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Mariners have a move in them?

The Seattle Mariners were the hot pick before the Major League Baseball season began to win not only the American League West put perhaps the entire American League and subsequently, the World Series. The front office had been aggressive in the offseason, landing designated hitter Nelson Cruz to pair with Austin Jackson, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager.

Finally, it appears all the pieces were in place for Seattle to make the playoffs for the first time since 2001 and make a serious run. Instead, the team has been a rancid dumpster fire without an ounce of offense.

As per usual with the Mariners, the bats have been in a deep slumber. The most surprising problem is Cano, who Seattle gave a 10-year contract too before last season to be the superstar alongside Felix Hernandez and the face of the franchise. After an All-Star season in 2014, Cano has been brutal in 2015. The former New York Yankees second baseman and World Series champ is hitting .251 with only six home runs and 30 RBI, certainly not what was expected out of him.

Additionally, highly-touted prospect Mike Zunino is terrible. The third-year catcher has proven he can’t hit to save his life, batting a ridiculous .160 in 250 at-bats with a .223 on-base percentage and a .292 slugging. At this point, Seattle has to find another option behind the plate. However, Zunino is not the only Mariners hitter who has been abysmal. Logan Morrison and Dustin Ackley are barely hitting their weight at .229 and .221, respectively, while Brad Miller is a light-hitting shortstop batting .247.

Yet, Seattle only finds itself at 41-48 and 7.5 games behind the Los Angeles Angels in the West. In the wild card race, the Mariners are sitting seven games behind the Houston Astros for the final spot. The American League is terrible, leaving the door open for Seattle despite sleepwalking through the first half of the campaign.

If the Mariners are going to make any kind of run over the next two and a half months, it begins with Cano getting on track and men like Morrison and Ackley picking up their averages. The bottom of the order does not need to produce a bevy of runs, but averages like that of the aforementioned duo and Zunino kill rallies. If a good pitcher can get through Cruz, Seager and Cano without a ton of damage done, the rest of the lineup presents a two-inning vacation.

Ultimately, the pitching remains in place to make a run. Anytime you have All-Star Felix Hernandez leading a group of young, talented hurlers, you have no issues on the mound. The questions – as it always seems to be in Seattle – is whether they can get any run support.

Time is still on the Mariners’ side. It won’t be for long.

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