Here is my review of how the first third of the Mariner's season has gone:
Ichiro: He was moved down to third in the line-up and without much success by hitting into the most double plays on the team. Then was moved back to lead-off where he proceeds to go out and hit two solo homeruns in the same game. Ichiro is not as fast as he used to be and is no longer getting the infield hits. He should be hitting in the bottom of the line-up but upper management is calling the shots with Ichiro and won't let Eric Wedge move him down.
Chone Figgins: Figgins had his shot at lead-off and still could not produce. The Mariners are on the hook for his salary through the 2013 season. It might just be time for the Mariners to eat his salary and let him go. By keeping him on the team, he is taking up a roster sport. When Miguel Olivo came off the disabled list Casper Wells was sent down to Triple A to make room for Olivo. Figgins defense is not worth keeping him and is offense is no better; please Mariners just cut him and put the Seattle fans out of their misery.
Kyle Seager: He is having a great start in his rookie season and has moved up to the third in the line-up. He is batting a solid .365 with runners in scoring position and his defense has been stellar. He reminds me a little of John Olerud not big on power but just slaps the ball around for hits. I have started calling him Seagerlicious.
Pitching: Blake Beavan and Kevin Millwood have held their own in the rotation, with Millwood pitching a two hit complete game shutout. Hector Noesi is learning to be a starter and has shown potential. Brandon League lost his closer roll and turned the bullpen into a bullpen by committee. Steve Delebar was sent down to Tacoma and Stephen Pryor was brought up along with his 100 mph fastball.
Catching: While Miguel Olivo was on the disabled list Jesus Montero and John Jaso split time behind the plate with both showing some promise. With Montero being a rookie he had a few mistakes and needs to get out of his crouch faster when throwing out runners. I question the need for keeping Olivo, except for his veteran leadership. Both Montero and Jaso are better offensive powers then Olivo and I don't think you lose that much with their defensive skills.
Mariners' Schedule: The M's schedule will favor them the rest of the season with already playing 37 road games and only 25 home games. Will have to wait and see if they will benefit from home cooking.
Positives: Offensive numbers are up from last year. They scored 21 runs in a game at Texas with 16 of those runs being scored in back to back innings. They had a six pitcher combined no-hitter thrown against the Dodgers. This included a rookie battery with Jesus Montero catching, Stephen Pryor and Lucas Luetge pitching. Dustin Ackley was named the "American League Player of the Week." The trade that sent Michael Pineda to the Yankees for Jesus Montero and starting pitcher Hector Noesi seems to be working out in favor of the Mariners.
Negatives: Starting pitching rotation has been banged up. The bullpen is looking for a closer. Last season they had five in the same amount of games as they do this year.
It has been a fun start to the season with so many young players. Still see a need for big bat and some pitching help. We may see pitching help coming from the Mariners farm system.