The time has come that all baseball fans wait for from the end of the World Series: Spring training for all Major League Baseball teams has started. Baseball season is finally upon us. This is no different for the Seattle Mariners. However, this spring training is going to be a lot different than in recent years. There are a number of changes, not only on the field but also in management.
A big change to the Mariners this year was a new head coach. Fans remember that last year, former skipper Eric Wedge walked out on the team after a few very disappointing years. The Mariners then took initiative and hired a new manager by the name of Lloyd McClendon. McClendon was the former head coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates and most recently was the hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers. He comes in with an attitude that holds everybody accountable for their own performance and values winning ball games above all else. This kind of mentality is something that the Mariners have been needing for a while. If they can get a winning mentality that holds everybody accountable for themselves, the professionalism of the team should rise, which will improve the team. A new skipper at the helm could be a grand sign of a turnaround for the Mariner franchise.
There have also been a ton of on-field additions to the team who all have the potential to be big-impact players this season. The obvious move was the signing of free agent Robinson Cano. While being in his early 30s, he has been one of the most electrifying hitters in the MLB for a number of years. Adding his offensive production to this lineup can really help a struggling Mariner offense. Another big signing came in the form of former all-star closer Fernando Rodney. Rodney provides a strong veteran influence in the bullpen which has been one of the Mariner’s weakest areas. Other signings include first basemen/outfielders Corey Hart and Logan Morrison and catcher John Buck.
The Mariners have addressed their biggest issues in the off season by adding some strong offensive players and bolstering their struggling bullpen. A new season of Mariner baseball is about ready to start and with it comes a new season of hopes and potential for a World Series trophy.