Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2014 Fantasy Outlooks: Seattle Mariners

  •  

It's been an upbeat offseason for the Mariners considering the turbulence they endured in 2013. The team turned in its fourth straight losing season, which was capped off with a split between general manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Eric Wedge that led to the skipper's departure. Signing this offseason's most coveted free agent, Robinson Cano, was a good way to drown out the negative vibe.

The Mariners kept the momentum going by wasting little time in filling the designated hitter and outfield spots vacated by free agents Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez, as they traded for former Marlins first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison and signed ex-Brewers first baseman/outfielder Corey Hart. Cano, Morrison and Hart will complement an otherwise young roster that will try to pilot the Mariners to their first postseason bid since 2001.

2014 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

For the most part, new manager Lloyd McClendon won't have too many critical decisions to make coming out of spring training. Second-year catcher Mike Zunino is the clear starter, having been handed the job in midseason last year, and the infield is mostly set with Cano, Justin Smoak and Kyle Seager practically assured of starting roles. McClendon is likely to entrust Brad Miller with everyday shortstop duties, though Nick Franklin is still in the picture, at least for now. The rotation appears to be squared away with veterans Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma comprising a formidable one-two punch at the top, with up-and-coming Taijuan Walker, Erasmo Ramirez and James Paxton filling out the remaining spots.

It's the outfield, designated hitter and closer spots that have yet to be ironed out. Though Hart and Morrison have played both the outfield and first base, both have been plagued by knee injuries. With Smoak penciled in at first base, at least one will have to roam the outfield. They will be in the mix along with Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders, Abraham Almonte and Franklin Gutierrez, each of whom could play either center field or a corner spot. Due to their history of health issues, either Morrison or Hart would be ideal for the DH spot, though any one of the outfield candidates could see time there as well. As for the closer's role, Danny Farquhar is the incumbent, but there are no guarantees that the Mariners won't seek to replace him before opening day.

For a team that hasn't had much recent success in the real baseball world, the Mariners offer several reliable Fantasy alternatives. Cano, Seager, Hernandez and Iwakuma should be close to universally owned, and Miller, Hart and Walker are all worth drafting in standard mixed leagues. They are part of a solid foundation upon which the Mariners can build a squad that can end their string of losing seasons, but the performance of unproven, high-upside types like Zunino, Ramirez, Paxton and Farquhar could make the difference not only for the M's, but for Fantasy owners as well.

Breakout ... Brad Miller, shortstop

2014 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Brad Miller SS
2. Kyle Seager 3B
3. Robinson Cano 2B
4. Corey Hart DH
5. Justin Smoak 1B
6. Logan Morrison RF
7. Michael Saunders LF
8. Mike Zunino C
9. Dustin Ackley CF
Bench Willie Bloomquist 2B
Bench Abraham Almonte OF

Last season, Fantasy owners got just a small taste of the potential that Miller showed as a prospect. With a .265 batting average, he was nowhere close to the .334 mark he posted in three seasons in the minors, but Miller did a decent job of making contact and hitting for power. Given that his home run production ramped up over the final quarter of the season (he hit six of his eight home runs over his last 38 games, as opposed to two during his first 38 games) and that he was more of a flyball hitter in the minors, Miller could emerge as one of the majors' bigger home run threats. While Miller got into more of a power groove late in his rookie season, he seemed to forget how to draw a walk, but that had been a strength of his both in the minors and in his early weeks in the majors. If Miller can maintain the power gains he achieved while rediscovering a more patient approach, he could emerge as one of the top eight shortstops. As it is, Miller's a fairly safe bet to finish among the top 12.

Bust ... Mike Zunino, catcher

Zunino's debut was one of the more highly-anticipated ones in 2013, but his performance -- both in the majors and at Triple-A -- didn't match up with the loftier expectations held for him. Zunino's Class A and Double-A stats were tantalizing, but they were comprised of only 190 plate appearances. After 422 trips to the plate between the majors and minors last season, Zunino's contact and power skills look far less imposing, especially in light of the fact that he did not put up good power numbers in either homer-neutral Tacoma or homer-squelching Seattle. Maybe if Zunino can boost a flyball rate that sagged at 35 percent, he can prove to be a breakout rather than a bust, but he will also need to chip away at a 28 percent strikeout per at-bat ratio. He has his work cut out for him, and he could easily become waiver wire flotsam in two-catcher leagues.

Impact prospect ... Taijuan Walker, starting pitcher

2014 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Felix Hernandez RHP
2. Hisashi Iwakuma RHP
3. Taijuan Walker RHP
4. Erasmo Ramirez RHP
5. James Paxton LHP
ALT Brandon Maurer RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Danny Farquhar RHP
2. Tom Wilhelmsen RHP
3. Yoervis Medina RHP
4. Charlie Furbush LHP
5. Stephen Pryor RHP

Walker bounced back from a lackluster 2012 Double-A campaign, as he was far more dominant at both Double-A and Triple-A last year, earning a late August promotion to the Mariners. Though his 3.61 ERA and 1.41 WHIP at Tacoma don't look especially impressive, Walker did manage to get swinging strikes on 11 percent of his pitches (per StatCorner.com), racking up 64 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings. Most notably, he accomplished most of this before his 21st birthday. Walker generally hasn't had major control issues, so his 27 walks at Tacoma could wind up being an outlier. Though he may go through his share of rookie struggles, Walker could be a Fantasy asset for his Ks alone, and he's worth targeting in the later rounds of standard mixed league drafts.

