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FanPulse Week Six: Vlad Jr., Mallex Smith, and flagging confidence in the Mariners

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the regression is coming and it ain’t pretty

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Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Tired: Matt Thaiss; Wired: Vlad Thighs
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in-fans from each team. If you’d like to be included in the survey of Mariners fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.

This week’s national poll was about Blue Jays phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and what his rookie season might look like. Personally, I think the bars are set a little wonky on this one; I feel like there’s an argument to be made separately for a three-win season or a five-win season, but the response options here bucket those two fairly different outcomes together. I’m not sure who thinks Vladito is putting up 10+ WAR in his freshman season, but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing them all at T-Mobile in August, at which point this questions should be mostly settled.

Mike Trout did have a 10-win season in his rookie year, but that came after he’d had over 100 plate appearances the previous year to become accustomed to MLB pitching (fun fact: Trout had 135 PAs in 2011 but was still eligible for the ROY award in 2012 because MLB defines “rookie” as at-bats, not plate appearances, so Trout just squeaked under the cutoff of 130 with 123 ABs.) 98% of poll respondents feel confident in saying Vladito is likely not going to surpass Trout; I feel confident in saying Vladito will surpass Trout in the entertainment factor, if nothing else.

As for the questions we ask every week, this week saw the second-lowest mark regarding feelings of confidence in the direction of the team. 89% of you still feel confident, but it’s a long ways from the salad days of Week Three, when 94% of respondents felt confident in the direction of the team. It seems like we’re slowly rounding into the fulfillment of the prediction made at the beginning of the season that this team will be a 75-ish win team.

Manager approval is holding steady at 89% this week, indicating most of you find fault with the team itself more so than the managing. To be fair, when the team is on track to make a historic number of errors, there’s only so much managing that can be done.

One thing that can be managed: who’s filling the center field spot. Last week we also asked if you thought the struggling Mallex Smith should be optioned to Tacoma in favor of Braden Bishop. Well before the team actually made the move, the majority of you were in agreement that it was the right one:

Should Mallex Smith be optioned to Tacoma for Braden Bishop?

For a game that’s as “slow” as baseball, change can come quickly at times, as it did here, with the team making the move before we even had the poll results. That speaks somewhat to the exponential nature of Mallex’s struggles; hopefully he can get things ironed out with Tacoma. The Rainiers are just about to start a long homestand, so if you head to Tacoma over the coming week you’ll have a chance to see him in action and maybe even snag an autograph.

Want to be included in next week’s poll? Sign up here.