Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mariners Bold Predictions Revisited and Our Team Awards

By Jackson Safon

Before the season, I made a series of bold predictions for the Mariners 2013 season. I warned that the predictions would be bold. I did. I came closer on some of these than others, but before I get ridiculed on the predictions I want it to be clear that I warned you that they would be bold. That being said, the short version is the predictions were pretty far off. Enjoy laughing at how wrong I was.

Prediction 1: “Justin Smoak will lead the team in RBI”
Smoak was 30 RBI short of the team lead as Kendrys Morales had 80. The fact is I was dead wrong. But looking closer, how wrong was I really? If you pro-rate Justin Smoak’s numbers from when he returned from injury, he would have led the team in RBI. So really I wasn’t that far off. Okay I was way off. But mark my words this kid will be good. I believe that he is seeing the ball much better than he has been in the past and that if he continues the trajectory he is on, he could be a key part of the Mariners infield for years.

Justin Smoak has proved his abilities in the field, but can he continue to prove himself at the plate?
Ben Van Houten/Mariners

Prediction 2: “Brandon Maurer will be the MVP of the pitching staff"
Yikes. Brandon Maurer had approximately one good start out of many before he was sent down to the minors. It took him a while to get back up where he was a reliever and spot starter. In his return to the big leagues, Maurer actually pitched decent and ate up some innings when they were needed. He wasn’t spectacular by any means but he showed some signs of life and I don’t think all hope should be lost for this kid. But once again we are a no-go for my predictions. 0-2 so far.

Prediction 3: “The Mariners will not be last in the division”
There we go! That’s right folks, I correctly predicted that the Mariners could beat out the Astros this season. Sometimes even I’m amazed at my foresight capabilities. This prediction wasn’t all that bold, but to be fair, it wasn’t close. The M’s beat the Astros by 20 games and were only 7 back of the Angels for third in the division. No matter how cheap, this point still goes to me. 1-2.
Prediction 4: “Franklin Gutierrez will miss nine or less games this year"
Oh boy. Gutierrez played in only 23 games this year. That is horrendous. This prediction wasn’t based on any facts, simply a gut feeling. No matter, still a brutal loss that I wasn’t even close on. 1-3.
Prediction 5: “Felix Hernandez will set a career high in wins with 20”
Nope. Felix finished 12-10 and missed a couple starts due to a back injury. He was pitching fantastic in the first half of the season, but simply wasn’t getting the wins due to a lack of offense. In the second half of the year, he slipped just a tick and then had some back issues which led to his performance slipping even more. Felix didn’t even lead the team in wins, but I put most of the blame on the team seemingly not wanting to hit whenever Felix pitched. 1-4.
Prediction 6: “The Mariners will win get 90 wins and contend for a wild card spot”
The irony is that they actually finished with 91 losses. Rough year after there was more optimism going into the season than I had heard in a while. I was dead wrong here, but I don’t think many people predicted them to be this bad. Oh well. Always next year. I promise there is reason to be optimistic about next year. Taijuan Walker and James Paxton looked fantastic in their limited action in the major leagues. If they can continue that success the Mariners will have Felix, Kuma, Walker, and Paxton as the first four in their rotation next year. Dirty.
One of the most effective pitchers towards the end of the year was James Paxton.
Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press

Well that’s that for my bold predictions. Finished one for six. Not very good. But hey, if that was my batting average I would have been better than the Mariners starting catcher for 35 games this season (Henry Blanco batted .125). I hope you had a good time laughing at my stupidity in thinking the Mariners had a chance to be good this year. Whether you did or didn’t, I hope you enjoy my team awards.

MVP: Hisashi Iwakuma
Kuma was dirty good this season, finishing third in the American League in ERA, second in WHIP, and a remarkable eighth even with the Mariners horrific offense. Iwakuma was absolutely fantastic this year and he should be a part of a great starting rotation next year.

Cy Young: Hisashi Iwakuma
See above.

*Honorable mention goes to my man Danny Farquhar. Lord Farquhar pitched great when he took over the closer role and had some absolutely dirty stuff. Can’t wait to see him in that role next year.

Offensive POY: Kendrys Morales
This award was perennially called the “Kyle Seager Award”, but this year Morales came in and stole the show. It’s hard not to give him this award as he led the team in batting average and RBI while being second in homeruns. He wasn’t the superstar this team truly needed, but he was a much needed boost, and I don’t know where the Mariners offense would have been without him this year.

The Mariners need to make resigning Kendrys Morales a priority this offseason.
Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press

Rookie of the Year: Brad Miller
Brad was fantastic to watch and he really brought energy to the Mariners. Of players who got any real playing time he was third in average, and if you pro-rated his numbers over the whole season he would have only been five RBI behind Morales for the team lead. While batting out of the leadoff spot. “Crazy Legs” is just an exciting player who puts up darn good numbers too.

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