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Mariners / MLB

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - Page updated at 09:08 PM

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Team Capsules | American League West

1 | Oakland Athletics

2006 1st place 93-69

Manager: Bob Geren.

Key free agents: DH Mike Piazza (1 year, $8.5 million), OF Shannon Stewart (1 year, $1 million).

Going, going, gone: SP Barry Zito (signed by San Francisco), DH Frank Thomas (signed by Toronto), OF Jay Payton (signed by Baltimore), SP Kirk Saarloos (traded to Cincinnati).

On the hot seat: Piazza will turn 39 years old this season, and his days as a catcher are over. The A's hope his hitting days aren't. They brought Piazza in to replace Thomas as their designated hitter.

Written in Stone: The A's took some major hits this winter, losing their top pitcher (Zito), their MVP-candidate DH (Thomas) and a solid outfielder (Payton). But I don't see their demise quite yet. If Rich Harden is finally healthy for a full year — and that's a big if — he could challenge Johan Santana for the Cy Young. He's that good, and so far, so good this spring, health-wise. Harden anchors a pretty deep, though not spectacular, rotation. Even with Thomas, the A's scored just 15 more runs than the Mariners, who ranked 13th in the AL. It's a pretty unimposing lineup again. But if Bobby Crosby is finally healthy for a full year — and that's a big if — he will be a big help. Eric Chavez, with a multitude of aches and pains, was just a shadow of his self last year, and should be vastly improved.

Lineup card
P Hitters Avg HR RBI
C Jason Kendall .295 1 50
LF Shannon Stewart .293 2 21
CF Milton Bradley .276 14 52
DH Mike Piazza .283 22 68
3B Eric Chavez .241 22 72
RF Nick Swisher .254 35 95
SS Bobby Crosby .229 9 40
1B *Erubiel Durazo .237 4 16
2B Mark Ellis .249 11 52
TH Starters W-L ERA SO
RH Dan Haren 14-13 4.12 176
RH Esteban Loaiza 11-9 4.89 97
RH Rich Harden 4-0 4.24 49
RH Joe Blanton 16-12 4.82 107
LH Joe Kennedy 4-1 2.31 29
TH Closer W-L ERA SV
RH Huston Street 4-4 3.31 37
*2005 stats

2 | Los Angeles Angels

2006 2nd place 89-73

Manager: Mike Scioscia.

Key free agents: CF Gary Matthews (5 years, $50 million), 1B Shea Hillenbrand (1 year, $6.5 million), RP Justin Speier (4 years, $18 million).

Going, going, gone: OF-1B Darin Erstad (signed by White Sox), 2B Adam Kennedy (signed by St. Louis), RP Kevin Gregg (traded to Florida), RP Brendan Donnelly (traded to Boston), RP J.C. Romero (signed by Boston).

On the hot seat: All Matthews has to do is justify his huge contract by proving last season's career year wasn't a fluke while defending himself against steroid charges.

Written in Stone: The Angels' lineup won't scare many (except, of course, when the ever-frightening Vladimir Guerrero is at the plate. Just ask Rafael Soriano). Their supposed pipeline of young hitting stars hasn't yet blossomed (Casey Kotchman, Dallas McPherson and Jeff Mathis, we're talking about you) although Howie Kendrick is a budding star, and we can't wait to see Brandon Wood. What the Angels have, and what will keep them in contention, is outstanding pitching. The injury woes this spring for Jered Weaver are ominous, and it wouldn't be wise to expect much from Bartolo Colon, but the Angels still have depth among their starters — John Lackey is on the verge of being a bona fide No. 1 — and maybe the division's best 1-2 punch at game's end in Scot Shields and Francisco Rodriguez.

Lineup card
P Hitters Avg HR RBI
CF G. Matthews Jr. .313 19 79
SS Orlando Cabrera .282 9 72
RF Vladimir Guerrero .329 33 116
LF Garret Anderson .280 17 85
DH Shea Hillenbrand .277 21 68
1B Casey Kotchman .152 1 6
2B Howie Kendrick .285 4 30
C Mike Napoli .228 16 42
3B Maicer Izturis .293 5 44
TH Starters W-L ERA SO
RH John Lackey 13-11 3.56 190
RH Kelvim Escobar 11-14 3.61 147
RH Ervin Santana 16-8 4.28 141
LH Joe Saunders 7-3 4.71 51
RH *Dustin Moseley 13-8 4.69 114
TH Closer W-L ERA SV
RH F. Rodriguez 2-3 1.73 47
*Minor-league stats

3 | Seattle Mariners

2006 4th place 78-84

Manager: Mike Hargrove.

Key free agents: SP Jeff Weaver (1 year, $8.32 million), SP Miguel Batista (3 years, $25 million), RF Jose Guillen (1 year, $5.5 million), RP Chris Reitsma (1 year, $2.05 million), RP Arthur Rhodes (minor-league deal).

