The Mariners started to fall apart, after going 4-0 in the first four spring training games, now 7-8 after losing to the White Sox. If you are an M's fan (like me), you should be mad at this point, saying what's wrong with this team.
Yeah, WBC pulled all those good players from us like Ichiro and Felix, but some guys are actually benefited by this tournament. Those guys are surprising everyone. The guys named Randy Messanger, Ronny Cedeno, Matt Tuiasosopo and Russell Branyan are just few of them.
Messanger joined the Mariners last year, signing minor league contract. He did made the majors but he was, saying in one word, garbage. He signed another minor-league contract with the Mariners and now look at him. Decent reliever.
He finally gave up a run against the White Sox, but his ERA is still impressive 1.13. Can we say he is a garbage now? Probably not. Now, Messanger might just join the closer race, and win it.
Traded by the Cubs in Aaron Heilman deal along with Garrett Olson, who gave up seven runs against the White Sox in 1.2 innings. Cedeno has been hot in the training, hitting .314 average with a homer and five runs batted in. You might say he lacks power, but what do you say with Yuniesky Betancourt?
He can hit hard, sometimes, but he is very inconsistent hitter. Why not just use Cedeno this season? It might help both Cedeno and Betancourt in many ways.
What's wrong with this man who's brother is a QB for the Oakland Raiders? He is ready to play in the majors. He has two homers, seven RBI, and is hitting .500. Adrian Beltre will be our third baseman, for sure, but Zduriencik can look to trade Beltre more easily.
Tuiasosopo is there for you. Let's see how he'll end the training. That probably decides either he will make the opening day roster or start the season in Tacoma. I'd love to see Tuiasosopo soon in Safeco though.
I used to think that Branyan is the guy who is inconsistent. But this spring training has been different for him. Signed a one-year contract, the former Brewers already hit three homers, knocked in nine runs and hitting .323.
He will most likely be the starting first baseman against right handed starter(Chris Shelton against lefties). All he needs to do is stay out of injury and just hit hard.
I'm not saying that these guys will have impact because they're having amazing spring training, but if players are getting to the form quickly and showing that they can play well for the team, you should be excited about it. Look out for these players in April.