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One for April

...Because April (and May, for that fact) are rather punishing months for getting anything done outside of teaching with the teaching schedule. I won't let April slide away without any sort of post though. Some musings on the April that has been for the 2015 Mariners:

  • I am sold on the cream Sunday alternates. Make those, along with the royal blue and gold, the Mariners primary look.
  • King Felix is still awesome.
  • The bullpen has clearly taken a step back this year despite the emergence of an unhittable Carson Smith (at least so far). I think the bullpen will rebound some, but the reality is that this regression was inevitable. Everybody had career years in the 'pen last season. The group is still good, maybe even very good, but I wonder if Lloyd will stick with starters a bit longer this season as he adjusts to life with more mortal arms in relief.
  • Nelson Cruz won't keep up his torrid April pace, but man is it fun to watch. The Mariners haven't had a power presence like him in a long time. I would argue Russell Branyan was that kind of presence in 2009, though he didn't come with Cruz's reputation. Perhaps we have to go all the way back to a guy like Bret Boone, or maybe even Jay Buhner, for a comparable boomstick?
  • Even though Cruz won't stay as hot as he has, Robinson Cano is likely to get some more hits moving forward. There are reasons to believe the M's offense can maintain what it has shown so far. In fact, even more runs should come when the Mariners learn how to stop making so many outs on baserunning blunders.
  • I thought the Mariners would be a bit better than 10-11 at this point in the season, but they are ahead of everyone but the Astros in the AL West standings. All things considered, I'll take the position the Mariners find themselves in. The whole American League is filled with teams who have noticeable shortcomings. The Mariners could be in better shape right now, but they have not dug themselves a hole like they did in April, and the Astros don't figure to run away with the division like the Angels were able to do last year. Regression to the mean should work in the M's favor in the standings.
  • Weekday Safeco crowds have been sparse, but weekend games show what could happen as the season unfolds. I was at the King Felix bobblehead game, which just about sold out. It's fun to see a packed Safeco field and sense how close the city is to believing in this team's pennant chase.
The preseason hype got a little too intense around the Mariners, so I think the tepid start they are off to might actually be good in the long run. This team is good but not great and started to get publicity like they were something special. They aren't there yet, but after a month I remain convinced that this will be an entertaining summer.