Mariners Analysis

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Downward spiral continues for M's

It's hard to even watch these games. There are so many easy outs on this team it must be equally demoralizing to the pitchers as it is to the fans. I have a feeling the bats will eventually come alive and string some nice games together. The question is how many games under .500 will they be when they do.

The Seattle Mariners are one of the worst teams in baseball right now. It's been a while since we could say that, and I think the window for this team just closed shut in the first month of the '04 season. A team that won 116 games in 2001 is about to be ripped apart, and never achieved its goal of getting to the world series. I just can't see a team with aging veterans like Martinez, Olerud and Wilson generating enough passion to turn this season around. I look for the M's to start talking about "getting younger" after starting the season praising its veterans. Count on it.

Perhaps the most surprising start to this season has the been the bullpen. Before the season I thought the M's did a nice job of putting together one of the strongest in baseball- with Shiggy and Soriano setting up Eddy, and Mateo coming off a nice season, who could have imagined the problems we see today. I also agreed 100% with jettisoning Rhodes and Nelson, who both suffered huge drop-offs in production last year.

BTW, can anyone make heads or tails about Melvin's bullpen use? I can't tell in what situation a particular player comes in, and when they come out. It seems to be musical chairs after the 6th inning. In defense of Melvin, the players haven't been doing their job, but I still question his calls to the 'pen. He had better get this straightened out quickly or it will be Exhibit A among fans on why Melvin has to go. More on this to come...

Terrible bullpen, worst starting ERA in the AL, no power, poor defense, no speed, lousy batting average... I can't think of a single positive start to the season, with the possible exception of Wilson, who we know will end up hitting .260 if he's lucky by the end of the year.

What can we say, the team stinks. About the best we can hope for is a situation like the Washington Huskies men's basketball team had this year- last in the Pac-10, and then reel off a huge winning streak to turn around the season.

Is this team capable of putting together a winning streak?