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MLB.com’s Jon Morosi: Mariners have something in common with 2001 team

Jon Morosi on the AL West-leading Mariners: "It's one of those collective teams." (AP)
LISTEN: Morosi on how the M's will fare as the schedule gets tougher

The 2018 Seattle Mariners are not the 2001 Seattle Mariners. But even though they’re not on a record-breaking pace in the win column, there is something this year’s squad has in common with the greatest team in franchise history.

Dipoto to ESPN: Canó won’t be full-time 2B upon return

“This is not the ‘01 team by any stretch, obviously … but that team was always characterized by its collective strength as opposed to relying on one player,” Jon Morosi, analyst for MLB.com, MLB TV and FOX Sports told Brock and Salk on Tuesday. “I think that we’re seeing a similar offense carrying the burden in the absence of Robinson Canó.”

Morosi has a point there. Like the 2001 team had Ichiro atop the lineup and Bret Boone, John Olerud and Edgar Martinez in the middle of it, this team has Dee Gordon and Jean Segura setting things up ahead of Mitch Haniger, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager.

“It’s one of those collective teams,” Morosi said.

That has been the case with the starting rotation, too, especially thanks to surprising performances by a couple of left-handers.

“The fact that the Mariners have gotten to where they are with Marco Gonzales playing such a key role and Wade LeBlanc … these are guys that were somewhat unheralded, certainly in the case of Wade,” Morosi said. “He’s bounced around a couple different times, (Mariners general manager) Jerry Dipoto’s acquired him multiple times now, he’s a great story.

“I think (the Mariners’ season) does have that storybook quality to it.”

Morosi also talked about the Mariners garnering more attention in the national baseball conversation and what he makes of their chances to stay ahead of the Astros in the division. You can hear the full segment in this podcast of Tuesday’s Brock and Salk show.

How Jean Segura has stepped up as leader with Canó out