Seattle Mariners: Mark Trumbo’s Early (Lack of) Impact

The Seattle Mariners offense is struggling. Despite the offseason addition of Nelson Cruz and the presence of Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager, the M’s offense is in a rut. Entering the week, only the White Sox and Phillies had scored fewer runs.

Given all these factors, the addition of Mark Trumbo would seem like the best early Christmas present known to man. Yeah… not so much.

Trumbo’s early impact, or lack thereof, has been staggering considering the slugger’s track record.

The former Angel was a massive hit for his hometown team, averaging 32 home runs, 94 RBI and a .251 average over three full seasons with the Halos. The M’s needed that Trumbo, not the one they acquired. The first baseman/corner outfielder/designated hitter (he basically plays every “power” position on the diamond) had a rough go of things in Arizona. With the Diamondbacks he tallied 23 bombs, 84 RBI and 128 strikeouts in 134 games. Those aren’t that awful numbers, but when you consider the stats were accumulated over the course of two seasons, it encourages pause.

The Mariners certainly gave up some quality pieces to bring a player who once finished second in Rookie of the Year voting and appeared in an All Star game during his first two seasons.

Out went Welington Castro, Dominic Leone and minor league prospects Gabriel Guerrero and Jack Reinheimer.

(It should be noted that reliever/swing man Vidal Nuno made the move north with Trumbo in the transaction, so the M’s upgraded their bullpen to some extent).

Losing Castillo is the most prominent negative here. Yes, Leone had his moments last season in relief, but he struggled this year and Nuno is likely an upgrade over the now-former Mariner.

Seattle’s catching situation is pretty straight forward. Mike Zunino is the starter and Jesus Sucre is the backup. However, Zunino is hitting .158 with a .230 OBP while Sucre is scuffling with the bat. His batting average, OBP and slugging percentage are all .043. He owns the rare distinction having an OPS under .100. Yes, that’s right, Jesus Sucre’s OPS is .087. Yikes.

So why is this being mentioned? Because Welington Castro happens to be a career .251 hitter, who at his best hits somewhere in the .260-.270 neighborhood.

Why he was dealt for a struggling Trumbo is puzzling.

Trumbo put up half-way decent numbers (9 home runs, 23 RBI, .805 OPS) in 46 games in the desert prior to the trade—however, Seattle was already well-stocked in the first-baseman/corner outfielder/designated hitter areas. In fact, they had a log jam on their hands. Logan Morrison was/is entrenched at first base, while the pre-Trumbo corner outfield/DH candidates included Nelson Cruz, Seth Smith, Justin Ruggiano and Dustin Ackley. James Jones has also received at-bats in the outfield.

Adding Trumbo to this mix makes sense if the Trumbo in question is the one who suited up for the Angels. However, sacrificing an above-average offensive catcher (Castillo) and two prospects for the Trumbo who suited up for the D-Backs is, in layman’s terms, a bad deal.

Losing Castillo hurts catcher production, while adding Trumbo to a position where there is a surplus only rubs salt in the wound. While Zunino is clearly the starting catcher, he’s struggling with the bat, as is his cover, Sucre. Sacrificing offensively behind the dish is fine trade-off when you acquire pre-Diamondback Mark Trumbo, but sacrificing behind the dish for a player who hit entered the week hitting .179 as a Mariner… well, then you have some problems.

The Mark Trumbo acquisition will be a win for the Mariners if the slugger can regain the form he displayed with the Angels, however if he continues his downward trajectory, the M’s may soon come to regret the trade.

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

Seattle Mariners Hire Edgar Martinez as Hitting Coach

If you’re from Seattle, or Washington State, or are an M’s fan, you know all about Edgar Martinez.

If you aren’t, the line on Martinez is as follows—best designated hitter of all time (he did have the award named after him), one of the best pure hitters in franchise history and “should-be” Hall of Famer. And, oh yeah, he has a street named after him. A street that is home to Safeco Field no less.

The Mariners brought back one of the greatest players in franchise history in an attempt to improve upon a scuffling offense that entered the week with the third fewest runs scored in the league.

 

Seattle’s Twitter account was all over the news after announcing the hiring. Hopefully Edgar will have a positive impact on the squad this season and beyond.

 

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.comunless otherwise noted.

