Seattle Mariners Potential 2013 Lineup
Seattle Mariners Potential 2013 Lineup
The Seattle Mariners had a moderately busy winter this offseason, after making a “serious” run at star outfielder Josh Hamilton and eventually losing out to their division-rivals the Los Angeles Angels, GM Jack Zduriencik was still able to bring two sluggers via trade.
Although Mike Morse and Kendrys Morales do not provide the same star power that Hamilton does, they still add the power bats that the Mariners have so desperately needed over the last few years.
The Mariners saw some young players emerge in 2012, with Kyle Seager showing that he has potential to be a middle of the order bat with his 20 home runs and 86 RBI last year. Other youngsters like Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley will look to shake off poor performances in 2012 and show that can be a productive of the Mariners lineup.
Seattle has had some historically putrid offensive seasons the last few years, but this lineup has potential to be one the best in the last ten years or so.
There is no question that Felix Hernandez is the ace of this staff and this was solidified when he signed his historic contract extension. The Mariners also added veteran left-hander Joe Saunders to the rotation, but after that they are very inexperienced.
It is unlikely that the Mariners will see top prospects like Danny Hultzen or Taijuan Walker on the opening day roster, but I’m sure fans would welcome the idea.
The AL West will be a very tough division in 2013, but the Mariners have a lineup that can contend with anyone.
RF, Michael Saunders
Michael Saunders did a fine job replacing Franklin Gutierrez in center field last year, but with Gutierrez now healthy, Saunders will have to move to right. The Mariners don't have a typical leadoff hitter, Saunders is probably the best candidate.
2B, Dustin Ackley
Dustin Ackley had a disappointing sophomore campaign in 2012, hitting only. 226. Ackley will need to have a rebound season in 2013 if he doesn't want to be labeled a bust.
LF, Mike Morse
Mike Morse is back for his second stint with the Mariners and hopefully he will be more successful this time around. The Mariners will rely on Morse in the middle of the lineup in 2013 and anything less than 30 home runs would be a disappointment.
3B, Kyle Seager
Kyle Seager might not be the most typical middle of the order hitter, but he has the ability to drive in runs. Seager had an incredible 2012 season hitting 20 home runs and driving in 86 runs.
DH, Kendrys Morales
Kendrys Morales has all-star caliber talent when he is healthy, but if he isn't it will be a long season for him and the Mariners. Morales will need to be an impact bat in the middle of Mariners lineup in 2013.
C, Jesus Montero
With top prospect Mike Zunino waiting in the minor leagues, Jesus Montero could be running his course as a catcher. He will need to hit more than the 15 home runs that he hit in 2012 if he wants to keep his job behind the dish.
1B, Justin Smoak
2013 will most likely be Justin Smoak's last chance to prove himself to the Mariners organization. Smoak did hit 20 home runs last year, but he will need to do a better job of hitting for contact in 2013.
CF, Franklin Gutierrez
When Franklin Gutierrez is healthy, he is one the best defensive outfielders in baseball, but over the last two seasons he has only played 132 games. Gutierrez will be given a chance to show that he can stay healthy, but if not, it will be an easy transition for Michael Saunders to slide back over to center.
SS, Brendan Ryan
Like Gutierrez, Brendan Ryan can be considered elite defensively, but health is not a problem for Ryan. Offense is the problem for Ryan who hit below the Mendoza line in 2012. However, Ryan is good enough defensively that he will keep his spot at the bottom of the order.
SP, Felix Hernandez
There is absolutely no question that Felix Hernandez is the ace of the Mariners staff. Hernandez took the next step to establishing himself as one the best pitchers in baseball when threw his perfect game on Aug. 15.
SP, Joe Saunders
Joe Saunders adds the veteran experience that this Mariners rotation desperately needs. Saunders also has playoff experience and is a good left-handed presence.
SP, Hisashi Iwakuma
Hisashi Iwakuma pitched very well in his 16 starts. He has yet to fully establish himself as an American pitcher, but he will be given a chance in 2013.
SP, Blake Beavan
Blake Beavan will need to prove that he is more than a placeholder in the Mariners rotation. Beavan is a finesse pitcher and will need to locate and keep the ball down if he wants to have a successful 2013 season.
SP, Erasmo Ramirez
RHP Erasmo Ramirez made a good impression in the eight starts that he made at the end of 2012. He is currently the frontrunner for the fifth spot, but things could change by the end of the spring.
Closer, Tom Wilhelmsen
2013 will be Tom Wilhelmsen's first full season as the Mariners closer. Wilhelmsen used his electric fastball and nasty curveball to accumulate 29 saves in 2012.