Seattle Mariners: 2014 First-Half Report Card

Seattle Mariners: First-Half of 2014 MLB Season Report Card

Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners
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Seattle has had a surprisingly good first half, going 52-44 and remaining competitive in a tough AL West. The Mariners are eight games behind Oakland, however, so the team will have to continue to improve in order to make the playoffs. Seattle is only 24-26 at home in 2014, a mark that needs to be drastically improved upon. If it is, don't be surprised to see King Felix, Robinson Cano and the Mariners playing October baseball.

Offense: C

Robinson Cano Seattle Mariners
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Offense: C

Robinson Cano Seattle Mariners
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Seattle is 24th in all of baseball with a .245 batting average, and 27th with an on-base percentage of .300. The Mariners' pitching has been good, but it will all be for nothing if the offense can't turn things around. James Jones has been a revelation for Seattle as of late, and Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager have been solid. But every bat in the Mariners' lineup needs a hot start to the second half to keep the team in playoff contention.

Defense: A

Kyle Seager Seattle Mariners
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Defense: A

Kyle Seager Seattle Mariners
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The Mariners have been excellent defensively thus far in 2014, as the team is tied for third in all of baseball with a .987 fielding percentage. Seattle has only made 45 errors, good enough to be tied for third with Minnesota and Tampa Bay. But good defense doesn't always translate to wins unless it is accompanied by a solid pitching rotation and a good offense, the latter of which Seattle hasn't discovered just yet.

Starting Pitching: B+

Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners
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Starting Pitching: B+

Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners
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The Mariners boast the third best team ERA in baseball at 3.16, but Felix Hernandez has done the majority of the heavy lifting so far. Hisashi Iwakuma and Chris Young have also been solid, but the bottom half of the rotation has left much to be desired. Even still, Hernandez is a Cy Young candidate and Iwakuma is a great No. 2 starter. If Roenis Elias has a better second half, Seattle's starting pitching could carry the team to the playoffs.

Relief Pitching: A+

Fernando Rodney Seattle Mariners
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Relief Pitching: A+

Fernando Rodney Seattle Mariners
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Seattle's bullpen has been dominant, so much so that it has covered up for an anemic Mariners' offense. Fernando Rodney has been lights-out, as the closer is currently the proud owner of a 1.98 ERA. Joe Beimel (1.50), Dominic Leone (1.83) and Yoervis Medina (2.23) have all been equally great, helping to keep Seattle surprisingly competitive heading into the second half of 2014. There aren't many bullpens in baseball better than Seattle's.

Managing: B

Lloyd McClendon Seattle Mariners
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Managing: B

Lloyd McClendon Seattle Mariners
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Lloyd McClendon's managerial record isn't exactly sparkling, but the first-year man has done a great job of keeping the Mariners alive and well in the AL West. Should McClendon help push Seattle into the playoffs, his reputation would continue to grow around the league. Seattle might be in third in the division, but the Mariners are one of the better teams in all of baseball.

Jacob Dennis is a writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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