The Seattle Mariners are 13.5 games behind the division leading Houston Astros, but only 2.5 games out of the Wild Card race. They find themselves in precarious position.
This wasn’t how the season was supposed to go for the Mariners seeing as they had lofty expectations. They lost eight of their first ten games to start the season, and they’re just now starting to recover from their dreadful start. The problem the Mariners are having is that they can’t stay healthy, and it’s making it difficult to gauge how good they actually are.
The Mariners just swept the Tampa Bay Rays in a three game series, and scored seven or more runs in every game. The offensive onslaught was led by Danny Valencia who tied a club record with nine consecutive hits. Mike Zunino, who changed his batting stance this year but still can’t seem to find offensive consistency, recorded seven of the nine Mariners RBI’s on Saturday.
The only bad thing about the series was that Jean Segura the league-leader in batting average landed himself on the disabled list (DL) again. This time with a high sprained ankle suffered on Thursday. This is the second time Segura has been on the DL, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to be back after the 10-day minimum.
The following is from The Seattle Times
“Timetable-wise, we don’t really know yet,” manager Scott Servais said. “We will kind of see where he’s at seven days out from now and get a chance to get a little bit better feel.”
Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Drew Smyly and Mitch Haniger are just a few names currently on the DL. Hernandez and Haniger are currently on track to begin rehab assignments sometime next week. Smyly isn’t anywhere close to doing anything baseball related, and Iwakuma suffered a setback in his rehab recently.
The insane amount of injuries the Mariners have suffered is definitely making it difficult for them find any consistency.
James Paxton was stellar against the Colorado Rockies in his first start back from the DL on Wednesday. Christian Bergman, Sam Gaviglio and Ariel Miranda all had promising starts over the weekend; but asking for them to put up consistent numbers like the one’s from this weekend is a bit of a stretch.
The best case scenario for the club is that they continue to tread water, and keep the Wild Card race close until guys get healthy again. At this point, unless the Astros have a monumental collapse the Mariners have to look at the Wild Card. Their offense is definitely good enough to carry the weight making them down, but not out.
They continue their 11-game home stand on Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins, and then a weekend series against the resurgent Blue Jays. If they finish the home stand strong then it could provide the confidence boost to keep them on track in the American League.