Wednesday, August 4, 2010

MARINERS: Mariners Update, Sorry for the Hiatus

It has been a while since the Seattle Mariners were discussed here on Next Season Sports. Unfortunately for baseball fans of the Great Northwest, it has been a long season and I apologize for all the writers here at NSS for the hiatus.

For those of you who have followed this team the entire season, you deserve a hug and a gift basket, containing such consoling items as tissues and sleeping pills, in an attempt to provide happy dreams of what lies in the future of Seattle baseball (aka: the Tacoma Rainers).

If you have been like many other Seattle baseball fans, you might have given up on the Mariners the day they traded Cliff Lee. Plain and simple, you have not missed much.

To Continue...

Since the All-Star break, the M’s offense has been as lethargic as ever before and the pitching has begun to show its youth. All in all, the Mariners are not going anywhere special this season, and management has aimed their focus toward the future of the club.

No major moves were made during the recent trade deadline period, except for the typical shuffling of roster spots, sending ineffective players (ie: Rob Johnson) down to AAA for those showing promise (ie: Adam Moore).

Other recent news includes the scrutiny and questioning of manager Don Wakamatsu after a dugout incident revolving around an unhappy Chone Figgins, Jose Lopez and Wak himself. This conflict eventually lead to a report of Jack Zduriencik inquiring with the Atlanta Braves regarding a Figgins trade, to no avail.

The one substantial move happening in the Mariner system lately was the Wednesday trade of DH Mike Sweeney to the Phillies, on a waiver claim, for a player to be named later. Sweeney was most recently playing in Tacoma after recovering from a prolonged stint on the DL.

The Mariners have not impressed anyone as of late, which is not news to any Seattle fan.

However, the future may bring promise for an organization that has shown it is tired of losing. The Tacoma Rainiers are currently in first place in the PCL of Triple-A and have shown signs of brilliance. The skills of young Dustin Ackley (our most recent first-round draft pick), Greg Halman, Justin Smoak, and Matt Mangini can spark hope in the eyes of many Seattle fans.

Many of the Mariner pitching prospects are also showing some signs of hope down in Tacoma. Numerous pitchers, such as Josh Lueke (who was part of the Cliff Lee trade), Anthony Varvaro, Edward Paredes, and Brian Moran all have more strikeouts than total innings pitched this season. And we cannot forget about the dominance showed by Michael Pineda, who draws comparison to Felix Hernandez down on the farm.

This season may be over as we speak, but the future is shining bright and not all hope is gone for the Mariners. The September roster expansion will provide us with a glimpse of the future. It may be a year or two until this team battles to be a playoff contender, but at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

NOTE: The Mariners are on pace to achieve one of their worst seasons in history. The team is well within reach of at least tying their worst season ever, that of 1978, when they finished the season with a record of 56-104. Lastly, if the team does go on to lose 100+ games this season, it will be the forth time losing over 100 games in their 34 year history.

Reach Kyle Fosnes at