Mariners 2022 season preview: Projected lineup, rotation and three things to know as Seattle aims for playoffs

The 2021 Seattle Mariners noticed their late playoff push fall brief, however proved that they are shortly approaching competition after years of rebuilding. The Mariners have the longest playoff drought in all of North American skilled sports activities, having not made the postseason since 2001. The final time they reached the Main League Baseball postseason? It was future Corridor of Famer Albert Pujols’ rookie yr. At 42-years-old, Pujols, again with the Cardinals, has stated 2022 will likely be his last season. 

After final yr’s 90-win season, the expectations for the Mariners have now jumped to incomes a playoff spot. The rebuild can now be thought-about formally over, and competition would be the major focus for this AL West membership shifting ahead. Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto added some items this offseason that ought to assist the Mariners return to playoff competition and keep there for the long term. The Mariners signed reigning AL Cy Younger winner Robbie Ray and traded for added lineup help in All-Star Jesse Winker and third baseman Eugenio Suárez from the Cincinnati Reds.

“What a season for the Mariners and our group actually taking an enormous step ahead, organizationally and the place we’re at,” supervisor Scott Servais stated after Seattle missed out on the ultimate playoff spot final yr. “Our future may be very, very brilliant right here. I say all that and we’re nonetheless very disillusioned to get that shut and to not type of cross the end line and break via into the playoffs.”

Seattle boasts a stable lineup and rotation to go together with a formidable bullpen, however it’s not fairly a surefire factor that this would be the yr they’re going to break the postseason drought. Regardless of the expanded playoff format, the Mariners will nonetheless must play some actually good baseball to ensure they do not discover themselves on the cusp as soon as once more. 

Let’s preview the upcoming season for the M’s.

Win whole projection, odds

  • 2022 SportsLine projection: 79-83
  • World Collection odds (by way of Caesars Sportsbook): +3500
  • 2021 Document: 90-72 (second in AL West)

Projected Lineup

  1. 2B Adam Frazier
  2. 1B Ty France
  3. LF Jesse Winker
  4. RF Mitch Haniger
  5. 3B Eugenio Suárez
  6. SS J.P. Crawford
  7. DH Abraham Toro
  8. CF Jarred Kelenic
  9. C Tom Murphy

Bench: C/1B Luis Torrens, INF/OF Dylan Moore, OF Billy Hamilton, OF Taylor Trammell, C Cal Raleigh 

With Evan White having underwent surgical procedure for sports activities hernia, that may maintain Ty France at first base for some time. Kyle Lewis remains to be working his manner again from a torn meniscus, and the membership’s method for his return will probably be cautious and have Lewis DH initially. The best way this roster’s constructed, the Mariners have a number of younger gamers who’re solely simply hitting their stride.

Projected rotation

  1. LHP Robbie Ray
  2. LHP Marco Gonzales
  3. RHP Chris Flexen
  4. RHP Logan Gilbert
  5. RHP Matt Brash

Bullpen: CL Drew Steckenrider, CL Paul Sewald, SU Diego Castillo, SU Ken Giles, MID Sergio Romo, MID Justus Sheffield, MID Andrés Muñoz, MID Anthony Misiewicz, MID Erik Swanson, LR Nick Margevicius, LR Justus Sheffield

Robbie Ray is the licensed ace for this ball membership, however what follows him within the rotation shouldn’t be chopped liver. Lefty Marco Gonzales, 30, appears to be like primed to succeed in one other double-digit win season, 27-year-old right-hander Chris Flexen completed with a 3.61 ERA and 1.25 WHIP throughout 31 begins final yr and 24-year-old right-hander Logan Gilbert is coming off a number of spectacular September begins final season. Rookie Matt Brash, 23, will take the No. 5 spot within the rotation partly because of his elite slider however fellow rookie George Kirby may function an alternative choice.

So far as the bullpen goes, if all goes effectively, anticipate the identical dominance we noticed final yr. (They had been 33-19 in one-run video games). Paul Sewald and Drew Steckenrider will look to construct upon their 2021 emergence. Plus, there’s the offseason addition of Ken Giles, Sergio Romo and Andrés Muñoz that ought to assist any of the unavoidable regression. 

