Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 3/6/13
The Seattle Mariners’ Offense Blooming in the Spring The Seattle Mariners‘ front office didn’t make any media-frenzied splashes during the off season, but they did fill holes. It is no mystery that the offense in 2012 was a record-breaking disaster, and they were desperate for some change in the lineup. GM Jack Zduriencik made some adjustments – adding Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse. The two hitters are 29 and 30 respectively, and have each put together solid seasons in recent years. Unfortunately – due to injuries – they somewhat struggled in their 2012 campaigns. Nevertheless, they have added much needed pop to a young Mariner lineup that is currently riding a 10-game winning streak in spring ball. While production in the Cactus League is never anything to judge a season on, the way they have been winning sparks yet another feeling of optimism for the Mariners in 2013. Swinging for the Fences Now, baseball, we have been through a lot these last few years. Some good, but mostly bad. It’s not you, it’s just the lineup. I think it is finally time to say…GOODBYE BASEBALL! Carlos Peguero is greeted by Jesus Montero after blasting a 2-run HR. (Komo/AP) That’s right, the Seattle Mariners are leading the MLB with 24 dingers in the 2013 spring. Granted, they are batting against a wide variety of pitchers who – some of which – will be lucky to make the club. But that goes for every other team as well. We’re just doing it better. Several question marks remain in the Seattle lineup, and players are striving to answer them. Carlos Peguero has the power to drive the ball a mile, yet cannot keep up with a major league fastball. He has hit 8 home runs in his career, and 0 of them have been on pitches over 90 MPH (courtesy of Marc W, ussmariner.com). Something that obviously needs improvement, but his 3 bombs thus far are encouraging indeed. Justin Smoak has been tossed back-and-forth between the majors and triple-a due to inconsistency and lack of power. When Morales was brought in, many thought he would be Smoak’s replacement. But Smoak is determined to show why he was one of the top prospects in baseball, hitting .500 with 2 HR’s and 2 doubles in 16 at-bats. Jason Bay was surrounded by questions as well, but he has 2 HR’s and 4 RBI’s in just 8 at bats – along with 4 walks. Franklin Gutierrez is finally healthy and showing some power with 3 HR’s and 7 RBI’s. A healthy Guti would be HUGE for the Mariners this season. The new additions have been fitting in nicely as well - Raul Ibanez  is hitting .538 with 2 HR’s, Morales .357 and 2 HR’s, and Morse .308 and 2 HR’s. Again, you must take these stats with a grain of salt considering the competition. But you can get excited about this: Last season the Mariners had a total of 28 home runs in their entire Spring Training. This year we are already at 24, with 23 games to go. This sudden surge of power gives the possibility of some potency to the Mariner lineup. Throw in the fact that the Safeco Field fences are being moved in, and you have yourself a very intriguing situation. Could the Mariners’ actually make opposing pitchers bat an eyelash, or think before throwing? They just may, they just may. Go M’s!!!! CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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