Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
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 .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Cliff Lee diagnosed with elbow strain, season hangs in jeopardy
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8:35 pm ET) Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee was diagnosed with a recurrence of a left flexor pronator strain, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.

Lee missed two months of the season because of the injury and is now likely done for the year. He'll likely go through further tests in hopes of dodging a major injury.

The left-hander exited the game with a team trainer after making a gesture toward his elbow in the bottom of the third inning. He owns a 3.65 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP over 13 starts (81 1/3 innings).

Chris Dickerson exits game with knee issue
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8:24 pm ET) Indians outfielder Chris Dickerson was forced out of Thursday's game against the Mariners with left knee discomfort, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Dickerson is hitting .300 with two homers and six RBI in 50 at-bats. His status remains uncertain for Friday's series opener against Seattle.

Cliff Lee exits start with apparent arm injury
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8:03 pm ET) Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee was forced out of Thursday's contest against the Phillies with an apparent injury to his arm.

Lee exited the game with a team trainer after making a gesture toward his elbow in the bottom of the third inning. Antonio Bastardo took over for him in the third. He pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed one hit with four strikeouts and no walks in 31 pitches.

Lee missed two months this season because of a left elbow strain. He will likely be further evaluated moving forward. He owns a 3.65 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP over 13 starts (81 1/3 innings). His status remains uncertain for Wednesday's start against Houston.

Starling Marte to start four-game rehab stint Saturday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:23 pm ET) Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is scheduled to start a minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Marte, who is working back from concussion symptoms, is expected to play four games in the minors before he returns to the big-league team.

Odrisamer Despaigne gets roughed up in loss to Cardinals
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:13 pm ET) Padres pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne was hit hard and took another loss Thursday afternoon at home against St. Louis, dropping to 2-3 on the year. The right-hander coughed up six run son nine hits and one walk while striking out three over 5 2/3 innings of a 6-2 defeat.

Despaigne has not won a decision since June 29. Over his last two starts covering 9 1/3 innings, Despaigne has allowed eight earned runs. He owns a 2.68 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over seven starts (43 2/3 innings). He will look to bounce back Wednesday at Minnesota.

Shelby Miller pitches six strong in win over Padres
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:09 pm ET) Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller (8-8) tossed a quality start and got back to .500, leading his team past the Padres on Thursday. The right-hander permitted two runs on three hits and no walks while striking out five over six innings of a 6-2 victory. Home runs to Jed Gyorko and Wil Venable proved to be the only damage.

Over his last two starts covering 11 2/3 innings, Miller has allowed only four earned runs. He owns a 4.14 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP over 121 2/3 innings. He will make his next start Wednesday at home against Boston.

Yasmani Grandal dealing with fluid buildup in right knee
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6:58 pm ET) Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal was unable to play Thursday against the Cardinals because of fluid buildup in his right knee, U-T San Diego reports. He is expected to be "fine" moving forward, according to manager Bud Black.

Grandal has appeared in 82 of 108 games this season for San Diego. He is hitting .206 with nine homers and 24 RBI in 228 at-bats.

Red Sox to use Will Middlebrooks at third, Xander Bogaerts at shortstop
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6:47 pm ET) The Red Sox will recall Will Middlebrooks Triple-A Pawtucket prior to Friday's game against the Yankees. He is expected to serve as the everyday third baseman, shifting Xander Bogaerts to shortstop moving forward, MassLive.com reports.

White Sox purchase contract of Ezequiel Carrera
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6:36 pm ET) The Tigers have purchased the contract of outfielder Ezequiel Carrera from Triple-A Toledo following Thursday's loss to the White Sox. Carrera batted .307 with six homers and 41 RBI in 374 at-bats in the minors this season.

Hector Rondon escapes shaky outing with the save
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6:34 pm ET) Cubs closer Hector Rondon was not at his best but still managed to pick up the save Thursday afternoon at home against the Rockies.

Rondon allowed back-to-back singles to start the ninth, but settled down with a pair of strikeouts to close out a 3-1 victory. He allowed two hits and no walks while striking out two over a scoreless frame. He has converted 14 saves in 17 attempts, with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP over 40 1/3 innings.

 
 
 
Rankings