The Mariners have put together yet another relatively disappointing season…but is there more to it? Is there any way the M’s have taken a step forward? The optimist in me says: Yes! Absolutely. But as with any other realistic fan, it’s easier to look at the back tracking of the club.
But there are bright spots. No matter how small they are. For example, the Mariners are currently on pace to finish with a 72-89 (h/t Baseball Prospectus) –
which would be a step back but, the Mariners’ offense has improved, despite that not showing in the standings.
Their total oWAR from last year was 16.8..this year? 18.1. The club’s oRAR (Offensive Runs Above Replacement Level) this year has improved by about 20 points since last year. If you’re not a fan of sabermetrics, then you can look at the fact they’ve hit the fourth most HR among AL teams. Continue reading
Some players are like wine, they get better with age. Others are like milk and spoil after time. Raul Ibanez is caught in between fine wine and spoiled milk. Even though he had one of the better first halves, his production has started to gradually decline. Right now, he’s caught between solid player and needs to retire. He’s good enough to be playing on a semi-regular basis but not on an everyday basis.
Over 162 games, Ibanez has averaged a .262 batting average, 24 HR and 94 RBI. This year he has been pretty spot on for him, hitting .248 with 24 HR and 57 RBI. If anything, he’s slightly above par this year (in HR and SLG%, specifically) but that doesn’t make up for his recent struggles…which brings up one of the less talked about subjects among Mariners fans and writers – has Raul Ibanez’ magic run out?
Should he decide not to retire, will the M’s give him another contract?
Some could make the black and white argument, which is: if he produces steadily, he should be given a contract. If he doesn’t, don’t give him a contract. But, as I’m sure you know by now…nothing is black and white. If it were, the M’s wouldn’t be in this position at all. Continue reading