA of near 7 and in 7 out of his last 9 save opportunities, he has given up at least 1 run. The scary thing is that he has entered every one of those games at the start of the inning with no runners on. I can’t imagine that the Mariners even remotely trust him to come in with runners on at this point, yet McClendon still says Rodney is his closer.
I figured the Mariners were an 80-83 win team this season. I am willing to bet if they finish anywhere below 81 wins, that you will see a new manager and GM for the 2016 season.