This can’t be overstated: the Mariners over the past several years that I’ve been here, starting in 2006, have lacked a legit middle of the order in their lineup. By that, I mean, lacked true No. 3 and No. 4 hitters. The best they’ve had came in 2007 and 2008, but even then, they were still using guys like Raul Ibanez and Adrian Beltre there. Ibanez was moved down to No. 6 in the order by the Phillies when he went there in 2009. Beltre, as good a hitter and ballplayer as he is, was always a guy the Mariners would have rather had batting second...
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