Seattle Mariners (75-87) - Last Place American League West
The Seattle Mariners fans miss the days of Ken Griffey, Jr., Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, and Jay Buhner, but it seems like the Mariners have a plan and are beginning to execute it. Being in a powerhouse division is making the trek to the top a hard one, but it seems management in Seattle is willing to make some sacrifices to get there. Ichiro has been the face of the franchise and one of the most popular players of the last decade and the Mariners parted ways with the Japanese star in 2012. Many were shocked to see this move made, but I think it was the right move for the Mariners.
Pitchers- Has anyone heard of this Felix Hernandez guy? I think they call him "King Felix." Yeah, hes pretty good. The starting rotation starts at the top with a Top 5 (in my opinion Top 3) arm in King Felix. Felix sported a 3.06 ERA and struck out a whopping 223 batters to tie for third in the American League. Felix also led all of baseball with 5 complete game shut outs out of his 13 wins, just proving how dominate King Felix really is. The rest of the starting staff was able to stay healthy for most of the year (only 7 different starters for the season), and Jason Vargas was a key component to the staff with a 3.85 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Closer Tom Wilhelmsem might be the closer of the future in Seattle, as he converted 29 saves in 34 chances after taking over the closers role from Brandon League. Wilhelmsen also had a 2.50 ERA in his 73 appearances.
Infielders- The Seattle Mariners have a lot of young talent around the infield, and as is the case with young teams, sometimes there are growing pains along the way. The Mariners were led offensively, by youngster Kyle Seager. Seager led the team with 20 home runs and 86 runs batted in. Two bagger, Dustin Ackley had high hopes coming into the season after a strong finish to his 2011 campaign. I am not sure if the struggles were due to teams having a scouting report and video on Ackley, but in 2012 he had some struggles, batting .226. Designated Hitter/Catcher Jesus Montero batted .260 in 135 games. Look for the Mariners to only get better as they become more familiar with the league and grow up.
Outfielders- As was true with the infield, the outfield was a young bunch as well, featuring Michael Saunders, Matt Carp, and Casper Wells., after the Ichiro trade. Michael Saunders was by far the most successful of the bunch with a .247 average and 19 home runs. The other two were not very good as Carp batted .213 and Wells batted .228. Look for all three to grow next year as they get more consistent playing time in 2013.
The future is what fans in Seattle are looking forward to and with rumors of ownership being in the Josh Hamilton run, 2013 could be exciting times in Seattle as they try to catch the rest of the American League West.
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Have an awesome weekend.