The Seattle Mariners seem to have the right formula, defense, strong pitching, and run prevention. They lost 101 games in 2008, improved by 24 wins in 2009, and then went out an added an all star in fielder, and a bonified co ace to pair with Felix Hernandez. The expectations for the Mariners could not be higher, but they still have a few unanswered questions.
The most important of those being is the rotation deep enough? Sure they got Hernandez and new comer Cliff Lee, but they have big questions at all the other spots. Remember they play in hitter friendly Safeco Field. Their third starter, Ian Snell, went 5-2 in 12 starts for Seattle last year, but he averages 5.2 walks per nine innings pitched. The other two starters, Ryan Rowland-Smith and Doug Fister are still unproven commodities.
The next question would be if this team has enough offense? In 2009 they finished 28th in runs scored, of course their record in one run games was 35-20, even given that record they need to score more. They lost their Home Run leader n free agency and while Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins will get on base, who will knock them in? They added troubled slugger Milton Bradley and will look for him to regain the form he showed during the 2008 season. They may also be counting on a very productive season from DH Ken Griffey Jr.
The last issue is where will Figgins play? They penciled him in at third, but through the spring he has played a lot of second. The feeling is Jose Lopez will do less damage playing third then second, and Figgins versatility allow him to make the switch.