|200 hits and another losing season. Mark it down in your book Ichiro.|
|Dustin Ackley is coming to Seattle. We just don't know when, or how it will shake up the current interesting infield situation.|
Jack Cust leads the team in spring home runs and avoids any entries in the Slip and Fall to Hurt Your Back Olympics. I always liked Russell Branyan. Thought he was a good guy and believed his homers were so long and tall they were art. I also believed he was one twitch away from season ending back surgery. I wish him the best, but I think the Cust signing will give the M's the kind of consistency they need. You know what I'm talking about--when Jack Wilson, Adam Kennedy or Ryan Langerhans are forced to DH for a week. Cust will homer, walk and strikeout, keep the clubhouse loose, stay healthy and improve the position over the past three years or so. Just not by a lot.
|See that glove on Jack Cust's left hand. Kiss it good bye. You will know disaster has struck if you see Cust in the field.|
|If Smoak can relax and just hit, the M's could have a good season. If his development is slow they'll struggle.|
|Like Smoak, Michael Pineda is a question mark. The M's are asking him to develop at the major league level.|
Bedard and Wilhelmsen are the big surprises of spring training, and if both can stay healthy they'll help the Mariners. The most fun story of the spring however is that the Mariners have indeed won something: the Carlos Silva/Milton Bradley bad contract series. Thus far MB has almost been a choir boy with his attitude off the field and performance on the field. Silva waddled into camp out of shape and pitched terrible ball, convinced the 5th starter's job with the Cubs was his. It wasn't. I hate to chortle and be spiteful, but I endured two years of overpriced, crappy Silva outings and it's nice to see some other team see his true character.
My prediction for the AL West--A's, Rangers, Angels, M's. I have the M's pegged at 72 wins. That said, I'm excited for the season to start in Seattle, and I think Tacoma should be pretty fun to watch too.