Previewing the 2010 Season

Dave · April 5, 2010 at 8:06 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Everyone and their brother has written a season preview for the team, and they all come to the same general conclusions – the season hinges on several unpredictable players.

It really is that simple. This team is a contender if:

Milton Bradley stays healthy, stays sane, and hits well.
Cliff Lee recovers from this injury quickly and suffers no lingering effects.
Casey Kotchman remembers that he used to be a pretty good hitting prospect.
Ian Snell figures out how to throw strikes and get lefties out.
Felix, Ichiro, Gutierrez, and Figgins all avoid the disabled list.

If all of those things happen, this team has a great shot at the playoffs. If two or three of them happen, they have a shot, but they’ll need all three other AL West clubs to struggle. If less than three of those things happen, they may finish below .500.

This is a high variance team whose success hinges on some things going well that may or may not go well. People who are sure this team will win are wrong, just as those who are sure this team will lose are wrong. There’s no way to be sure about anything with this roster.

And, to be honest, that makes it kind of fun. For the first time in years, I have no idea what to expect. We’ll find out what this team is as we watch them play. Bring it on.


14 Responses to “Previewing the 2010 Season”

  1. Carson on April 5th, 2010 8:14 am

    Welcome back, baseball. Let’s see how this thing plays out.

    Also, allow me to be the first to say: Happy King Felix Day!

  2. Rboyle0628 on April 5th, 2010 8:29 am

    Yes, yes, Yes!!!! It’s that time of year again. Happy Felix Day to one and all!!! And I must say, being on the east coast and in Yankee territory it was nice to see the Yankees blow a 5-1 lead, now M’s, continue the joy for me and let Felix pitch like the King that he is!

  3. tdillon on April 5th, 2010 8:31 am

    Bedard to come back to pitch to form wouldn’t hurt, either.

  4. wabbles on April 5th, 2010 8:39 am

    I hate to bring it up, but let’s not forget our infield backup situation. We’re so thin there we could’t wear it in public. But, just as last year, I’m optimistic. We followed the 18-game turnaround in 1993 by being two games out of first but 10 games under .500 when the strike shut down the 1994 season. And then came 1995. So, we’ll see. Maybe Carp and a starting pitcher in Tacoma will come of age. All I know is, baseball’s back!

  5. lesch2k on April 5th, 2010 8:42 am

    i’m sure that the M’s are in first place right now. i’m sure that i’d like the M’s to stay in first place. i’m sure that i wore my felix jersey to work today, even though i live in Cincinnati.

  6. JMHawkins on April 5th, 2010 9:22 am

    …i’m sure that i wore my felix jersey to work today, even though i live in Cincinnati.

    At least these days people in Cincinnati know who he is.

  7. dekjo on April 5th, 2010 9:33 am

    What about our closer? Everywhere I read, people are writing that they expect regression from Aardsma. Between that and a rough spring, is no one concerned? Who is our backup plan if he falls off the cliff – League?

  8. henryv on April 5th, 2010 10:36 am

    What about our closer? Everywhere I read, people are writing that they expect regression from Aardsma.

    League or Lowe are both ready to replace him.

    And I don’t know if I would expect “regression” so much as “reality”. Those dozens of baseballs that landed just inches short of the wall (or were caught by death to flying things) will become home runs.

    But it’s still one inning, and by god, someone can manage one inning.

  9. Chris_From_Bothell on April 5th, 2010 10:51 am

    Happy Felix Day!!! I’m glad the season opens with a west coast game, so I can race home from work in time to settle in…

  10. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2010 10:51 am

    I agree that this is gonna be fun. Z seems to have a good plan in place for “overall vision”. We shouldn’t be competing with the Yankees and Red Sox when it comes to contracts and free agents (like the Bavasi days when we’d throw too much money at the “sloppy seconds” of the free agent pools). I think better models of recent playoff teams are Colorado and Tampa where when the cards fall right, a prospect breaks out, and/or luck goes our way, the key in our pocket suddenly fits a playoff door.

    And where things get really fun is that if we can get in one of those doors, a Felix/Lee/Bedard rotation can shut down just about anybody with a little luck.

    The interesting thing going into the regular season is that April matters this year– big time. If we can stay at the top, or near the top of the West, until Lee/Hannahan (and maybe Bedard) get back on the field, it’s a significant accomplishment, setting us up for the rest of the year. Whereas, if we slip from the start, our first concern with all of our regulars back will be digging out of the initial hole, and changes the dynamics of the middle of the season (ie- “trying to catch up” versus an opportunity of “sprinting to a comfortable lead”).

    That variable alone makes April a more nervous (and fun) time than years past.

    (Plus a reserve of optimism left over from last year’s start, when we lost Ichiro, feared the worst, and then Endy Chavez over-performed and put smiles on all our faces. Can somebody on the team do that again– preferrably a #2-#5 starter?)

  11. fiftyone on April 5th, 2010 11:03 am

    My own variables upon variables:
    A breakout season by Carp or Moore could somewhat compensate for failings by Bradley, Kotchman or Guti;
    An early return by a healthy Bedard could compensate for Snell’s inability to find the strike zone and/or himself;
    A trade for middle infield depth could mitigate the impact of Wilson’s possible visit to the DL;
    RRS could do a cheap imitation of Cliff Freakin Lee for four April starts;
    And God forbid, we could get .280/.350/.520 from Sweeney over 200 PA prior to the All-Star break. (It’s not happening, but I have severe Polly-April-anna-itis.)
    So more things could go wrong from Dave’s list, and the M’s could still contend, as long as the backup plans are wildly successful.

    Happy, happy, happy happy Felix Day!

  12. spankystout on April 5th, 2010 12:46 pm

    Opening/Felix day! I hope for the best from the M’s this season. I just have that unquantifiable gut feeling this season will be an exercise of frustration. But I would enjoy nothing more than to be wrong……….Question: Who do you see as being expendable if the M’s become “sellers” around July 31st?

  13. Ironone on April 5th, 2010 1:04 pm

    Spankystout……….too soon for me to think of that yet! Give me a week……:-)

  14. nathaniel dawson on April 5th, 2010 4:17 pm

    Question: Who do you see as being expendable if the M’s become “sellers” around July 31st?


    C’mon, guy, this is opening day. There’s a lot to look forward to with this team. Let’s enjoy the moment instead of falling prey to pessimism. You know, hope springs eternal and all.

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