Seattle Mariners Arriving as Contenders?

By Gareth McBride
Jake Roth-USA Today

Jesus Montero launched a massive Grand Slam the other day in what was for the most part a blowout laugher for the Seattle Mariners.  As the team winds down the Cactus League schedule, few will remember their blowout win as it is just another in a line of exhibition games.

The dinger was the 52nd  home run of the spring for the Mariners and established a new club record for the team. Reflecting on names like Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, Alex Rodriquez, and Edgar Martinez constituted the power core of the team, it is very encouraging to see the new players and young talent put on such an impressive display.

For a team that has had historic offensive issues the past few seasons, seeing the unexpected power combined with high batting averages and decreased strikeouts is a welcome sign for manager Eric Wedge, who hopes the increased production will carry through to the regular season and allow the Mariners to contend for one of the two wild-card spots in the American League.

For a team built on pitching and defense, the additional offense has many fans speculating on the ability of the Mariners to contend in the American League West and if the much vaunted young talent on the team has finally arrived.

The season is a very long haul and the key for them is to avoid prolonged slumps and the dreaded injury bug.  If the Mariners can continue to grow and can continue the offensive displays, then the team may find themselves sailing into contention faster than anyone expected.

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