Found July 31, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Dusting off the crystal ball The Seattle Mariners weren’t sure exactly what to expect coming into this season. They had a slew of young talent knocking on the door. They had a new group of veterans looking to acquaint and re-acquaint themselves with the team. So far this season, these 2 groups have worked with incumbent players to help change the landscape of the locker room. It’s starting to show. With the season just over halfway complete, the Mariners have been all over the place. While there’s still a sliver of a chance that the team can climb into the conversation for the final wild card spot, most of us are already looking to next season. Nobody is saying it, but we’re all thinking it. There is some hope left this season, though. Let’s make some end of season predictions. Peguero last shot at majors Carlos Peguero has shown flashes of brilliance in his stints in Seattle. Problem is, though, is that they were stints with no real strong run of productivity. With a farm system chocked full of youngsters, the pressure is on guys like Peguero to make a move or get out of the way. Nick Franklin could very well end up winning some big honors this season My guess is he will be called up at the end of August or September for one last chance to show he can stick in the majors. If not, departure is imminent We will see Romero, Paxton/Walker by season’s end The youth movement will continue as we inch closer to seeing Jack Z’s plan come to fruition before our eyes. With Nick Franklin, Brad Miller and Mike Zunino all getting their calls already, it’s time to bring the rest of them in. We will see a combination of Stefen Romero and James Paxton or Taijuan Walker – or both – be called up by season’s end. The Mariners will finish above .500 Yeah I said it. The Mariners currently sit 6 games below .500 with 2 months left in the season. If they can string together series wins like they have been for the past few weeks, this Mariners team can shock some people. Will they make the playoffs? That’s highly doubtful, but finishing above .500 would go far in proving skeptics wrong about what this team can do. Felix Hernandez will win 20 games I know it sounds crazy, but listen to this: Felix Hernandez has pitched in 22 games this season, totaling an 11-4 record. With 18-20 starts left in the season, King Felix WILL make it to 20 wins on the season. With the young guys producing in a big way, along with the added power production of Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales, Felix might just get that run support that will allow him to turn several of those no decisions into wins. Nick Franklin will win AL Rookie of the Year This is my favorite prediction. While it seems very homer of me, I beg to differ. Nick Franklin has done nothing but produce since he made the big club. So far, he’s batting .276 with 10 home runs, 32 RBI and 22 runs. While he was called up in the midst of the season, it seems the AL RoY race is as wide open as it has been in YEARS. If Franklin continues on this pace for the remainder of the season without showing signs of slowing, he will win the AL Rookie of the Year award. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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