Acquired in trade: SP Horacio Ramirez (from Atlanta), 2B Jose Vidro (from Washington).

Going, going, gone: SP Gil Meche (signed by Kansas City), SP Joel Pineiro (signed by Boston), OF Chris Snelling (traded to Washington), RP Rafael Soriano (traded to Atlanta).

On the hot seat: Well, everyone, but no one is feeling the heat more than manager Mike Hargrove. It's win or else for the Mariners, who have finished last in the American League West the past three seasons.

Written in Stone: It's possible to create a scenario for contention, but it's equally plausible to envision a total meltdown. If that happens, the team will be under new management in a Kyoto minute. The lineup, with the additions of Vidro and Guillen, should be more efficient than last year, but that's not saying much: Their .325 on-base percentage ranked ahead of only Tampa Bay. It will all come down to how well GM Bill Bavasi's revamped rotation fares. And how badly the bullpen misses Soriano. And how J.J. Putz's elbow holds up. And ...

Lineup card
P Hitters Avg HR RBI
CF Ichiro .322 9 49
3B Adrian Beltre .268 25 89
DH Jose Vidro .289 7 47
LF Raul Ibanez .289 33 123
1B Richie Sexson .264 34 107
RF Jose Guillen .216 9 40
C Kenji Johjima .291 18 76
2B Jose Lopez .282 10 79
SS Y. Betancourt .289 8 47
TH Starters W-L ERA SO
RH Felix Hernandez 12-14 4.52 176
LH Jarrod Washburn 8-14 4.67 103
RH Miguel Batista 11-8 4.58 110
LH Horacio Ramirez 5-5 4.48 37
RH Jeff Weaver 8-14 5.76 107
TH Closer W-L ERA SV
RH J.J. Putz 4-1 2.30 36

4 | Texas Rangers

2006 3rd place 80-82

Manager: Ron Washington.

Key free agents: DH Sammy Sosa (minor-league deal), OF Frank Catalanotto (3 years, $13 million), OF Kenny Lofton (1 year, $6 million), RP Eric Gagne (1 year, $6 million), SP Jamey Wright (minor-league deal).

Acquired in trade: SP Brandon McCarthy (from White Sox).

Going, going, gone: OF Gary Matthews Jr. (signed by Angels), OF Carlos Lee (signed by Houston), SP Adam Eaton (signed by Philadelphia), 2B Mark DeRosa (signed by Cubs), C Rod Barajas (signed by Philadelphia), SP Kip Wells (signed by St. Louis), SP John Danks (traded to White Sox).

On the hot seat: Sammy Sosa is back after a one-year hiatus, signed by the Rangers to be their designated hitter. He has hit 588 home runs, obvious Hall of Fame credentials if it weren't for all those rumors about, well, you know.

Written in Stone: One story dominated Rangers camp, and it didn't have anything to do with Sammy, Gagne (who begins on the DL), or any other new on-field addition by GM Jon Daniels. Surprise, Ariz., was buzzing with praise and adulation for energetic, player-friendly new manager Ron Washington, who is a breath of fresh air after the oppressive regime of Buck Showalter. But all the bonhomie in the world won't help if the Rangers can't get anyone out. McCarthy, relegated to the pen in Chicago, is a huge key.

Lineup card
P Hitters Avg HR RBI
CF Kenny Lofton .301 3 41
LF Brad Wilkerson .222 15 44
SS Michael Young .314 14 103
1B Mark Teixeira .282 33 110
DH *Sammy Sosa .221 14 45
3B Hank Blalock .266 16 89
RF Nelson Cruz .223 6 22
C Gerald Laird .296 7 22
2B Ian Kinsler .286 14 55
TH Starters W-L ERA SO
RH Kevin Millwood 16-12 4.52 157
RH Vicente Padilla 15-10 4.50 156
RH Br. McCarthy 4-7 4.68 69
RH Robinson Tejeda 5-5 4.28 40
RH Jamey Wright 6-10 5.19 79
TH Closer W-L ERA SV
RH Akinori Otsuka 2-4 2.11 32
*2005 stats


Capsules by Bill Reader, section editor; Written in Stone and division rankings by Larry Stone, Seattle Times baseball reporter. Stats from 2006 season unless noted.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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Mariners: Schedule | Stats | Forum | Roster
AL West W L Pct. GB Div. Streak
y-LA Angels 100 62 .617 --- 36-21 Won 1
Texas 79 83 .488 21 30-27 Lost 1
Oakland 75 86 .466 24.5 26-31 Lost 5
Seattle 61 101 .377 39 22-35 Won 3

y - clinched division, x - clinched playoff berth

Wild card standings | AL standings | NL standings

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