3 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 3-1 Loss vs the Tampa Bay Rays

  • 13

The number of strikeouts by Mariners hitters. The M’s were at it again with the strikeouts—Brad Miller was the only starter not to strikeout at least once.

  • One

The number of Seattle hitters with more than one base hit. Nelson Cruz posted a 2-for-4 stat line on the day. Only five other M’s recorded hits.

  • 2.08

Mike Montgomery’s ERA after the game. The former top prospect continues to impress. He allowed five hits, two runs (both earned) and a walk over seven innings. Montgomery struck out three and allowed a home run.

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3 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 2-1 Win vs the Tampa Bay Rays

  • Four

The number of strikeouts by the M’s as a team. See, good things happen when you limit your strikeouts.

  • Zero

The number of runs allowed by Carson Smith, who earned his first save of the season and his career. He struck out one batter and allowed a grand total of zero hits.

  • 0.57

Mark Lowe’s ERA after the game. It keeps getting lower and lower folks. Lowe threw a scoreless eighth innings, allowing one hit while striking out one batter.

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3 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 1-0 Loss vs the Tampa Bay Rays

  • Six

The number of hits allowed by Mariners starter J.A. Happ. The veteran lefty pitched well, but didn’t receive any runs support. He also struck out six batters in seven innings while only walking one Ray, Logan Forsythe.

  • One

The number of hits/runs/earned runs/home runs allowed by M’s closer Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning. In an otherwise scoreless game, Rodney blew the save and took his third loss of the season. Again, Forsythe was the exception, going yard in the ninth.

  • Zero

The number of hits by new Mariner Mark Trumbo. The former Angel/Diamondback went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, hitting fifth behind Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager.

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3 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 2-1 Loss to the Tampa Bay Rays

  • Nine

The number of strikeouts by the M’s in the game. It’s slightly less of an eye-sore, but still an eye-sore nonetheless. Robinson Cano, Mark Trumbo and Brad Miller all led the way with two punch-outs each. Six of the nine Seattle starters struck out.

  • Eight

The number of innings thrown by Roenis Elias, who was a tough-luck loser on the day after allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits. Elias walked one and struck out six.

  • 0.61

Mark Lowe’s ERA after the game. Lowe, in the midst of his second with the M’s, pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two while allowing one hit.

For more M’s, click here. 

Seattle Mariners: Washington Nationals Players Serve as Reminder to What Could Have Been

As the Seattle Mariners watch yet another playoffs from their respective couches, they find themselves wondering what could have been. Or rather, how close they could have been had they acquired or retained certain players.

Nowhere is this more relevant than in Washington, where the Nationals employ four former Mariners and two extremely important pieces of their team that were this close to becoming Mariners. Here’s a look at those players.

Anthony Rendon

Widely panned as the best hitter in his draft class, Rendon was taken sixth overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. The Mariners had the second overall pick that year. They took left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen, who has had his share of troubles thanks to a rash of injuries. Rendon, on the other hand, led the league in runs scored in 2014 (only his second season in the majors), hit 21 home runs, drove in 83 runs, swiped 17 bags and hit .287 with a .824 OPS.

Positional log jams aside, the Mariners are probably wishing they had Rendon’s bat in their lineup.

Stephen Strasburg

Strasburg is the one player on this list who Seattle didn’t have on their team, or could have drafted. Yet, he still represents one of the biggest, “what ifs?” in Mariners’ history.

Simply put, Seattle and Washington were both awful in 2008. Both had a legitimate shot at the number one overall pick in the upcoming draft – at the time, widely believed to be Strasburg. Seattle won four of its last six to finish 61-101 while Washington lost five of their last six to finish 59-102. The Mariners already have two of the best starters in the league in Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, plus talented youngsters James Paxton and Taijuan Walker. If Strasburg drafted by the M’s and in that rotation, the Mariners’ playoff drought would be a thing of the past.

Doug Fister

The first of many former M’s on this list, Fister was traded from the Emerald City to Detroit along with David Pauley for Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells, Chance Ruffin and minor league prospect Francisco Martinez.

Since then, Fister went on to pitch fantastically in his 2 ½ years in Detroit, posting 32 wins—20 more than his total in 2 ½ years in Seattle— and turning in an ERA under four in every season. He also posted some absurd strikeout-to-walk ratios. Down the stretch in 2011 he struck out 57 batters while walking five over 70 innings.

The players Seattle got in return?

Wells would post decent power numbers in his brief time in Seattle before getting pushed out of a crowded outfield and finding himself with three different organizations not named the Seattle Mariners in 2013. He drove in a singular run in 53 games. Martinez was eventually traded back to Detroit for a PTBNL while Ruffin recently retired. Furbush was the only solid player Seattle got back. He’s provided a dependable reliever, but is buried in a deep bullpen.