Prospects Report

Walker isn't the only prospect likely to break camp in the Mariners' rotation, as lefty James Paxton could be the team's No. 5 starter. Another potential contributor to the strikeout category, Paxton is worth taking in deeper mixed leagues ... Danny Hultzen is still worth hanging onto in dynasty formats, but he is likely to miss all of 2014 while recovering from rotator cuff surgery ... Starting pitchers Victor Sanchez, Tyler Pike and Edwin Diaz could all be two or more years away from the big leagues, but all are bona fide dynasty league farm options ... So is southpaw Luiz Gohara, even though he won't turn 18 until July ... Third baseman D.J. Peterson, shortstop Chris Taylor and outfielder Stefen Romero stand out among the Mariners' hitting prospects, but even though Taylor and Romero could get called up this season, they are strictly deep AL-only options. Peterson is a longer-term investment, but he is a worthy pickup for dynasty league owners.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Tigers C Alex Avila claims he's ready to roll
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:22 am ET) Tigers catcher Alex Avila is ready to be the Tigers catcher again. He has been on the disabled list since May 8 with a left knee injury, but he believes he's ready to return.

"I feel fine, I feel good," he said after catching back-to-back games for Triple-A Toledo. "My knee feels good. My legs feel good. I have no complaints. ... Being out for two months, you would expect some cobwebs."

Avila will return with a .200/.342/.317 slash line.


Suspended Mets RP Jenrry Mejia moved to Triple-A
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:48 am ET) Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia is now pitching at Triple-A Las Vegas as he continues his comeback from an 80-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. He pitched a scoreless inning Monday with two strikeouts.

Mejia is eligible to return to the Mets on July 7.


Alejandro De Aza showing up Hanley Ramirez in OF for Red Sox
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:34 am ET) When Hanley Ramirez returns from his wrist injury, which could be soon, he will be back in left field and Alejandro De Aza will assume his spot on the bench.

And that's not good for the Red Sox defense.

Ramirez has cost the team 14 runs in the field, more than any player at any position in the majors, according to Fangraphs.com. His inexperience, poor route-running and lack of assuredness have combined for disaster. He grades out at minus-0.3 WAR despite leading the team with 15 home runs and 38 RBI.

DeAza has provided welcome relief. He saved two runs in the sixth inning of a 3-1 win over Toronto on Monday night by snagging a gapper off the bat of Jose Bautista and adding a sweet catch to take a single away from Josh Donaldson in the ninth inning. Never mind that he's also 9-for-19 at the plate.

"He's got very good range. He can run," John Farrell told the Boston Herald. "...The range he showed tonight was as good as you're probably going to see from a left fielder."

Ramirez, on the other hand, has played the outfield like a designated hitter. But the presence of David Ortiz in that role means that Ramirez will return to left field when healthy.


Yankees SP Nathan Eovaldi start moved up to Wednesday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:17 am ET) The move to the bullpen for Yankees staff mate Adam Warren has resulted in the next start for Nathan Eovaldi being switched from Friday to Wednesday against the host Angels, reports Newsday.

Eovaldi, whose outing will now be on his regular rest cycle, is coming off two consecutive quality starts. But he has allowed 105 hits in 82 1/3 innings this season and owns a 4.81 ERA despite a 7-2 record.

His 1.54 WHIP is the worst among major league starters.


Dodgers' Jimmy Rollins collects two RBI in Monday's loss
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:58 am ET) Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins went 1 for 5 at the plate during Monday's 10-6 loss to the Diamondbacks.

Rollins was able to drive in two runs in the seventh inning when he hit a single off Anderw Chafin, which scored Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier.

Prior to Monday's game, Rollins was hitting .224 with two doubles and three RBI in his last 17 games.


Yankees move Adam Warren to bullpen
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:53 am ET) Yankees pitcher Adam Warren said Monday he will not start Wednesday's game against the Angels and instead pitch out of the bullpen, reports the New York Daily News.

Warren has started 15 games for the Yankees and is 5-5 with a 3.59 ERA.


D-Backs SS Nick Ahmed goes 2 for 4 with HR in win
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:49 am ET) Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed crushed his fifth home run of the season in Monday night's 10-6 win over the Dodgers. 

Ahmed finished the game 2 for 4 with a single, two RBI and two strikeouts. Ahmed is now hitting .306 over his past 10 games. For the season, his slash line is .233/.303/.348.


Dodgers C Yasmani Grandal hits home run in Monday's loss
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:49 am ET) Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal connected off Allen Webster in the fourth inning for his 11th home run of the season during Monday's 10-6 loss to the Diamondbacks.

Grandal finished the game 2 for 3 with one RBI and two walks. Prior to Monday's performance, Grandal was hitting .167 with two home runs and three RBI in his last 10 games.


D-Backs OF Yasmany Tomas goes yard in win over Dodgers
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:46 am ET) Diamondbacks outfielder Yasmany Tomas hit his fourth home run of the season in Monday night's 10-6 win over the Dodgers. 

Tomas hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning for his only hit of the game. Tomas finished 1 for 4 and has now posted three hits over his past two games. Tomas now has a slash line of .314/.357/.440 this season. 


Dodgers OF Andre Ethier collects three hits in Monday's loss
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:41 am ET) Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier went 3 for 5 at the plate during Monday's 10-6 loss to the Diamondbacks.

Ethier's biggest hit came in the fourth inning when he hit a solo home run off Allen Webster for his only RBI in the game. He also scored two runs and struck out once.

Prior to his three-hit game Monday, Ethier was hitting .091 with no extra-base hits or RBI in his last 12 games.


 
 
 
Rankings