Archive: March, 2021
Opening Day roster shuffling
Game 1 of the 2021 season commences tomorrow night at 7:10 down at TMP as Your Seattle Mariners take on the San Francisco Giants. Six weeks of spring training is over and it's time to get down to brass tacks. There are a couple of unexpected wrinkles in the club's opening 26-man roster, making tomorrow's group just slightly different than previously expected.
The 2021 season is nigh: Predictions!
Opening Day is this Thursday, April 1st, and we are looking forward to a real baseball season this year: 162 games on each team's schedule, no wacky short-season participation-trophy playoff brackets, fans at the ballparks (sort of, at least at the start). It's almost like life is returning to normal. Almost. OK, not really, we're still living in pandemic times for a while yet, but at least we have this. (Seriously, wear your mask and don't screw this up. We're not out of the woods yet.)
Mucking about with the rules (again)
Rob Manfred cannot leave well enough alone.
Previewing the '21 Mariners: Outfield/DH
The future is bright for Your Seattle Mariners when it comes to outfielders. The present is a little dimmer, but any youth movement has growing pains; 2021 may see a fair number of those as the building of the New Mariner Dynasty™ continues. Top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodríguez will start the season in the minor leagues (as they should) and the guys on the big club have some developing left to do.
Previewing the '21 Mariners: Catcher/Infield
The catcher position hasn't historically been a strength for the Mariners. When the franchise's best players to man the position include a hitter who only got on base at a .309 clip (Dan Wilson), a one-year-and-done solid hitter that was considered a defensive liability (Omar Narváez), and a guy who saw local taverns use his batting average to determine the price of a pint of beer (Dave Valle), the bar for success is pretty low. The club is cautiously optimistic now, though, with a catching tandem for 2021 that should hold its own.
Previewing the '21 Mariners: The bullpen
As terrific as the starting rotation has the potential to be this year, the relief corps has an equal chance to be yet another flaming bag of poo left at the gates of T-Mobile Park. It seems manager Scott Servais and GM Jerry Dipoto think so too, as they're opting to carry eight relievers in addition to the starting six pitchers. Since they do appear to have confidence in the starters, they must be presuming several relievers will be required for most games even if the starter goes six-plus frames.
Previewing the '21 Mariners: Starting pitchers
In last year's mini-season, the Mariners opted to use a six-man starting rotation rather than the customary five. There was some logic to this, mostly based on the fact that there was no minor-league baseball being played and the club didn't want to deprive the likes of Justin Dunn and Nick Margevicius of development time. Plus, with the strangeness of the interrupted spring, the long layoff, and fairly abrupt ramp-up to the brief 60-game season, giving the starters an extra day of rest each time through seemed like a reasonable precaution.
Previewing the '21 Mariners: Intro
The other day I got a one-sentence e-mail from a friend that asked, "Mariners competitive this year?" The only reply I could give was a succinct "Maybe."