2018 Mariners preview: Tom Wassell’s over-under
If the Mariners are going to make any kind of run at October baseball, certain numbers will have to be met. So why not play a game of over-under?
As we go through this you may be surprised at how realistic these figures seem, at least on an individual basis. The key is, of course, to have as many of them happen as possible without things like *gasp* injuries sabotaging the effort.
It’s my game, so I get to make the odds. We may agree or disagree on whether or not all of the Mariners players reach these numbers, but if it’s going to be a fun season at Safeco, they won’t be too far off.
Take a look and share your own verdicts in the comments.
Dee Gordon: 60 stolen bases
Since 2014, the Mariners’ new leadoff hitter stole 64, 58, 30 (in 79 games) and 60 bases. I don’t believe he has to steal 60 bases for the team to win, but since it’s a weapon the Mariners haven’t had in forever (only Harold Reynolds has reached 60 steals for the M’s), they might as well use it.
Jean Segura: .310 average
If Gordon is going to be standing on second base that often, it would be nice if the 2016 National League hit king could do what he does best.
Felix Hernandez: 4.10 ERA
This is about as high of a number as I can go with Felix and still think of it as a successful season. Anything more and the King’s Court will be permanently adjourned.
Ichiro Suzuki: With the team beyond June 1?
If Ichiro is with the Mariners past the month of May, he’s either playing out of his mind or Ben Gamel and Jayson Werth are hurt/not producing.
Robinson Cano: 25 home runs
How many more times can he get over 25? Enough to make me not hate that contract.
Kyle Seager: .265 average
Hopefully, last year’s .249 average is the outlier. It’s odd that each of Seager’s last two managers have singled him out as a guy who should hit for higher average and yet it hasn’t happened.
Mike Leake: 3.98 ERA
That’s his career ERA, so we’ll stick with that. The only things required of Mike Leake this season are to be consistent and available.
Nelson Cruz: 32 home runs
This guy has done nothing but crush the ball since becoming a Mariner. And that smile will brighten up even the rainiest of Seattle days.
Daniel Vogelbach: More time in majors or minors?
If spring training’s best story is with the big club by the end of April, there’s likely an injury to someone else. But who’s to say he can’t force the Mariners to keep him around with solid production?
Mike Zunino: .245 average
He doesn’t need to hit .280 to convince me that he’s “fixed.” Keep it above .230 with 25 home runs and keep doing what you’re doing behind the plate.
James Paxton: 26 starts
His previous high is 24 (2017). I’m willing to accept him as a guy who just gets hurt once in awhile. If he makes 26, that will mean he will have missed roughly a month. Fine.
Edwin Diaz: 33 Saves
Diaz is the Mariners’ next homegrown All-Star. Huge year coming.
Marco Gonzales: 10 Wins
If your fourth starter is winning 12 games, you’re in the playoffs.