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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

Category: leadoff
June 25, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Leading things off…Mariners need to lead things off

Endy Chavez, at age 35, has become the closest thing the Mariners have to a leadoff hitter this season. He's running an on-base-percentage of .296. Photo Credit: AP

Endy Chavez, at age 35, has become the closest thing the Mariners have to a leadoff hitter this season. He’s running an on-base-percentage of .296. Photo Credit: AP

Back in spring training of 2012, when the Mariners made the choice to switch Ichiro out of the leadoff spot, he was coming off a season in which he’d posted just a .310 on-base percentage.

We’re now 1 1/2 seasons removed from that call and the Mariners are still abysmal in the leadoff position. Just like their failure to replace Edgar Martinez’s DH production with anything even close to league average in the years that followed, the Mariners’ attrocious leadoff production continues to drag the offense down.

As of today, the team has received a .287 OBP from all of its leadoff contributors.

Going forward? The team has to identify a realistic leadoff candidate. If not, it has to address the issue this off-season unlike last winter, when it failed to do so.

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Comments | More in leadoff | Topics: endy chavez; michael saunders; franklin gutierrez; michael bourn

March 20, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Leadoff by committee for Mariners? Seems tough to avoid it

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Yesterday afternoon, I went on 710 ESPN Seattle on the Bob & Groz show and they stumped me right off the bat by asking who was going to hit leadoff for the Mariners. Who indeed? Sure, I’ve got the same list many of you have. But who would be the go-to guy? Tough to find an answer to that one. It’s one of the reasons I thought the Mariners might go harder after Michael Bourn.

Simply put, they don’t have a leadoff guy right now. They had Ichiro for years, but did not replace him when he left. Dustin Ackley was not the guy to go into this season with, primarily because of how badly he performed last season. The last thing you want to do with a guy who has yet to establish much of anything in the majors is saddle him with a batting order role that actually requires some responsibility — as I belive the first four or five spots in an order actually do.

After that, you can throw in whatever’s left.

But to bat a guy leadoff? Well, you’d better know he can handle it.

For the Mariners this year, they just don’t have a prototypical leadoff guy. I’d setlle for them just going with a guy who can get on base.

Based on recent history, they don’t really have that either.

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Comments | More in leadoff | Topics: Dustin Ackley, franklin gutierrez, Jason Bay


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