There have been a lot of low moments for the Seattle Mariners this season, many of which have continued to alienate an already angry fanbase. From disappointing seasons to never living up to expectations, the Mariners have been very difficult to love at times.
But which player has truly worn out his welcome with the Mariners?
One can make the argument in favor of Franklin Gutierrez. After earning an extension following his tremendous 2009 season in which he posted a 6.2 WAR, Guti has failed to stay healthy—combining to play in only 148 games since the start of the 2011 season.
An argument can be made on a single-season basis for Michael Saunders as being the player fans are fed up with. After a nice start to the season, Saunders has been ice cold for the past month-and-a-half, and since the beginning of May, Saunders is 25-for-132 (.189 batting average) with 47 strikeouts.
To put things into perspective: The combined factors of Nick Franklin's success at second along with Saunders' offensive struggles have forced the Mariners to move Dustin Ackley to the outfield while he works on his own struggles down in Tacoma.
What about Jesus Montero?
Montero had a moderately successful full season in the big leagues in 2012 after being acquired from the New York Yankees during the previous offseason. The combined success of Jesus Montero last season along with Michael Pineda's health woes made the Mariners look like big-time winners in the trade; that is, until 2013 happened.
Montero struggled mightily behind the plate and was even worse at it.
Before being sent down to Tacoma, Montero was the not-so-proud owner of a .208/.264/.327 line with only three homers. Montero was already hard to watch for most fans behind the plate, but when his hitting went out the window, he became unbearable.
Even though these three were difficult to watch this season, none of them compare to the one player on the Mariners who fans have essentially given up on: Justin Smoak.
Smoak was acquired in 2010 in a deal that sent Cliff Lee to the division rival Texas Rangers and was supposed to be the staple in the middle of the Mariners lineup for years to come.
Unfortunately for Smoak, and for the Mariners, this has just not come to be. Over 2011 and 2012, Smoak was viewed as disappointment but was at least given the benefit of the doubt with his youth and prospect label.
Smoak, now 26, can no longer use that as a fall back.
The Mariners made it clear to Smoak this offseason that he was going to have to earn his way into playing time after they acquired Mike Morse and Kendrys Morales. Though they are not defensive wizards at first base, both of them are capable of playing it and are, for the most part, proven major league hitters.
With that in mind, Smoak was tremendous during spring training and rightfully earned his playing time this season.
However, since the regular season started, Smoak has been completely different. His on-base percentage was a solid .350, but a .240 batting average with only 10 extra-base hits is not going to cut it at first base. Smoak is currently rehabbing in Tacoma from an oblique injury and will most likely have first base back when he's healthy, but not to the delight of Mariners fans.
Smoak will be playing for his job the rest of this season, and at this point, it is going to take a tremendous second half for Smoak to earn his way into the hearts of Mariners fans.