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MLB Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners: 5 Players Who Must Step Up in August

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5 Players Who Must Step Up For Mariners This August

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

If I told you that the Seattle Mariners had the chance to make the playoffs in April you would think that I am crazy. After a surprising start, the Mariners are only a few games back in the Wild Card chase, but they will need a little more help in order to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

5. Austin Jackson

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

5. Austin Jackson

austin jackson mariners
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners made a nice trade at the deadline by swapping Nick Franklin for the Detroit Tigers OF Austin Jackson. He is the perfect fit atop a Mariners lineup that is desperate for hitters to get on base in front of the dangerous Robinson Cano. Unluckily for Jackson, he has a lot of pressure on him to produce because the M's don't have a lot of productive hitters in its lineup and it needs Jackson to play top-notch as the season comes to an end.

4. Roenis Elias

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

4. Roenis Elias

roenis elias mariners
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Elias has been good, but he's also been bad and pretty average at times. Right now, he holds a 4.19 ERA with a 8-9 record, but those numbers aren't going to cut it in August. The M's have a solid one-two punch at the top of its rotation right now and Elias needs to pitch well and be a solid middle-of-rotation guy. In his last three starts, he has gone 16 innings with three earned runs so his turnaround may be around the corner.

3. Logan Morrison

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

3. Logan Morrison

logan morrison mariners
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

LoMo was brought in to provide a little pop from the left side of the plate, but he's done pretty much nothing all season. Right now, his average stands at .211 with five HRs and 18 RBIs in 52 games played this season. No one expects him to be an elite first baseman, but he is far below the Mendoza Line and the Mariners desperately need its bats to step up and play well down the stretch.

2. Mike Zunino

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Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

2. Mike Zunino

mike zunino mariners
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The 23-year-old catcher leads the team with 17 home runs, but he is sporting an ugly .208 average so far this season. It's hard to put pressure on the young Mariner to produce, but it really needs more production from every hitter not named Robinson Cano and Dustin Ackley. Zunino has a bright future for the Mariners, but right now it would be nice to see him substitute a few HRs for more base hits.

1. Kendrys Morales

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

1. Kendrys Morales

kendrys morales seattle
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 version of Morales was a lot better than the 2014 version. In his last seven games, he is hitting .133 with no HRs and no walks. Those are numbers you would expect to see from a rookie in single-A, not a MLB baseball player, especially from a player that hit .277 last year with 23 HRs and 80 RBIs. He is still rusty from sitting out the beginning of the year, and it has set him back pretty far. Morales needs to find his 2013 form quickly.

Vinny Lanni is a New York Jets writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.