Archive: April, 2022
On this off day in the schedule, some random musings on the state of the Mariners and the Majors, as well as the experience of attending games at TMP...
Ads, outbreaks, and throwbacks
Some baseball notes from the various corners of my brain as we prepare for tonight's game against the hapless Texas Rangers...
A tale of two ballclubs
The season-opening road trip for Your Seattle Mariners showed us a 2022 team very much like the 2021 version. The just-concluded home-opening series vs. Houston showed us what a new ’22 Mariner club could be instead. Distinctly different outcomes from what would appear from the outside to be distinctly different offensive approaches give credence to the theory that relying on home runs is for chumps.
Where are they now?
As one of the youngest teams in the Major Leagues, the Mariners have had a lot of turnover on their roster in the last few years. Your Seattle Mariners might look like someone else's Seattle Mariners at first, but we can help you get to know the new guys—check out our season preview and player profile sections for the goods on that front. But what of the formers?
It's Opening Day! Well, not for the Mariners, their opener got pushed to tomorrow thanks to the weather in Minneapolis. Regardless, it means it's time once more for us to consult our tarot cards and exercise our talents at clairvoyance and predict how things will play out in 2022. Last year we got some right, some wrong, some really wrong, and generally demonstrated that sometimes we don't know nothin'. But what the hey, it's fun. So here goes! Participating are grandsalami.net contributors Andy Williams, Bill Abelson, Erik Lundegaard, Mark Nash, and myself.
2022 Season Preview: Outfield/DH/Bench
Looking at the lackluster production from Seattle outfielders last year, you might think it's an area of weakness—as a group, Mariner OFs combined to bat .210/.297/.396 in 2021, so it's understandable if that was your impression. But the M's actually have an embarrassment of riches in the outfield. On paper, anyway (or on screen, as it were). Though 2020 Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis will start the season on the injured list again, he figures to be back in action before too long, joining Mitch Haniger, Jarred Kelenic, and Jesse Winker in a steady OF rotation.
2022 Season Preview: Intro
When the Mariners began their it’s-not-a-rebuild-don’t-call-it-that-it’s-just-a-step-back after the 2018 campaign, general manager Jerry Dipoto told us the plan was to be contending by 2021. Then the pandemic happened and 2020 was all but wiped out in terms of development time, making things a bit murkier. But with some more additions in that truncated season and a shocking performance from a patchwork relief corps last year, the M’s actually did it—they were in the race all the way to the last weekend of the 2021 season. Sellout crowds in the final homestand of the year despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, obsessive...
2022 Season Preview: Starting rotation
Unlike the last two seasons (OK, one plus the mini-2020), the Mariners will not start the year with a six-man rotation. That experiment was tied to a tenuous logic about workloads after long layoffs (2020) and then because of a lack of innings in the prior year (2021). It didn't really pan out, the pitchers didn't like it, and—perhaps most importantly to manager Scott Servais—it deprived the bullpen of yet another arm that it didn't need (the Seattle bullpen had anywhere from 8-11 pitchers in it last year while the team carried a minuscule bench).
2022 Season Preview: Bullpen
A year ago the conventional wisdom was that relief pitching was going to be the Mariners' biggest weakness. It was yet another patchwork mix of unknowns and reclamation projects that couldn't possibly have much success. And yet, that bullpen carried the M's all the way to the final weekend of the season. Obscure names like Drew Steckenrider and Paul Sewald delivered results no one expected and were the principal reason Seattle won 90 games with a -51 run differential. Can they possibly repeat that level of excellence? It doesn't seem likely.
2022 Season Preview: Catcher/Infield
Last July the M's decided it was time to begin the Cal Raleigh era in Seattle. Was that a good idea? In 47 games from July 11 through the end of the season the big switch-hitter couldn't hit his weight, batting all of .180 in his rookie year. On the other hand, he got to experience the big leagues and a pressure-packed playoff chase, which may turn out to be valuable as a transition period. It remains to be seen. In roughly two full minor-league seasons spread over three years (2018, ’19, and ’21) he worked his way up from...