The Blueprint Mariners have everything in place to become the Astros
Houston, TX- As the Astros prepare for Opening Day 2020 at Minute Maid Park, they will look to make a run at their fourth straight American League Pennant and their third World Series appearance in four years. They have a very talented and veteran lead team by stars such as Jose Altuve, George Springer, Alex Bregman, Justin Verlander, etc. Their opponents, the Seattle Mariners will be taking notes from the opposing dugout as they believe they are building the same foundation as the Astros.
Seattle has a bunch of young talented players that they have worked through their farm system like the Astros did. They won’t benefit much from this short 60-game season due to the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. In order for them to put everything together they will need a full 162-game season. Having finished last in the AL West with a record of 68-94 in 2019 could be a little discouraging, but they have a very bright future ahead.
Young stars such as outfielder Kyle Lewis, first baseman Evan White, and second baseman Shed Long Jr. look were not a part of the starting lineup in 2019 but look to become mainstays for Seattle. Lewis hit .268 last season with an OPS of .885, will use this season as a tune-up and is destined to have a breakout season in 2021 barring any injuries. Being a full-time starter hitting in the middle of the lineup will benefit him greatly.
White will be making his major league debut after spending most of his career in the minors, while Long Jr. will be looking to add to his major league experience as he has only played in 42 big league games.
One person the Mariners can depend on is the longest tenured player on the team, third baseman Kyle Seager. He missed the first couple of months last season after having hand surgery but rebounded nicely with 23 homers to finish the year.
Pitching is the area in which Seattle struggles the most. They added free agents Kendall Graveman and Taijuan Walker to their 2020 rotation which should prove to be very beneficial. The Mariners are hoping that Graveman can recover from Tommy John surgery that led to him sitting out all of 2019. He was the Opening Day starter for two straight years for his former team Oakland A’s.
Their ace LHP Marco Gonzales is coming off of a 16-win 2019 season and has established himself as the clear “Ace” for the Mariners. His 145 strikeouts and more than 200 innings were very impressive which is a great sign for a pitcher who had elbow surgery in 2016.
Seattle will probably finish last again in the division, but this may be the last year they dwell in that position. If they need a reminder on how great they can become if they stick to the blueprint all they have to do is look across the field at the Astros.