It’s been an absolutely dismal season for the Seattle Mariners up to this point and things aren’t exactly looking up. When things start to go wrong in an organization, the first person people look to is the manager. Eric Wedge may well be deserving of the ax in this situation.
Wedge is now in his third season with the Mariners and things aren’t looking better than when he first joined the team back in 2011. The team has struggled to sub-.500 records each season and are well on their way to accomplishing the same feat for the third consecutive season. Seattle currently holds a 36-47 record and are in fourth place in the AL West, having trailed the Oakland Athletics by 12.5 games.
Statistically, Wedge leads one of the worst teams in Mariners history. In all three seasons that he has been the manager, all three Mariners teams have been in the top five for fewest runs scored per game, worst on-base percentage, worst batting average and most strikeouts per game in Mariners history. This year’s team currently tops the charts in K’s per game with 8.30.
Aside from the statistics, Wedge has failed to deliver the Mariners the young hitting talent they hoped they would have.
When Wedge stepped in as the manager, they had a number of different position players inside Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects. Now, none of their star pupils grace that list and many would hardly call them stars at this point. This past May, Dustin Ackley‘s run in the majors ended when Wedge sent him down to the minor leagues and blamed sabermetrics for getting in the kid’s head and messing everything up.
Sabermetrics? He blamed sabermetrics for ruining a kids career? That just goes to show how old-school Wedge is when it comes to managing. He doesn’t believe in the stats and the numbers. He’s going by feel and beliefs that were held years ago and unfortunately, that just doesn’t always work.
When it comes to player development, it is fair to point out that it’s not all on the manager. There are many other factors that play into that such as the general manager, minor league coaches and scouts that suggested those players be picked up in the first place. However, it is the manager’s team and he does get a lot of say when it comes to how to handle the minor league system and player development.
Eric Wedge is managing for his career right now. Unless Seattle rights the ship in terms of its player development and on-field production, Wedge will be searching for a job come season’s end.