Detroit would later send Fister to Washington, but the current Nationals pitcher is just another reminder of what could have been for Seattle.

Matt Thornton and Rafael Soriano

Seattle isn’t short on relievers at the moment, but Thornton and Soriano are two more examples of players who got away. Thornton, a former first round pick of the Mariners, was dealt to Chicago in 2006 for outfielder Joe Borchard. He went on to enjoy a long stint in the Windy City before moving to Boston midway through last season. He won a ring with the Red Sox and split 2014 with the Yankees and Nationals, posting a cumulative 1.75 ERA over 64 innings. For his career, Thornton has a 3.43 ERA in 670 appearances and an All-Star appearance to his name.

Soriano is the more sorely missed of the two. While Fernando Rodney has been superb as the M’s closer, and the has gotten by with a string of quality closers, Soriano has been superb in his career.

Upon leaving Seattle he moved to Atlanta, in a trade that will be addressed later, and in two years posted ERAs of 3.00 and 2.57 before taking over the closer’s role in 2009 and turning in a 2.97 ERA with 27 saves. He was traded to Tampa Bay and promptly led the league with 45 saves. He pitched to a tremendous 1.73 ERA and finished in the top 12 in Cy Young and MVP voting. After a year in Tampa he moved to the Yankees where he had a slight down year with a 4.12 ERA in 42 games before bouncing back to save 42 games and post a 2.26 ERA in 2012. He placed 20th in MVP voting that year. He then signed with Washington where he has accumulated 75 saves over the past two seasons with a collective 3.15 ERA.

Since leaving the Mariners, Soriano has appeared in 469 games, posted a 2.84 ERA and recorded 203 saves.

Now we get to the trade that was mentioned earlier.

The Mariners traded Soriano to the Atlanta Braves for Horacio Ramirez.

Yes, that Horacio Ramirez who’s ERA over 20 starts and 98 innings was 7.16. You heard me correctly, 7.16! Yes, that Horacio Ramirez who let righties hit .340 off of him. Yes, that Horacio Ramirez who allowed lefties to hit .330 against him. Yes, that Horacio Ramirez.

The Mariners traded away a reliever who would become one of the game’s finest at his position for a back-of-the-rotation starter who posted an ERA over seven in nearly 100 innings.

Yikes.

Asdrubal Cabrera

Another Mariner traded away for relatively nothing, Cabrera was lost to Cleveland in “The Great Highway Robbery/Fleecing of 2006.” Cleveland traded Ben Broussard and Eduardo Perez to Seattle in two different trades. Seattle gave up Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera respectively.

Cabrera would go on to establish himself as a premium two-way shortstop, culminating with a 2011 season in which he hit .273 with 25 home runs, 92 runs driven in, 17 stolen bases and a .792 OPS. Cabrera would make two All-Star appearances in Cleveland before moving to Washington at this past trade deadline. While he isn’t a threat to hit anywhere near 25 homers, he still provides pop and solid defense for a middle infielder.

In Conclusion

It’s easy to sit and think, “what if this?” or, “what if that?”, especially with the Mariners. But the reality is that Seattle has a history of letting players go too early, as well has just missing acquiring players who could turn into important cogs. Those players go on to become impact players elsewhere. There are quite a few former Mariners and almost-Mariners in various MLB cities playing vital roles to their teams. The Washington Nationals just happen to have more than most. For the Mariners, it’s a reminder of what could have been.

 

All stats courtesy of http://www.baseball-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

 

Former Mariners in the Playoffs

The M’s may have lost their manager, and the season might be over, but don’t despair! There are loads of former Mariners contributing to playoff teams who could not only find themselves on a postseason roster, but also be the reason you tune into the playoffs this year.

We’ll start in the American League-

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers may have the largest contingent of former M’s on their squad. Doug Fister, the 14-game winner, who was stolen from the acquired from the Mariners for nothing relative to his worth, will likely continue his postseason form for Detroit. Last October he was arguably the Tigers’ best pitcher. High praise considering who he shares a rotation with. Other former M’s who have a shot to make the postseason team include suddenly effective relief pitcher Jeremy Bonderman, hometown favorite Matt Tuiasosopo and head scratcher Ramon Santiago. Fun bit about Santiago — he was traded to the M’s by Detroit with another minor leaguer for Carlos Guillen. After a short stint in Seattle’s organization he was soon back in Motown—as Guillen’s backup.

