Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Diamond Mind Baseball is a baseball simulation software that can be used to simulate entire seasons at a time. Their writers have simulated the 2005 season 100 times and reported the results. About the Mariners:
Seattle Mariners (83-79, division title 25%, wild card 2%)
Can they really improve by 20 games in one season? If the 2003-04 Tigers can go from 43 wins to 72, why can't Seattle go from 63 to 83?
The 2004 Mariners were an awful offensive team, finishing last in the league in runs, in large part because they were 13th or worse in OPS at three positions. By signing Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, they fixed their problems at first and third. The shortstop position is likely to remain at the bottom of the league offensively, but if Pokey Reese keeps that job, he'll offset some of that weakness with Gold Glove defense. The result projects to be a decent offense, albeit one that will appear to be worse than average because they play in a pitcher-friendly park.
Last year's Seattle team also had a lot of trouble preventing runs. There are no stars on this staff, except perhaps Everyday Eddie Guardado, but there are a lot of good pitchers, enough to fill out a fairly deep bullpen and a rotation without any major weaknesses. If Bobby Madritsch can build on his 2004 success, and if Gil Meche and Joel Piniero can rebound to their pre-2004 levels, the staff could be quite good. And don't overlook the improved defense. Add Beltre, Reese and Sexson to a team that already has Bret Boone, Ichiro, and Randy Winn, and this could be the league's best.