3 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 6-2 Loss vs the Houston Astros

Stats are back! After a brief hiatus, the daily stat posts are back. Here’s three from the M’s 6-2 loss to the ‘Stros.

  • Seven

The number of runs allowed by M’s starter J.A. Happ during yet another solid start. With a few exceptions, Happ has been extremely dependable all year, yet has lost his last three starts. He allowed three runs (two earned) and two walks to go along with the seven hits. The former Blue Jay struck out four.

  • Two

The number of runs scored by Logan Morrison. LoMo accounted for both of Seattle’s runs while hitting leadoff. He drew a walk to go along with his lone hit. The first baseman struck out twice in four plate appearances.

  • One

The number of combined hits by Mark Trumbo, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. The quartet combined for three walks and two RBI, but the production from the two-through-five spots in the Seattle order is hardly encouraging.

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4 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 3-1 Loss vs the New York Yankees

  • 13

Again the M’s struck out 13 times in a game, this time most of the Ks came from the top of the order as Logan Morrison went down on strikes three times while Austin Jackson, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz combined for four more punch-outs.

  • Eight

The number of innings thrown by Mariners starter Taijuan Walker. The youngster collected seven strikeouts while only allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits. He walked one batter.

  • Six

The number of baserunners managed by the M’s. When your team’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is 13-1, things aren’t going too well offensively. Masahiro Tanaka was good for the Yankees, but the M’s just couldn’t muster up enough offense.

  • One

The number of combined hits by Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. Seager had the only hit of the trio, but struck out three times. On the day the middle of the Mariners batting order went 1-for-12 with six strikeouts. Again, not going to cut it.

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5 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 5-3 Loss to the New York Yankees

  • 13

The number of strikeouts by the team. This number simply isn’t going to cut it. It keeps the M’s from pulling away from bad teams, while it serves up victories to the better teams on silver platters.

  • 23

The number of pitches thrown by Mariners closer Fernando Rodney. Rodney blew the save while allowing a run and two hits, plus a walk, in one inning. He struck out one batter.

  • 6

The number of innings thrown by Mike Montgomery in his Major League Debut. The former top prospect allowed four hits, one run (earned), walked two and struck out four.

  • Zero

The number of runs allowed by Mark Lowe, Charlie Furbush and Carson Smith. The trio kept the M’s in the lead, but after Rodney blew the save…

  • Six

Tom Wilhelmsen and Joe Beimel allowed a combined six hits and three runs while walking a batter over two innings. They allowed a homerun (Beimel) and didn’t strike a batter out. Wilhelmsen was tagged with the loss.

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3 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 7-2 Loss vs the New York Yankees

  • One

The number of hits by Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison in four at-bats. The Former Marlin also added a strikeout. In a surprising move, he hit leadoff.

  • Seven

The number of runs allowed by Felix Hernandez in 4.2 innings pitched. King Felix suffered only his second loss of the season, also allowing six hits, five walks and a home run. He only struck out four.

  • Zero

The number of runs allowed by the M’s after Felix exited. Mayckol Guaipe and Dominic Leone pitched a combined 4.1 innings, allowing one hit while striking out four.

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5 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 6-3 Loss to the Cleveland Indians

  • Five

The number of hits by the Mariners in 12 innings. The M’s were lucky the game lasted as long as it did as Cleveland accumulated 18 hits and 25 baserunners total. Seattle had only five hits in 40 plate appearances.

  • Seven

The number of relievers used by Seattle after five solid innings from J.A. Happ. Tom Wilhelmsen, Charlie Furbush, Carson Smith, Joe Beimel, Fernando Rodney, Mark Lowe and Dominic Leone all recorded outs in relief.

  • Three

The number of Mariners to reach base more than once. Nelson Cruz and his eyebrows had a hit and a walk, as did Logan Morrison. Kyle Seager drew two walks to round out the trio.

  • 17

The number of pitches seen by leftfielder Justin Ruggiano. He struck out three times in three at-bats.

  • 11

The number of strikeouts by the M’s as a team. Of the 13 Mariners batters to register an at-bat, Wellington Castillo, Richie Weeks, Willie Bloomquist and Dustin Ackley were the only Seattle hitters not to strikeout. Weeks and Bloomquist went a combined 0-for-2 and saw a total of four pitches.

