Greetings from George Bush International Airport …
Before I head to Chicago, I thought I’d offer up a few notes before I catch my flight since I slacked and didn’t have a postgame blog yesterday.
If you are ever find yourself in Houston, don’t feel too unlucky. Take yourself to Ninfa’s on Navigation and get some El Diablo Tacos, which are bacon wrapped shrimp tacos.
If you read one thing today, read this column by Larry Stone, who caught up with former Mariners’ minor leaguer Vinnie Catricala, who retired to become a police officer.
From my game story in today’s paper ….
The Mariners won their fourth straight game and have won 10 of their past 12 to improve to 47-38. It’s the first time a Mariners team has been nine games over .500 since the end of the 2007 season.
But there was no giddiness. It’s part of the attitude that was pushed by manager Lloyd McClendon in spring training, tested by an early eight-game losing streak and forged by surprising runs of success where they’ve found ways to win games they shouldn’t.
It’s a businesslike confidence, an ability to move on each day that hasn’t been evident in the organization in some time.
“We’re an even-keeled group,” Young said. “The highs aren’t too high and the lows aren’t too low. We’ve been through an eight-game losing streak and I don’t know what our winning streaks have been and I don’t think anybody cares. We know it’s a long season and there’s a long way to go. We still have a lot to prove, and we haven’t played our best baseball yet.”
And yet they’ve had success, which is surprising to many but not to them. They believe they’re a good team and they’ve earned it.
“I think you are seeing day in and day out what we are capable of doing,” said Dustin Ackley, who had three hits. “I don’t think you can say it’s a fluke anymore. I think everybody is starting to see that this is what we are capable of doing.”
The notebook talks about the Dustin Ackley’s six hits in two days and has a few notes on Felix Hernandez, James Jones and a few international signings.
Speaking of those signings …. here’s the tracker for those signings. Brayan Hernandez isn’t listed but multiple reports have said he’s signed.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today has been with the Mariners the last few days and wrote this column about the team’s success, crediting Robinson Cano. McClendon broke out his BB gun line about the Mariners’ offense.
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs wrote this piece on the struggles of midseasons signees Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew.
The Mariners will obviously get Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez on the AL all-star game. I said before that Felix should start. I haven’t changed my mind on that.
But should the Mariners get more all-stars. The two most logical candidates are Kyle Seager and Fernando Rodney. Seager doesn’t have the notoriety of other third basemen.The last time they had three all-stars was in 2011 with Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda and Brandon League – yes, Brandon League. The Mariners have never had a player in the voting for the final spot on the roster. But there’s a good chance it may happen this year.
But look at his numbers per Fangraphs compared to other third baseman. Seager is having a solid year. Is any other third baseman putting up better numbers? Not really, no. But Seager isn’t even in the top 5 in voting. Josh Donaldson leads the vote, followed by Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria, Manny Machado and Brett Lawrie in that order.
Seager’s only hope is that John Farrell picks him as a reserve. McClendon said he won’t call Farrell to lobby for Seager.
“John knows who Kyle is and how good he is,” he said. “I think he should have strong consideration. You could argue, his numbers are as good as any third baseman in the league. But listen, everybody can’t play in that game. It’s just the way it is.”
Rodney leads the AL in saves with 24. Here’s the Fangraphs numbers.
Yes, he was an adventure early. But he’s been outstanding of late.
Since blowing that save against Tampa at Safeco, here’s his numbers. The Fernando Rodney Experience has been like a ferris wheel not a roller coaster.