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Strength: It could be pitching. The Mariners have Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Hisashi Iwakuma, Hector Noesi and Blake Beavan in place, but their best rotation—even in April 2012—might be to mix top draft pick Danny Hultzen into their starting corps. Hultzen is a very polished prospect, sufficiently so that he is probably one of the team's top three or four starting hurlers even now.
Weakness: They still can't hit. Dustin Ackley's arrival last summer helped; so did a trade that netted Trayvon Robinson, and the more famous one that brought over Jesus Montero.
Under the radar, the M's also added a catcher with on-base skills in John Jaso. Even so, the Mariners offense is poor, and they are two or three more good pieces from respectability in that phase.
Spring Predictions: Montero, Robinson, Ackley, Hultzen and Justin Smoak all will get chances to win prominent jobs with the parent club this spring. The best-case scenario for Seattle involves each of them winning their battle.