After losing three of four at home to the visiting Cleveland Indians over the weekend, the Seattle Mariners fell to 24-26, two games under the .500 mark.
The weekend, marked by Seattle’s inability to score more than three runs per game and string together consistent offensive performances at the plate, pointed out some issues with the club, just a few days after general manager Jack Zduriencik reiterated that ‘they’ve got to figure it out’ and get back on track.
Brent Stecker of ESPN Seattle used the Mariners’ 6-3 extra-innings loss on Sunday afternoon to drive a point home in a new column: the Mariners’ offense needs help. Not only is second baseman Robinson Cano still struggling to post the type of numbers he has throughout his career, but Stecker calls out three specific players as culprits behind the club’s offensive inconsistency:
Dustin Ackley (.188/.230/.325), Justin Ruggiano (.190/.301/.349) and Rickie Weeks (.183/.284/.282) have teamed up to make left field one of the club’s most glaring weaknesses on the offensive side of the game.
With Ackley, his continued struggles to become the player the Mariners once hoped he’d be are worth considering. The American League West is relatively ‘wide open’, with the Houston Astros still holding down first place but coming back to Earth a bit in recent weeks. The Mariners, even with injuries to pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton (recently sent to the disabled list) begin play Monday six and a half games out of first and three games out of a Wild Card spot – so they’re obviously within ‘striking distance’, especially with four full months remaining on the schedule.
A competent offensive unit would drastically improve the Mariners’ chances to make good on their preseason promise, which caused many to expect big things from them in 2015.
In his piece, Stecker sums up the Mariners’ struggles with a look at the numbers:
With the calendar having switched to June, it might officially no longer be ‘early’ enough to expect struggling players to turn around their respective seasons. If Zduriencik is serious about getting his club back on track, some changes may be on the horizon…and with the trading deadline now officially less than two months away, it would make sense for the Mariners to begin looking for depth improvements in order field a more competent offense capable of making good on their supposed promise as a team.