Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mariner withdrawls

Took some time over lunch to visit a website I have not visited since mid-September, I now feel up-to-date on Mariner news.

I was avoiding the M's site because the season seemed like a lost cause. What I have to remind myself of, baseball is a building sort of league. Because one season is bad, does not mean the next will be. Ibanez had the best hitting year of his career, Ichiro had over 200 hits again, we saw Woods and Baek appear as potential replacements in the starting rotation; J.J. Putz emerged as a great closer (something I requested in April). All in all, not a horrible year if you don't look at where they actually finished in the AL Worst. Of course, the Yankees are the exception to the "building" mentality.

The starting rotation next year only has 2 returnees, Washburn and King Felix. Woods and Baek could step in as #4 and #5, while Bavasi goes out and trades/signs a #2 or #3 starter. The M's were shutout 15 games last year, a stat that would be nice to erase in the '07 season. The M's were 17th in team ERA (4.60), but 4th in saves (47). I would attribute this discrepancy to a semi-strong pen. Going after a stronger starter has the ability to lower this ERA mark, along with keeping Soriano healthy in our Pen. I should have looked at ERA the first and second half of the season. I am willing to bet our second half ERA was lower than our first half. The Tigers had the best ERA in the league with a 3.84 ERA. (Have I mentioned how much of a fan of Verlander I am?)

Offensively, the M's were 11th in batting average (.272) but 18th in home runs (172). To put this in some perspective, the Twins were third to last in HR, but first in average, a tribute to how successful small ball can be. The M's were 27th in on-base percentage (OPB .325). They also hit into the 5th most double plays, 117. I think they lead the league in "hit into triple plays" with something like 6...ugh! Both the double and triple play stats need to be worked on.

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