4 Seattle Mariners Whose Cold Starts Will Continue
The Seattle Mariners are now about a week-and-a half into the season, and what was classified as a few bad games for players before has officially reached the cold start territory.
Now this isn't just reserved for hitters, as some members of the pitching staff have also struggled out of the gate for the Mariners. The big question on everyone's mind is which cold streaks are early-season jitters, and which will be staying for the foreseeable future.
With that in mind, here is a list of the five Mariners whose cold streaks are unfortunately here to stay.
2013 Stats: .143 AVG, 0 HR, 0 RBI
This one isn't much of a shock.
Robert Andino has never really been the offensive-type player and being used in the utility role is going to make it even more difficult for him to find any type of rhythm. Andino was brought in as part of the deal that sent Trayvon Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles in the offseason to sure up the infielder utility role, but so far he has been nothing special at the dish.
If Carlos Triunfel finds any type of success down at Triple-A Tacoma, it would not be the least bit surprising to see him get his turn up at the major league level at the expense of Andino.
Some people will cry for the likes of Nick Franklin or Brad Miller, but both Miller and Franklin would be better served staying down at the minor league level to get at-bats every day as opposed to whenever an infielder needs a day off.
2013 Stats: .111 AVG, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Chalk this up as the first of two things I want to be wrong about, however, the track record of Ackley isn't necessarily in his favor.
Now to be fair, Ackley has been hitting better than his numbers indicate and could just be the victim of getting unlucky. But not getting on base can turn into a mental game quickly, even if the mechanics are correct.
Expect Ackley to start pressing pretty soon and getting more aggressive at the plate. I don't think this will be a full-season problem, but Ackley is both cold and unlucky right now, and that combination can make it very difficult for a player to break out of.
April could be a very long month for Mr. Ackley unless a few of his line drives can start finding gaps.
2013 Stats: .179 AVG, 0 HR, 3 RBI
Here is No. 2 on the list of things I desperately want to be wrong about.
Justin Smoak is one of the good guys on the team and truly dedicated himself this offseason to working on his craft. The early results in spring training were phenomenal, but nothing has been the same for Smoak since the games started to count.
Smoak is showing a better plate patience, which is a good thing, but he isn't showcasing the line-drive doubles Mariners fans were getting familiar with in March. Much like Ackley, Smoak could just be getting unlucky, but eventually Smoak is going to start pressing to succeed.
At this point, the best thing for Smoak to do would be sticking with what helped him succeed in the spring and wait for the results. However, doing so may lead to another slow start for the Smoakamotive.
2013 Stats: 4 APP, 6.2 IP, 10,80 ERA, 6 HR allowed
Well, I guess you can say the honeymoon is over.
After a strong spring that earned Kameron Loe a spot in the bullpen, Loe has had some issues keeping the ball in the park so far this season. Unfortunately for Loe, his slow start combined with the Mariners desperate need for a long man in the bullpen may be the perfect storm to cost Loe his roster spot.
Loe isn't the only one on the pitching staff who has started slow, but he is currently occupying what may be the most important spot in the bullpen. If the Mariners starters can't help the bullpen with quality starts consistently, it's going to be on Loe to help bridge the gap to the likes of Carter Capps, Stephen Pryor and Tom Wilhelmsen.
At this point, things don't look too good for Loe, and he could be a dead man walking. Expect Loe to be optioned to Triple-A or DFA'd when Erasmo Ramirez is healthy again, as the Mariners will make the move to give them more flexibility out of the bullpen.