Saturday, May 18, 2024

Raleigh House


There's a reason why a lot of the conversation regarding the Seattle Mariners has mostly concerned the starting pitching. Mostly, the starting pitching is why they're in 1st place. The whole rotation has an ERA under 4, Gilbert and Castillo are among the best pitchers in baseball at the moment, and even bringing Bryan Woo back has resulted in a 0.93 ERA in 2 games. Though the double-digit losses have piled up in May, the rotation isn't exactly contributing to that often. 

The other reason is that so many of the hitters just haven't gotten things going.

It's a ton more evident without Jarred Kelenic, Teoscar Hernandez and Eugenio Suarez just how quiet this Mariners lineup is now. Some of the moves that people thought were so smart in January, like snagging Jorge Polanco and Mitch Garver, have not amounted to much. Even the Luke Raley deal, which at least has Raley hitting .275 with 11 RBIs, isn't looking great solely because of how excellent Jose Caballero's been in Tampa. And look, some of the 'hey, these lower key guys have got it covered' decisions have paid off, like Josh Rojas, who's hitting .319 right now, and Dylan Moore, who's been excellent covering for J.P. Crawford. But you see a lot of guys hitting like .211, people like Mitch Haniger, Ty France and Dominic Canzone, many of whom should be carrying more of the load. Even Julio Rodriguez is doing 'just okay' right now, hitting .266 with 13 RBIs and 44 hits. His power numbers are down, and he's only doing so much so far.

Cal Raleigh has been making up a ton of the work, and on one hand, that's awesome. Raleigh's a great defensive catcher who can also clutch hit and crack homers, he's a great multifaceted piece. Right now, Raleigh's the best hitter on the team. Trouble is, this Mariners team was designed so that it wouldn't HAVE to be somebody like Raleigh saving the lineup. That's what Julio, Crawford and France are for, AND Polanco. You shouldn't have that many great hitters letting you down and leaving it to the catcher, who'd normally be batting like 5th if this was a normal team. 

It is fantastic that the Mariners are a first place team. I would love for it to keep happening, and for them to build on this. But right now, they're in first because A.) their rotation hasn't fallen apart, and B.) they had a much better start than Houston. The Astros have been getting so much better in the last week, and while it would be so anticlimactic for the Astros to lap Seattle anyway, Seattle needs to work on preventing that from happening. They've got a 10-game road trip, and are currently facing a very tough Orioles team. Next after that is a series in the Bronx, which I'll be heading in to see a game of. And then the Nationals, a team they can no doubt beat once or twice. 

The trick is for some hitters other than Cal Raleigh to start impressing me. And that shouldn't be asking for a lot given this team's power-hitting history. But right now it sure seems like it.

Coming Tomorrow- A powerful hitter for a team that just keeps getting bad news. 

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