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The Scout's View: Mariners |
|Sports Illustrated asked major league scouts who have closely followed the
playoff teams to help prepare reports on the four clubs in the League
Championship Series. The scouts were promised anonymity in exchange for their
candor. Here's what they revealed. For more postseason baseball coverage see
this week's issue of SI, on newsstands Wednesday, October 17.|
Ichiro Suzuki, RF |
.350. 8 HRs, 69 RBIs
Wade Boggs with speed. Pitch him inside, otherwise he'll get comfortable and hit
the ball all over.
Mike Cameron, CF
.267, 25 HRs, 110 RBIs
Showed power this year but hasn't been swinging well recently. Strikes out a
lot. Can be pitched
Bret Boone, 2B
.331, 37 HRs, 141 RBIs
Pressed against Indians and had awful series, swinging through fastballs and
chasing soft stuff out of the
Edgar Martinez, DH
.306, 23 HRs, 116 RBIs
Best DH ever. Very dangerous in RBI situations but teams are starting to get him
out up and away.
John Olerud, 1B
.302, 21 HRs, 95 RBIs
Looks tired. Over last third of season good fastballs ate him up. Great hands on
Stan Javier, LF
.292, 4 HRs, 33 RBIs
Solid outfielder and good veteran to have around but offers little pop at a
crucial power position.
Dan Wilson, C
.265, 10 HRs, 42 RBIs
Handles pitchers well but won't throw out good base stealers. Not much help with
David Bell, 3B
.260, 15 HRs, 64 RBIs
Another power position in which Mariners get little production. Likes ball
middle in and
Mark McLemore, SS
.286, 5 HRs, 57 RBIs
So-so range and average arm at short. Good utilityman, but flawed stand-in for
injured Carlos Guillen.
| Bench |
|Not a good offensive bunch. Piniella is very loyal to OF Jay Buhner , who
doesn't catch up to good fastballs anymore. OF Al Martin simply can't hit. OF
Charles Gipson has plus arm and speed. C Tom Lampkin has power but isn't a good
catcher. SS Ramon Vazquez a defensive replacement, nothing more. 3B Ed Sprague
can hit down-and-in pitches but little
| Rotation |
| Freddy Garcia, RHP (18-6, 3.05 ERA) Ace in the making but not quite there yet.
Has mid-90s fastball and good changeup and curve. His focus tends to lapse. Has
to be the guy to carry the
Jamie Moyer, LHP (20-6, 3.43 ERA) Pitched very well in second half of season.
Finesses hitters with terrific changeup he throws 40 or 50 times a game. Locates
well and ties aggressive teams in knots.
Aaron Sele, RHP (15-5, 3.60 ERA) Money pitch is his curveball. Gets into trouble
when overusing 87-mph fastball. In [17-2] loss to Indians last Saturday he threw
four curves in 35 pitches and got killed. When he doesn't have command, he's in
Paul Abbott, RHP (17-4, 4.25 ERA) Fastball in low 90s, but best pitch is
changeup. Another guy who has to have his command. Throws curveball and a little
slider, but changeup is his only decent
| Bullpen |
|Very good. If the starters get into the seventh, Mariners hard to beat. RHP
Kazuhiro Sasaki , the closer, has dominant splitter that's hard to lay off because
it looks just like fastball. LHP Arthur Rhodes , a southpaw rarity: overpowers
lefties and righties with mid-90s fastball and big slurve. RHP Jeff Nelson has
sweeping slider, but command not nearly as sharp as early in season. Over the
last few weeks RHP Jose Paniagua slumped and lost command of fastball. LHP Norm
Charlton has good splitter and can be tough on righties and
How To Beat Them |
|Anyone who compares this team to 1998 Yankees is nuts. Mariners were
constructed for Safeco Field with pitching and defense, but do they have enough
offense? Even though it scored a lot of runs during the season, this isn't a
great lineup, especially if Ichiro doesn't get on base.|
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