Sports with Art Thiel
7:25 am
Fri July 11, 2014

The Mariners Need More Kyle Seagers

Major League Baseball’s All-Star game is Tuesday in Minneapolis, with the winning league gaining home-field advantage in the World Series. Three Mariners will play for the American League: All-Star veterans Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez and first-time All-Star Kyle Seager.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Mariners could use more players like Seager — homegrown and hitting the ball.

Lack of All-Star Crop In Farm System

 It's a rare thing for the Mariners to have a position player in the All-Star game, Art says. "The last time the Mariners had a homegrown, farm-system guy into the All-Star game was 2006 with Jose Lopez, the second baseman. Seager has got a lot of potential to be an All-Star-quality third baseman for a long time. It's kind of pathetic that the Mariners haven't had one in eight years," he said. 

"It's important for teams to be able to count on their farm system to produce everyday players," Art added. "And that's one of the biggest reasons the Mariners have been so long out of the playoffs is that their farm system has not produced anyone except Kyle Seager right now, who's at an All-Star caliber. They've got a few starters in the lineup, but they aren't performing at Seager's level."

Another Slugger By Trade Deadline?

Art says the second half of the season may begin with a big trade.

"I think it's going to be high drama up until the non-waiver trade deadline of July 31," he said. "Because they're going to need a strong veteran hitter either in left field or at DH (designated hitter). Dustin Ackley isn't getting it done, nor is Corey Hart at DH."

"They want to try to find that quality hitter but so do 20 other teams right now because pitching is so dominant in baseball and quality hitters are so few, at least in terms of their availability, that the Mariners would have to give up a lot of treasure to get a quality bat for the second half of the season," Art explained.

"The Mariners have been above .500 for June and July, which has been an unexpected treat for Mariner fans. But contention is going to be dependent on maintaining pitching and adding a bat, because this group of hitters is not going to get it done in terms of playoff contention as things heat up going into, perhaps, a pennant race in September."

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You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest and Crosscut.com.