The Seattle Mariners have fallen below .500 and the offense has been dismal in the past couple weeks. As we head into the All Star break, fans, analysts, and certainly Jack Z are pondering whether we should come up with serious trade packages to hopefully improve our team now and run for the division or to stand pat and hope we can compete now while holding onto our young talent. Its a tough decision.
The division this year is there for the taking. The Rangers, Angels, and the A's have all underachieved thus far and anything can happen in the MLB playoffs once there. The Mariners also have stellar pitching that could potentially get you into a World Series with a proper offense and it's the offense that is the culprit to our Mariners' success.
Who is hurting the offense?
Carlos Peguero is hitting .202 with a119 at bats. At this point, I don't understand why he is getting so much playing time. Wedge says he likes the fact that when Peguero steps up to the plate he knows that he is going to take a hard swing at the ball and possess the threat of a homerun. Peguero has 6 homeruns so far and it is getting too hard to watch him swing out of the zone, especially when he tries to use his bat as a 9 iron. Solution? Greg Halman needs to be playing more than Peguero in left field. Halman is batting .353 even though he has only had 34 at bats. He needs more chances to prove himself. Mike Carp is another option here. Carp was amazing in AAA and even though he has had a bad start since being called up, he has the potential to catch fire and remain consistent.
Chone Figgins. Everyone, literally everyone, is sick of seeing Figgins out on the field or at the plate. From routine plays being turned into errors or players left in scoring position following a foul out or slow ground ball, Figgins is killing the flow of anything remotely positive about our offense. He's been recently benched a lot more as Adam Kennedy fills his place at 3B and Ackley starts at 2B. Solution? Well, so far Kennedy has done very well and he is being paid nothing compared to Chone warming the bench. For the future though, I think right now the Mariners management are hoping Figgins turns it around. He turned it around last year after the all star break but something tells me this year is very different.
Franklin Gutierrez. For a while, I thought his slow start could be blamed on missing spring training and he needed time to get into the swing of things. That time has run out and no longer an excuse to how he is batting. Overall, he is hitting .197 and in the last seven days he has hit .174. Those numbers were actually hard to write. Guti is without a doubt one of the best center fielders in the league yet his offensive struggles are hurting this team more than he is helping the team in center field. Solution? Hope that he turns it around. Guti represents our present and future much like Felix does. We need him to at least be a solid .250 hitter.
Miguel Olivo. Olivo is an interesting case. I love his power and his tenacity. He is a leader in the clubhouse and someone that lifts morale. The fact is though, he is hitting .222. I mean, it looks good cause of what this team is batting overall but looking at the rest of the league, its not good enough. I truly hope he does well after the all star break because he can spark the offense.
I'll also mention Justin Smoak. Smoak is a very young player and has a high upside but right now he is batting .243. It could be better and I saw him as a .260 hitter through the year so I hope he improves and I think given his plate discipline and reported work ethic, he'll get the job done.
So, should the Mariners make a move to upgrade from one of the players mentioned above? Do we need a left fielder like Ludwick who has been rumored to be in trade talks? What about a solid DH? Carp, Cust, and Peguero are not getting the job done at DH. Do we trade Bedard, Felix, or someone else? It's a complicated situation for Jack Z. Personally, I believe that we have more than enough pitching in the organization. Bedard is a great trading piece right now. He has been awesome and he is a free agent following this season. I wouldn't be surprised if Jack Z trades him for bats. The Mariners can win more games with 4 solid starters and better hitters. We also have some great talent below the MLB team. Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and now Danny Hultzen. There are players in the minor leagues that can come up and fill the roles of players traded or be traded themselves. July is around the corner and it will be very interesting to watch what Jack Z ultimately decides to do for this team.
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