Fixing the Seattle Mariners: Several Ways To Do It Right Now
As of today (5/23/2010), the Seattle Mariners sit at 16-28 record, good enough for last place in the American League West and third worst record in the entire MLB. Prior to the season, the Mariners were predicted to win the AL West, but so far, it hasn't gone that way. What can we do to fix this team?
1. Convert back Jose Lopez to 2B, Chone Figgins to 3B
During the spring training, the Mariners converted Lopez to 3B and Figgins to 2B. That worked out for Lopez defensively, as he is posting 32.3 UZR/150 and 11 Defensive Runs Saved. But for Figgins, it has been a nightmare, posting -12.2 UZR/150 and zero Defensive Runs Saved.
This conversion effected both offensively, as Lopez is hitting .211 BA/.240 OBP/.263 SLG and Figgins .195 BA/.305 OBP/.252 SLG. Converting back to their familiar position will relax them and would bring a good result offensively.
2. Switch Figgins and Ichiro in the Lineup
That means Figgins would hit lead-off and Ichiro would hit second in the lineup. This may sound stupid, but Figgins is used to hit from the lead-off spot and can hit around .300 with .400 OBP there.
So we can think of a situation like this: Figgins walks, steal second then scores on Ichiro's single. That way, the Mariners can score runs easily in the first inning. So far, the Mariners haven't been able to pressure opponent's pitcher from their speedy number one and two hitter.
3. Call Up Chad Cordero from Tacoma
In last night's 8-1 loss against the Padres, Don Wakamatsu brought in Jesus Colome to pitch in the eighth inning in a 2-run game. As a result, Colome couldn't get any out and gave up three earned runs, giving the Mariners almost no chance to rally back.
I don't know what Wak was thinking, bringing Colome in a close game, but this may be due to the fact that the Mariners only have 11 pitchers on the active roster right now and didn't wanted to use guys like Brandon League and Shawn Kelley. Eleven pitchers on the roster didn't worked out earlier in the season and it is not working out right now as well.
Cordero, in AAA Tacoma, is striking out more than a batter per inning and can be a nice addition to the bullpen. In that case, Michael Saunders will be optioned or Ryan Langerhans would be designated for assignment since the Mariners want to keep Ken Griffey Jr.
Cordero is a fly-ball pitcher, but Safeco Field is pitcher's paradise so he should be fine in Seattle.
Of course, by doing this three doesn't guarantee the Mariners will bounce back. They need to support their starting pitchers more, and they need their relievers to pitch better, but when nothing is working out, they should try anything possible, and maybe something might work out.
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