Listed below are three issues to know in regards to the Mariners heading into the 2022 season.

1. Julio Rodríguez is getting nearer

Seattle is predicted to name up their prime prospect and the No. Three finest prospect in all of baseball, Julio Rodríguez, in some unspecified time in the future this season. As soon as the 21-year-old joins the massive league membership, he’ll full their outfield and may pack a punch to the M’s lineup.

Here is what our prospect skilled R.J. Anderson needed to say:

Rodríguez matches the right-field prototype with a middle-of-the-order offensive projection and a powerful arm. He has well-above-average energy and a greater really feel for contact than most with this profile. Certainly, Rodríguez struck out in simply 18 % of his plate appearances throughout his 46-game introduction to Double-A final season. The Mariners have proven they’re greater than prepared to control the service time of their prime prospects to save lots of a buck, suggesting they’re going to probably do the identical factor with Rodríguez. Nonetheless, he ought to debut within the majors earlier than the season is out.

Rodríguez will likely be a fantastic defensive choice for the Mariners in middle subject and whereas he is solely performed in 46 video games on the Double-A stage (and no larger but), he is set to make a huge effect as soon as he joins the Mariners. He is already confirmed to be comfy at a much bigger stage when he performed for Dominican Republic within the Tokyo Olympics this previous summer season. Rodríguez, 20 on the time of the match, helped information the DR to their first-ever Olympic medal in baseball once they defeated Korea within the bronze medal sport. The truth is, Rodríguez hit the tie-breaking RBI single with two outs within the backside of the eighth inning of the Dominican Republic’s 6-5 win over Canada to maintain the nation in medal competition.

The surging prospect has produced in spring coaching to date (hitting .307/.388/.507 with an .895 OPS), however anticipate Seattle to ship him to Triple-A to begin the season. If Rodríguez does make the Opening Day roster, he’d take over as middle fielder with Kelenic probably shifting to left subject and Haniger staying at proper, whereas Winker would get extra reps at DH.

2. Kelenic must rebound in sophomore season


The 2022 season ought to act as an opportunity for Jarred Kelenic to really set up himself. The 22-year-old was thought-about one of many prime prospects in baseball earlier than his MLB debut final yr. After struggling, the Mariners will likely be relying on Kelenic for a big-league awakening this yr. It will be arduous for Seattle to make a playoff push if Kelenic is not productive.

This offseason, Kelenic reached out to Mark McGwire, who helped the teen attempt to discover consistency on the plate. The 2 carried out FaceTimes and telephone calls, with McGwire dissecting Kelenic’s swing.

In 2021, Kelenic fell into dangerous ruts on the plate, and after a couple of month within the large leagues, the Mariners despatched him again right down to Triple-A after he recorded a .096 batting common with a .378 OPS in his first 92 plate appearances. In July, Kelenic rejoined the Mariners and was in a position to rebound in time for the Mariners’ late playoff push in September. So now, it is only a matter of Kelenic reaching a stage of consistency in his second MLB season.

3. October or bust

So, we all know that we are going to be getting an expanded playoff subject in 2022, extra particularly, a 12-team format that’ll embody an additional playoff group per league. The (lastly) overhauled Mariners ball membership is sweet, however will they be adequate to lastly break via? Final yr’s efficiency was actually promising. The town of Seattle and its followers had been woke up throughout final yr’s playoff chase that went right down to the wire. This yr, the followers aren’t going to be fully glad with simply one other “step ahead” of a season. The followers wish to see their group in October.

Jarred Kelenic riles up the Mariners crowd with a slogan that signaled that long-suffering Seattle followers are beginning to consider.
Getty Photos

The Mariners are set to finish and end within the top-half of the American League West. The Houston Astros are once more favored to come back out on prime, however it’ll be a battle between the Mariners and Angels for that second-place spot. Each win will rely. It will be enjoyable if the playoff race went to the ultimate day of the common season once more this yr, however I am positive the Mariners are hoping to seal the deal a lot earlier.

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