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The disappointment of the 2022 Mariners

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Earlier this season, I wrote an article on why the Mariners ball club seemed to be the organization’s most hopeful team in recent times, and for the first few weeks of the season it seemed like this statement would remain true. In their first 17 games, the team held a record of 11-6, and although it was early, the team looked good. But I don’t believe anyone expected the season to take the turn that it did.

In their last 28 games, the team has only won 6 total. These losses have come in many different ways, but a common theme so far has been their lack of run production. The Mariners currently rank 29th in runners left on base in the league. The top of the lineup has looked decent at times, with Ty France currently being 3rd in baseball in hits, and with players like Julio Rodriguez, J.P. Crawford, and Adam Frazier at times getting on base. But outside of the top of the lineup, the middle and bottom half have struggled driving in runs up to this point.

So why has a team with such high expectations failed so far? Well, one of the big reasons has been the lack of Mitch Haniger.

Haniger went down early in the season with an ankle injury, and is expected to miss a big chunk of time this season. Last season, Haniger led the squad in home runs, and his bat was one of the big reasons they won as many games as they did.

But the team was supposed to have other players outside of Haniger who could win us ball games. The offseason acquisitions of Robbie Ray and Jesse Winker were brought in to help win games, but so far have done nothing but disappoint.

Young outfielder Jarred Kelenic, who also was expected to play a big role for the club this season, has struggled and now been sent down to the minors to try and break his slump. Outside of just the bats, the starting rotation and bullpen have had their fair share of troubles. Free agent signing Robbie Ray was brought in to be this rotation’s ace, but has posted an underwhelming 4.75 ERA to start the season, and the bullpen, who posted an overall ERA of 3.88 last season have also not been able to recreate the magic of last year, have seen a drop in overall ERA to 4.34.

“It’s still early!” and other creative excuses are things Mariner fans are accustomed to, but this organization needs to be held accountable. Whether that accountability is directed at their players for their sub par play, or the front office for their lack of spending in the offseason, something needs to change. The Mariners have gotten away with mediocrity for too long, Seattle deserves a competitive baseball team. 

Despite the rough start, not all hope is completely lost yet, the long anticipated return of former rRookie of the year Kyle Lewis could add some much needed run support to the middle of their lineup. But if within the coming weeks of the season the team doesn’t begin to show signs of improvement, changes should be expected. 

Not a lot of good can be said about the Mariners’ first month and a half of the season, but one thing can be said for sure. It’s been a disaster that nobody expected. 

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