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The Seattle Mariners were 27th in baseball last season in runs. It was the first time since 2009 the Mariners didn’t sit in the basement of the league in offense.
This offseason, the Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik went out and signed local boy Jason Bay to a one-year deal and traded for Orioles middle infielder Robert Andino to potentially add a little more pop to this lineup.
Zduriencik also went out and traded for Kendrys Morales, instantly adding at least 20 home runs and 70 RBI to the offense.
Manager Eric Wedge and hitting coach Dave Hansen need to concentrate on returning Bay to his old self this spring. Bay, 34, struggled with the Mets for the last three seasons, succumbing to injuries and the pressure of playing in New York.
Now, Bay is in the most comfortable environment possible to get his timing back and return to the feared hitter he once was.
On top of working with Bay, another element that needs to be addressed this spring is the shortstop position.
Brendan Ryan batted just .194 with 3 homers and 31 RBI last season. While the numbers may seem dismal, but the veteran shortstop made up for it with the glove, posting the third-highest fielding percentage amongst MLB starting shortstops.
After acquiring Andino, it’s unclear who’s in line for the starting job, so Wedge should have these guys compete for the job, defensively and offensively, in spring training.
Andino, who’s an average fielder and batted .211 with seven home runs and 28 RBI, has a good chance of winning the job with a decent spring.