2012 has been quite an adventure for the Mariners so far, hasn't it?
Trips abroad, perfect games, game-winning homers and blown leads/saves have amounted to roughly a .500 record with the first month of the season almost in the books.
Right now it's hard to get a clear read on which direction the Mariners are heading. One minute they're on the wrong end of a perfect game at Safeco, the next they're sweeping the Tigers in Motown.
Making matters all the more complex is the mix of players, both young and old, in a lineup that changes on a near-daily basis. M's manager Eric Wedge is working like a mad scientist trying to get the right mix of players in the lineup in an attempt to achieve several goals.
In no particular order, Wedge seems to be trying to:
- Win ball games.
- Develop the Mariners' youngsters.
- Market the veterans the team can sell off before the trade deadline.
In all three of these endeavors, success has proven fleeting for any meaningful stretch of games. At some point, though, things should start to settle and in all likelihood the youngsters will win out.
What does that hold for the future?
Veterans—like Chone Figgins—will probably be gone, either by showing just enough to get a prospective buyer to bite or released if they fail to produce entirely. Ultimately, with spots vacated on the roster, youngsters like Jesus Montero and Kyle Seager will get more time on the field as a result. At the same time, other spots on the roster will need to be filled and this will mean call-ups from the M's farm system.
Before all is said and done this season, here are five players you should expect to see in Seattle with many getting their first taste of major league action, while others may be getting their last chance.