The 2012 version of the Seattle Mariners did not hit the baseball very well. They were 30th in the league in both team average (.234), and on-base average (.296). The Mariners worked out a deal for Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton, but he declined a trip to the northwest. If the Mariners hope to contend in 2013, they’ll have to hit the baseball better. From the looks of things, that just may not be the case.
The Mariners added former Los Angeles of Anaheim slugger Kendrys Morales in hopes he improve the offense. Since suffering a devastating leg injury two seasons ago, he’s still working his way back to 100 percent. While he had a decent year for the Angels last season (.273, 22 HRs 73 RBI), the Mariners need to hope he can replicate those numbers. As Morales will learn, Safeco Field isn’t a hitters’ ballpark, so he may have to work that much harder. Fan-favorite and good looking youngster third baseman Kyle Seager (pictured above) gives the Mariners hope at the hot corner. The Mariners took a real chance on Jason Bay as well. Other than that, there’s not much hope offensively.
On the bump, Felix Hernandez is in the conversation for best starter in baseball. After King Felix, the Mariners lost last year’s team wins leader Jason Vargas to the Angels. They’re hoping Hisashi Iwakuma can continue his success from last season and pick up the slack in the rotation. The only chance the Mariners have this season is on the bump. Tom Wilhelmsen is a strong closer. When the Mariners pitch well, they’ll win. But there’s a lot of question marks up and down the rotation.
The AL West may be baseball’s best division. With the Angels, Texas Rangers and Oakland As, the Mariners seem to be a distant fourth in this race. While there’s plenty of things that can happen during a baseball season, the Mariners really need to get a lot better offensively if they want any hope of contending.