I happened to spend a couple of days in Arizona this past February, and
was lucky enough to be able to get over to Peoria on one of those days
and watch the Mariners work out in Spring Training. There was a lot
to be optimistic about at that time, including the pitching staff.
Sometimes fate has other ideas - and the 2005 pitching staff ends up
with a D. Take a look at the following:
W L WHIP K/BB K/9 BAA OPS ERA
69 92 1.38 1.79 5.61 .268 .753 4.47
A few thoughts:
Madritsch going down was a major blow to the rotation.
Pineiro not being ready to start until well into the season also hurt.
Moyer's extreme home/road splits...
Moyer was the only guy to get 200 innings.
Meche was an enigma (again).
Franklin's suspension (hopefully signalling his departure).
The numbers (reasons to be hopeful):
Felix - K/9 of 8.38 in 77.1 innings, 2.56 ERA
Soriano - K/9 11.05 in 7.1 innings, 2.45 ERA
Guardado - 36 S, 2.72 ERA.
Sherrill - awesome 11.37 K/9 over 19 innings, 3.32 ERA.
Mateo - 88 innings, 2.97 ERA
Although the 2005 campaign was a bust, there are many reasons to be
optimistic for the 2006 campaign. Bavasi has stated that starting
pitching is one of his number one priorities. The addition of one or two
quality arms (and the loss of several "problem" members of the pitching
staff) will go a long ways toward righting the ship. The bullpen is not an
area of concern. Speaking of the bullpen, let's hope that Gil Meche finds
himself starting the 2006 campaign there - that finally may be the answer
to the question that has been Gil Meche.
Next: The Defense