By Chad Quates @chadquates on April 18, 2014
The Seattle Mariners have not been to the postseason since 2001 or even enjoyed a winning season since 2009. However, they signed several free agents in the offseason, including 240 million dollar man Robinson Cano, in an effort to remedy this situation. The Mariners currently sit at 7-8 and reactions have varied in regard to their mediocre start. Here are five early season overreactions.
Almonte is starting in the outfield and hitting leadoff for the Mariners, but his low on-base percentage so far leaves a lot to be desired. In addition, Almonte is currently second in MLB with 23 strikeouts, which in only 64 at-bats is quite a few for anyone, let alone a table setter. Despite his early issues, the 24-year-old Almonte will likely not continue at such a furious strikeout pace, but he does need to start drawing more walks.
Ramirez was excellent in his first start of the season but has struggled badly since. He is now nursing a 7.50 ERA after lasting only two innings in his most recent start in Texas. Ramirez seems overmatched at the moment, but the stuff is still there. If the Mariners are patient with the 23-year-old right-hander these numbers will inevitably improve.
The Mariners signed Rodney to provide some consistency at the back-end of the bullpen. The veteran reliever was excellent during his two-year stay in Tampa, particularly in 2012. Rodney saved 85 games over his two years with the Rays and in theory should fare well in Seattle. However, he can still be sporadic at times and appears to have lost some zip on his fastball. He may not be able to hold down the gig all season.
Cano was signed by the Mariners in the offseason to the tune of 10 years and 240 million dollars. While the merits of committing that much time and money to a player on the wrong side of 30 is debatable, Cano obviously remains a tremendous asset. He had gone homerless to begin the season before a three-run shot in Texas on Thursday, but this is not cause for alarm, as Cano should approach his usual power output this season.
The Mariners finished 71-91 last season but were big players in free agency with the signing of Robinson Cano, among others. They have gotten off to a sluggish start this year, but there is some good young talent present on the roster. The rotation will improve when Hisashi Iwakuma returns in May, and there should be enough offense to get the Mariners back to .500. Seattle is still missing a few pieces but should improve record-wise in 2014.
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