We're about 4/10 into the Mariners season. Let's see how we've done.
Mariners, as a team
Run Differential: -13
Fun Differential: +167
Team OPS+: 107 (!!)
Team ERA+: 93
Verdict: The M's are where we expected, a few games under .500 in the early months of the season. Everything suggest improvement on the run-scoring front, since April and May in Seattle doesn't inspire run-scoring. Add the advancement of experience throughout the lineup, and the 107 OPS+ is impressive. The M's should score more runs, as last year's woes have been exterminated on batting. However, the bullpen is suspect (thanks Diego Castillo, Andres Munoz, and Matt Festa). And even though that's something to keep an eye on, the fact that only 35% of the remaining games are against .500 teams, the M's should be fighting for a spot in the playoffs (likely with Boston and Cleveland). No worries so far, just the inevitable slug through spring.
OAA: N/A (3.5 Def on Fangraphs, so nice defender)
Verdict: Cal Raleigh has been odd. Not good or bad, but odd. Detractors of Cal point to his horrendous hitting for average skill. Promoters point to his impressive pop (7 HR and .411 SLG in 33 games), plus his fielding skills. When you combine his fielding and pop, I think his positives outweigh the negatives, as hitting for average ain't that impactful as a catcher. Good year, b
OPS+: 161 (!!)
Verdict: Dare I say it, dare I say it... he's playing like Edgar? Granted, his defense is Edgar-ish, but like catchers to average, defense to 1B isn't that important. And considering his 161 OPS+ (amazing) and his decent power plus his crazy contact, he's having a great year for Seattle. Future core member.
Verdict: Oh lord. No power, mediocre contact. That's his year. C'mon, Mariners, it was a bad decision to pick Frazier over Dylan Moore. Please start Dylan Moore. At least he's been making up for JP Crawford's defense? ...even though he has the same value defensively as who else but DYLAN MOORE. He could fit-in as a defensive shortstop in the 9-hole, however.
OAA: -8 (goodness)
Verdict: Poor, poor JP. Abraham Toro, with his piss-poor hitting, is still getting starts at DH, even though JP is hitting a 142 OPS+. His -8 OAA means he can't field. Slot Frazier at shortstop in the 9-hole, place Dylan Moore at 2B, and play JP at DH, Mariners. IT MAKES SENSE.
Verdict: Unlike his other *unnamed* Reds contemporary, Eugenio's been playing as advertised. He leads the team in homers, plus some average defense, walks a plenty, and good slugging make him a good investment for the Mariner hot corner.
J̶e̶s̶s̶e̶ W̶i̶n̶k̶e̶r̶ Wasted Money
Verdict: What Jesse Winker WAS supposed to be was a consistent contact hitter with decent pop, not a liability with shriveled pop and mediocre contact. I know he's drawing walks, but low averages + walk drawing means you have to hit homers. Do you think Kyle Schwarber would mentioned as an all-star if he didn't hit 16 HR and a .476 slugging percentage? Do you think anyone would trust Willy Adames, Christian Walker, Adam Duvall, hell, most players hitting under .220 with slugging over .400? No! Winker's playing like Schwarber without pop, aka Jeimer Candelario. And no one gives Jeimer Candelario 7 million dollars plus arbitration next year.
OAA: 5 (!!)
Verdict: J-Rod is playing great. His hitting is decent, as his pop is good, his average and power is good, and his speed is nice. But his fielding... oh, his fielding. He is a terminator in center. He is stealing outs out there, and his range is encouraging. All aboard the J-Rod train!
OPS+: 48 (...)
Verdict: So, uh... yikes. I don't know what to do with Kelenic. I mean, his hope is for Winker to leave soon, as Taylor Trammell is showing himself as a worthy starter. I say, keep him in AAA until Winker F's off.
Verdict: Good pop, but most times at the plate, he's invisible. Again, JP at DH?
Verdict: Yipes. Not a great time for Ray. Logan Gilbert seems to be an ace for the M's, yet Ray has had a bad start. I think he may get better, but a 0.1 WAR for 21 million? Who needs Robbie?
Verdict: The real ace of Seattle. Good sabermetrics and good regular stats. He's good on all fronts, only 25, and consistent. I think we have something special.
Verdict: Mediocrity personified. Maybe some run support would help.
FIP: 5.64 (...)
Verdict: Man, he has been bailed out by the Mariners' defense this year, not something you could say about most Mariner teams. Add that to increasing heat, and Marco is gonna collapse, which is why is grade is so low.
George the Kirby
Verdict: OK, maybe the Mariner defense is good, but Kirby's been pitching decent this year. Some good mid-level starter stats justify his spot in the rotation.
Verdict: That above-average ERA is deceiving. Some relievers, like Paul Sewald (3.09) and Penn Murfee (0.83) have had good stuff, but some, like acquisition Diego Castillo (5.32), or arms like Andres Munoz (5.31) and Matt Festa (5.09) haven't. Too early, and inconsistent, to tell how they will perform for the year. However, Castillo has a 2.5 FIP, so... improvement bound?
Whew, after 10 hours of writing and research, this article is done. Sound off in the comments.