This article also appeared on Kingdome of Seattle Sports.com. Check out Kingdome for more on Seattle Sports. 

Players in the NBA Finals with Washington State/Seattle Connections

Cleveland Cavaliers:

Joe Harris

Joe Harris was born in Chelan, Washington and attended the University of Virginia where he played for four years under former Washington State head coach Tony Bennett. The former All-ACC performer has per-game averages of 2.7 points, .8 rebounds and .5 assists in his first season in Cleveland and in the league.

The former Virginia standout has only appeared in four games for Cleveland this postseason. This mainly has to do with Harris being a rookie on a team with a loaded backcourt. Harris didn’t appear in the first-round sweep of Boston, but did get into tow tames in each series against the Bulls and Hawks. He missed his only shot against the Bulls while scoring seven points in eight minutes in two games against the Hawks. The majority of his numbers came in the Game Four clincher when he tallied all seven of his points to go along with a rebound an assist. He made both his free throws and his only three pointer.

 

Golden State Warriors:

Justin Holiday

The brother of Jrue Holiday, Justin played his collegiate ball at the University of Washington and has played for pro teams everywhere from Belgium to Hungary to Idaho. The wing has stuck on the Warriors’ roster where he’s scored 4.3 points a game and 1.2 rebounds per contest.

Similar to Harris, Holiday is buried on the bench thanks to a ridiculously talented backcourt. He’s appeared in four postseason games so far, totaling three points. He scored those points in a win over Memphis. He’s played less than ten minutes this postseason.

This article also appeared on Kingdome of Seattle Sports.com. Check out Kingdome for more on Seattle Sports. 

Seattle Mariners Acquire Welington Castro: Breaking Down the Trade

The Seattle Mariners made a move bolster their offense and production at the catcher position, bringing in veteran backstop Welington Castro from the Chicago Cubs. The M’s traded reliever Yoervis Medina to Chicago in return.

On the surface the move seems reasonable. The M’s could use reinforcements behind the plate thanks to the offensive struggles of Mike Zunino (.179 batting average) and Jesus Sucre (.067).

For his part, Castro will provide an upgrade over Sucre, and is at worst a time-share option with Zunino.

The now former Cub’s best seasons came in 2012 and 2013 when he hit .271 with 13 home runs and 54 RBI over 165 games. That’s all fine and well until you consider his stat line since: 134 games, 15 home runs, 51 RBI, 114 strikeouts and a .229 batting average (including a .163 mark this season). Castro had a WAR of 4.5 in 2013, but has been worth a -0.1 WAR this year.

Even if Castro doesn’t return to his 2012/2013 form, production somewhere between that and his struggles this season should provide the M’s with an upgrade at catcher. The price paid to bring in that potential upgrade was… interesting.

Yoervis Medina, owner of a sparkling 2.82 ERA over 137 innings pitched, was moved to the Windy City in the transaction. Granted the reliever hasn’t been himself this year with lower strikeout rates, an increasing walk rate and more hits allowed per nine innings. Additionally, his WHIP and FIP are both up from last season. Basically Medina’s numbers have gone up in all the places you’d like them to go down and down in all the places you’d like them to go up.

Still, Medina has a 3.00 ERA this season in the big leagues and a 1.59 number with Triple-A Tacoma. It would be a different story if the M’s bullpen was the well-oiled machine that it was in years past, but this year it simply hasn’t been as stellar.

Carson Smith and Charlie Furbush have both put up numbers reminiscent of past year’s bullpens, but after that there are question marks. Fernando Rodney remains the team’s closer, but is sporting an ugly 5.65 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched. He has nine saves. Danny Farquhar isn’t far behind with a 4.74 ERA. Other ERA eyesores include Tyler Olson and Dominic Leone (5.40 ERA each). Tom Wilhelmsen, Joe Beimel and Mark Lowe all have ERAs under three, but have collectively thrown 14 innings.

Despite Medina’s dip in certain statistical areas, he would still provide a better option than some of the M’s recent options, including four pitchers with ERAs over 4.70.

The addition of Castro is a solid one, one that will pay dividends for the Mariners, but you can’t deal a promising reliever, minor struggles and all, when the rest of the bullpen is performing… well, how they’re performing.

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Why We Love Seattle: Mariners Fans Chant “Brady Cheated” During Mariners/Red Sox Game