Boston Red Sox

Beantown’s Mariner contingent doesn’t boast the pitching prowess that Detroit’s does, but it certainly can hit. David Ortiz might be one of the most recognizable baseball players in the world. He also may be one of the most recognizable former Mariners in the world. The slugging DH, who often is discussed in the same breath as former Mariner great Edgar Martinez in the pantheon of designated hitters, was a farm player in Seattle’s organization. The price for him? The right to rent Dave Hollins. Mike Carp is another former Seattle player who was let go for relatively nothing. Carp is a vital bench cog for the AL East Champs. The last Seattle cast off in Boston is Matt Thornton, who got to his current destination by way of Chicago. The former All-Star was last seen in an M’s uniform in 2004.

Oakland A’s

The A’s group of former M’s is a small one. Outside of manager Bob Melvin, injured backstop John Jaso is the only ex-Mariner. Jaso was shipped to the Bay Area in the three-team-swap that netted Seattle Michael Morse. The slugger has since been flipped to Baltimore for outfield prospect Xavier Avery. So what does John Jaso get you? Some A-ha walk-up music for a couple months and an outfield prospect stuck on the organizational depth chart. Bill Bavasi would be proud.

Cleveland Indians

The Indians have a few players with local ties. Michael Brantley was born in Bellevue and Nick Hagadone is an ex-Husky, however the only former M here is Asdrubal Cabrera. Before Brad Miller made himself someone who could take over as the long-term shortstop there were long years of Jack Wilson and Ronny Cedeno. During that time, Asdrubal Cabrera was looked at as the one who got away. Cabrera was traded to the Indians for Eduardo Perez in an ill attempt to improve the M’s DH situation. He has since gone on to appear in two All-Star games, take home a Silver Slugger and carve out a reputation as one of the better fielding shortstops in the Major Leagues. Eduardo Perez hit into more double plays (3) than he hit home runs (1) in a 43-game stint in the Emerald City. Oh, what could have been. Lets out a long, exasperated sigh.

Tampa Bay Rays

Sadly household Rays’ names such as Longoria and Price were never Mariners. Maybe this is a good thing seeing all the talent the M’s have let walk out the door in the last 20 odd years. The Rays aren’t without a former Mariner or two though. Reserve catcher Chris Gimenez was a Mariner at one point, as were relief pitchers Jamey Wright and Josh Lueke. We have Lueke to thank for John Jaso. The M’s and Rays swapped the two once. We also have Jaso to thank for the A-ha music and Xavier Avery. We’ve come full circle everybody!

And as we come full circle, we’ll head to the National League.

Pittsburgh Pirates

As far as I can tell, Pittsburgh doesn’t have any former Mariners on the team. So, if you’re looking for a bizarre team to bet on in the playoffs, here it is.

Atlanta Braves

The Braves have one former M on the team sheet. That would be injured, but-dominant-when-healthy reliever, Eric O’Flaherty. O’Flaherty’s ERA in three years with Seattle — 4.09, 4.47 and 20.25. His ERA in each season since joining the Braves — 3.04, 2.45, 0.98, 1.73, 2.50. Oops. There is also Justin Upton. Who could have been a Mariner, but declined the opportunity. I thought that was a good thing actually. 

St. Louis Cardinals

The NL continues to make this post look top-heavy. The Cardinals have one resident former Mariner, former Rainier great Rob Johnson. The veteran backstop was in Seattle for four years before moving on to San Diego before the 2011 season.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers continue the NL trend of lack of former M’s. Brandon League is the most noteworthy– and only former Mariner on LA’s payroll. The M’s got two prospects for the former All-Star. In a non-related story, there is a Dodgers’ pitcher named Paco. So, that’s fun to say. Not as fun as Francisco, but close… That was a marginal Will Ferrell reference/humor bit everyone. I repeat, marginal.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds have as many former Mariners as the Cardinals, Dodgers and Pirates do put together. That would be two. Infielder Jack Hannahan and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. While it begrudges me not to have more players to write about, it does give me a chance to write about Choo. Earlier I wrote about the M’s attempt to bolster their DH position way-back-when when they acquired Eduardo Perez. The team also acquired another player from the Indians to help bolster their production at designated hitter. That was Ben Broussard. And the player they gave up was Choo. Let me be clear, the Perez/Cabrera swap was a train robbery, but if that was a train robbery, the Choo trade makes it look like a ticket for jay-walking in terms of offenses. Broussard did produce at a much better rate than Perez, which is to say adequately. Also his HR/GIDP ratio was much better than Perez’s. The point out of all this is that the Mariners gave Cleveland two ridiculously good players for two veterans who were in the later stages of their careers. Train robberies all.

So, when looking for baseball to watch this fall, be sure to check out the former Mariners across the October landscape, from players who were let go for nothing up front (Cabrera) and nothing long term (Fister), there are former M’s everywhere you look.

Well, except Pittsburgh.

You can see the AL post here and the NL post here.