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News » Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2008-10-14


Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2008-10-14


Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2008-10-14
The Mariners waited until the final weekend of the season to get their only Safeco Field three-game sweep of 2008.

That says plenty about the inconsistency of a team that never seemed quite able to pitch and hit and play defense well at the same time.

With the 101-loss season over, the Mariners immediately turn their sights on hiring a new general manager, and, presumably a new manager, too.

Club president Chuck Armstrong will start calling around to get permission to talk to candidates under contract to other clubs. Interviews figured to start in early October.

The Mariners struggled with both their starting pitching and their bullpen in 2008, but they might have solved the starting issue by moving two relievers, left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith and right-hander Brandon Morrow, into the rotation.

And the club got the news that it will probably have the services of lefty Erik Bedard as early as spring training after it was determined there was no tear in his left labrum or rotator cuff.

The Mariners still need to improve their bullpen, although having a healthy J.J. Putz to close in 2009 would go a long way toward fulfilling that goal.

As for the offense, Seattle insiders seem to feel they are one hitter away from fielding a competitive lineup. Of course, that assumes the return in 2009 of left fielder Raul Ibanez, who is a free agent.

Ibanez, 36, led the team with 110 RBI and hit 23 homers in 2008, so he will have a large number of suitors other than the Mariners. He likes Seattle, but he said he'll need some time to think out just what it is he wants to do.

If Ibanez leaves, the Mariners might be more inclined to let some other pieces go, including left-hander Jarrod Washburn and right-hander Miguel Batista, and start a true rebuilding process instead of trying to compete in the AL West again next year.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 14, 2008

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