Trade Deadline Preview: Seattle Mariners

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Jun 23, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) and second baseman Robinson Cano (22) walk back to the dugout after the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The big offseason acquisition for the Seattle Mariners was the signing of Robinson Cano, but there were plenty of questions about how the offense would work around him as there didn’t seem to be enough support in place to justify such a significant contract. Fast forward a few months and the Mariners are six games over .500, in third place in a competitive AL West, but it’s largely the pitching staff that has carried to this level of success.

Felix Hernandez has already picked up 10 wins, with an ERA of 2.10 and a WHIP of 0.919. The King continues to lead the staff as he has for years, only his supporting cast is finally producing at a high rate. Roenis Elias and 35 year old Chris Young each have seven wins and a WHIP below 1.200. Hisashi Iwakuma started the year on the DL but has quickly found his form after returning to the rotation. Taijuan Walker is slated to make his season debut Monday as well.

To top things off, the bullpen for the Mariners has been outstanding on the year. Six of the seven arms in the bullpen have an ERA below 3.00 and a K/9 rate better than 8.0. New closer Fernando Rodney had some hiccups early on, but he’s straightened out those concerns of late and the cast of arms to bridge the gap from the starters to him have continued to produce consistently.

Cano’s done his part on the offensive side, though the power numbers are down. He’s batting .319/.377/.432. James Jones has stepped up, hitting .275/.308/.339. Kyle Seager’s added a team high 12 home runs to his .277/.347/.490 line.

Seattle has enjoyed a strong first half and will need their pitching to continue this trend for them to remain in the hunt out West, but an addition or two at the deadline could make a world of difference for the offense.

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