As of June 27, the Seattle Mariners are 12 games out of first place. In this case, 12 is not a particularly good number. One could argue that 12 is a number that is too high to realistically overcome, even with months to go in the season.
Is the 2013 season on the brink of disaster? Will fans already be forced to start looking forward to 2014?
Numbers are a funny part of sports, particularly since they can change so quickly. If the Mariners were to go on a nice winning streak of six to eight games and the Oakland A's and Texas Rangers were to struggle, the landscape could look very different. Realistically, that is not necessarily going to happen. For Seattle to contend, they would likely need to chip away at the lead over a period of months and maintain a pattern of sustained winning.
Can the Mariners turn it around and contend for the division?
It may be fair to suggest that confidence in such a scenario is weakening by the day.
As the Mariners approach the trade deadline along with the rest of the league, there will be the inevitable question of whether this team is a "buyer" or a "seller." Interestingly, ESPN currently has the Mariners listed as "Buyer or Seller."
Exactly. The Mariners are on the brink of...disaster? A dramatic turnaround? Your guess is as good as mine.
Fans that were hoping to see some of the hot young prospects make it to the show have not been disappointed. Nick Franklin has arrived, as has Mike Zunino. Franklin, in particular, looks like he belongs. The latest promotion is Brad Miller, who has been hitting very well (.356) in Tacoma. Management obviously hopes that Miller's hot bat can infuse some life into this lineup.
Keep the prospects coming. Will we have a Taijuan Walker sighting soon?
Speaking of lineup changes, did anyone predict this lineup (provided by Greg Johns of MLB.com) in spring training or at the beginning of the season?
#Mariners vs Cubs: Chavez RF, Franklin 2B, Seager 3B, Morales 1B, Ibanez DH, Bay LF, Ackley CF, Zunino C, Miller SS, Iwakuma P.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) June 28, 2013
There are fans that obviously want to stay optimistic. The season is not lost just yet, and this team still has a lot of potential. Truthfully, there is a very nice mix of veterans and youngsters in this lineup. They just need something. A spark. Some momentum.
A belief that this team can win?
If the Mariners do fall further behind, the trade talk is really going to heat up, particularly as it pertains to players like Kendrys Morales, Raul Ibanez, Michael Morse, Jason Bay and Hisashi Iwakuma. As much as media outlets will find it logical for the Mariners to continue being the farm system for big market teams, there really isn't a great incentive to make certain deals.
Unless the Mariners get an overwhelming offer for someone like Morales, it makes more sense to keep him, utilize his bat, make a qualifying offer at the end of the season and get a draft pick when he signs a lucrative deal somewhere else. Of course, could it possibly be that this team could actually come back and make a run at the division?
The future is really starting to arrive in Seattle. Let's see what they can do. If the Mariners don't heat up soon, this season could be completely lost and success might need to wait.