Originally written January 10, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Mlb-brewers-mariners-june
Mariners have offensive woes Big Question: What else can the Seattle Mariners improve on to win in 2013? In a world of statistics, team totals are often overlooked. The average baseball fan knows that Miguel Cabrera won the triple crown with his monster numbers last season, but most have no idea if the Tigers led the league in those numbers or finished dead last (they finished 10th in HR’s, 5th in RBI, and 3rd in average, if anyone cares). The Mariners have work to do, below are 5 categories that could make or break the upcoming season. 1. Runs I promise creativity from the rest of the article, but I cannot begin with anything less that runs scored. The park a team plays in may dictate or slightly affect home runs and doubles, but no park can take away singles with people on base. It’s not entirely depressing that the M’s finished last in the AL last season, but it is unfortunate that they finished 100 runs below league average. Yikes. If the top of the lineup (presumably 2B Dustin Ackley and OF Michael Saunders) can get on base, be aggressive and put themselves into position for the players to drive them in, this team can improve. Kendrys Morales, 3B Kyle Seager, and C Jesus Montero may not be traditional home run hitters, but all can work the count and should get more base knocks with runners on this season. We all love the Bartender. 2. OPS The Mariners’ On-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) was far and away the worst in the league (Come on Astros!). This can be dictated by where the team plays, but numbers like these, if improved upon, will simply make the team better. 3. Blown Saves We all love the Bartender. It would be difficult to find someone that doesn’t love closer Tom Wilhemson, but his expectations are high coming into this year. Remember Brandon League one year ago? League was coming off an all-star type season as the Mariners closer, looking at 2012 and maybe 40-45 saves. Then, everything imploded on him. He couldn’t get anyone out, and it hurt the Mariners early season record. Wilhemson will have the same pressure this year, how he deals with it could help or hurt the Mariners early, a very important time for a young club. 4. SB against The M’s were 12 in the AL in stolen bases against them. You can attribute this to Mike Trout if you want, but the reality is that our pitchers and catchers need to be more efficient keeping the base runners out of easy scoring position. Taking to you Montero and John Jaso. 5. Total Plate Appearances Each team is guaranteed 27 plate appearances per game (24 in a home win). This includes walks, as are HBP’s and weird dropped strikeout scenarios. Other than that, it comes down to getting our team as many TPA’s as possible. This should be the Mariners’ top priority this season. Maybe that means looking at more pitches and drawing walks to get more people on base, but the reality in Seattle is the need for a better batting average. After finishing dead last in TPA (in the AL) once again, it is time to put up or shut up. If the Mariners are not competitive this season, the Sonic faithful may never watch a baseball game again with their beloved back in town. Get something going M’s! Cheers. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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