Monday, March 10, 2008

MLB Previews: Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners Last season: 88-74, .543, 6 GB in AL West 2008 Outlook: After falling just short in 2007, the Mariners addressed their biggest need - starting pitching - by acquiring a pair of starters, Erik Bedard and Carlos Silva. Whether that will be enough to catch the Angels is suspect, as the rest of the rotation isn't that great. The Mariners best hope is for a wild card unless the Angels stumble badly. The lineup includes bashers Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson, Ichiro, and a cast of otherwise uninspiring regulars. Biggest Changes: Bringing Bedard over from the Orioles gives Seattle a top line starter. Brad Wilkerson may become an every day player with the departure of both outfielder Jose Guillen and first baseman Ben Broussard. Wilkerson can handle either position.
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Rookie/Free Agent Prospects: The Mariners let their top prospect, Adam Jones, loose in the Bedard trade, and that leaves the cupboard fairly bare. Brandon Morrow may get a shot at spot starter or long relief, but otherwise, this lineup is set with veteran players. Best fantasy bets: Ichiro Suzuki will be near the league lead in hits, average, runs and should steal 30 or more bases. Erick Bedard should contend for the strikeout title, which he won easily last season, and he could be a 20-game winner with a tiny ERA. Catcher Kenji Johjima could be a real sleeper after a productive 2007 season (.287, 14 HR, 61 RBI in 135 games). Three Excellent Links: All Seattle Mariners players list Ichiro Suzuki career stats Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports page Next: Texas Rangers

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