The Seattle Mariners haven't had the start some fans were hoping for: just four wins through 13 games. But there's no reason for worry. They've had several inauspicious factors working against them early, and there are a couple of key elements that we'll see come out as the season develops.
They have had a few difficult series matchups: (1) the young, talented Oakland A's, (2) the 2010 AL champion Texas Rangers, and (3) the Cleveland Indians, which were coming off a sweep of the World Series favorite Red Sox. That definitely hindered their ability to break out of last year's slump.
Another possible contribution to the Mariners' sub-par opening is a lack of chemistry in the starting lineup. The nine guys who we usually see hitting for the Mariners don't have the necessary trust that we often see in a winning team.
Most fans and analysts have labeled 2011 as a rebuilding year for Seattle because they have a pretty new team, but I'm not throwing in the towel yet. Here are five reasons why we won't see the Mariners at the bottom of the AL West.