2012 Seattle Mariners Season Preview
There was no streakier team in Major League baseball in 2011 that the Mariners, and unfortunately for them most of those were the wrong kind of streak. After a 13-3 run beginning in late May, Seattle was sitting at 30-27 and was full of optimism. Then came the worst losing streak in franchise history – 17 games that took the M’s from 43-43 to 43-60. The worst is behind them and manager Eric Wedge now has his team looking forward with good reason. In perhaps the biggest trade of the offseason, the Mariners sent hard-throwing Michael Pineda to the Bronx in return for Jesus Montero. The young catcher hit .328 with four home runs in 18 games last season and has been rated a top-10 MLB prospect three years in a row. Montero will likely get time at designated hitter as well as behind the plate, sharing time with veteran Miguel Olivo. Another notable addition is Hisashi Iwakuma, a right-handed starter out of the Japanese league. The 30-year old sported a 2.42 ERA in 2011 while pitching for the Rakuten Golden Eagles and will likely be the number 3-4 starter in the 2012 rotation. Kevin Millwood will be competing for a spot at the back end of that rotation, as he looks to find the same form that won an ERA title in 2005. Millwood started only nine games last season in Colorado for a 4-3 record with an ERA just under four. The team is once again led by “King” Felix Hernandez on the mound. Hernandez has become a workhorse, pitching over 235 innings in each of the last three seasons. On offense, Ichiro Suzuki will try to regain his old form that lost its luster in 2011.
2011 Seattle Mariners Season Preview
The Seattle Mariners entered the 2010 season with lofty expectations, but an anemic offense was too much for Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez and the rest of the pitching staff to overcome, and they finished a dismal 61-101 and at the bottom of the AL West. With many of the same players returning, fans are hopeful that the Mariners can put 2010 behind them and return to their glory days. Last season, the Mariners ranked last in most major offensive categories including batting average, runs and slugging percentage. But, their shortcomings were not due to lack of talent. Seattle has what should be a wealth of capable hitters including Milton Bradley, Chone Figgins and Jack Wilson - all of whom failed to deliver last year. Ichiro Suzuki has been the catalyst of the Mariners offense in recent years, but given that he is 37-years-old, he may not be the spark that he once was. Rumors swirled during the offseason that Hernandez would be traded, but as of spring training he is still a Mariner. If King Felix stays with Seattle the whole season, he can at least keep them in games despite what they are doing with their bats. Eric Bedard was brought in last season to be a solid addition, he has yet to live up to the hype. This year he looks another year removed from an injury that derailed his Baltimore career. If he comes back to form and rookie sensation Michael Pineda can give them serviceable innings, the Mariners could be a team on the rise in the AL West.
2010 Seattle Mariners Season Preview
The Seattle Mariners haven't been to the postseason in almost a decade, but that's no reason to count them out of contention for the American League West title in 2010. When fans turn out to Safeco Field this season, they'll be greeted by a few friendly faces, but will also have to learn the names of a few new top-tier players who aim to carry their team to a late-summer playoff race. Future Hall of Famers Ken Griffey, Jr and Ichiro Suzuki continue to serve as relics of past Mariners teams, though it's the new-look M's that will fuel a championship run. The addition of Cliff Lee, who absolutely baffled batters in the 2009 playoffs as a Philadelphia Phillie, will give the Seattle Mariners one of the best pitching staffs in baseball as the former American League Cy Young winner joins the young hurler Felix Hernandez. Furthermore, by adding Chone Figgins, a terror on the base paths, Casey Kotchman, a consistent batsman, and Milton Bradley, a veteran sparkplug, the Mariners hope that its offense will match the prowess of its pitching staff this season.
2009 Seattle Mariners Season Preview
The 2009 Seattle Mariners should be a much, much better baseball team than they were in 2008. If new Manager Don Wakamatsu can get the M's hitting and pitching up to their potential, then watch out for Seattle to make some noise out West. Two of Wakamatsu's biggest names will be ones every Mariners fan is familiar with: Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro Suzuki. Griffey Jr. returns to Seattle, where he began his career, to join Suzuki in the Mariners' outfield. If Griffey can find the magic he once had in Seattle, and Ichiro shakes off some early season injuries, then the Seattle Mariners might be talking World Series in the near future.
2008 Seattle Mariners Season Preview
The Seattle Mariners are a team to watch this season as they make the West Division race interesting and look to make a big run at the postseason. The team managed to be in Wild Card contention in 2007, but a slump late in the season ended their hopes. This year the team hopes for more success under the leadership of outfielder Ichiro Suzuki and the bright future of players like Adam Jones, the Mariners look like they'll have a big impact this year.