A Good Time To Be Hurting
The M’s are going to open the season at significantly less than full strength. With Cliff Lee, Erik Bedard, and Jack Hannahan on the DL, the team is going to have to fight through April with a roster that would probably finish below .500 over a full 162 game season. Don’t expect this team to come firing out of the gates and blow the doors off of everyone in the first month of the season.
However, if the M’s had to choose a month in which to be hurting, April may just have been their best bet. While they start the season with ten games against the A’s and Rangers, they follow that with series’ against Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, and Kansas City. There isn’t a likely playoff team in that bunch, and in reality, the last two weeks of April looks like one of the easiest stretches of baseball this team will play all year.
It’s easy to look at the roster and be a little discouraged with how this spring has gone, but the M’s may have caught something of a lucky break in their schedule. Thanks to the weaker opponents they play in the first month of the season, they’re unlikely to get buried early. Even with a lot of question marks, I wouldn’t be surprised if the M’s posted a winning record in April, which should inspire a decent amount of optimism if Lee and Bedard can rejoin a team that’s already over .500.
May to August are going to be tough. The M’s need their big guns back for that stretch. April, though, they may just be able to sneak through with this less than perfect roster.