It took a while, but we can finally say it: the 2022 Seattle Mariners are a legit contender, and look like one of the best teams in MLB at the moment.
For a brief period in the first half, they didn’t look like a team capable making a deep postseason run.
That has changed, with the rise to stardom of Julio Rodriguez, the return to form by Robbie Ray, and a crucial deadline acquisition: Luis Castillo.
Right now, there may not be a hotter team in the American League than the Mariners.
“The @Mariners are: 44-25 since June 2; 28-12 since July 2; 10-5 since August 2. BEST record in the American League over all 3 of those spans,” Mariners insider Alex Mayer tweeted.
The @Mariners are:
44-25 since June 2
28-12 since July 2
10-5 since August 2
BEST record in the American League over all 3 of those spans.
— Alex Mayer (@alexmayer34) August 18, 2022
Even without Jarred Kelenic and Mitch Haniger for a big portion of the season, Seattle has managed to take a step forward and enter the “contender” tier in the junior circuit.
A Well-Rounded Team
It’s not just Rodriguez, though: Eugenio Suarez has contributed 20 home runs, Cal Raleigh has 18, and Ty France has 14 and a fine .287/.358/.442 line.
J.P. Crawford is the heart and soul of the infield, and Jesse Winker is starting to show the level that prompted the M’s to pursue a trade with the Cincinnati Reds for him.
The pitching has been stellar with Ray and Castillo leading the rotation, plus excellent second-year starter Logan Gilbert, talented rookie George Kirby, and innings eaters Marco Gonzales and Chris Flexen.
The bullpen has also been good.
Overall, the 65-54 Mariners will likely be a tough out in the playoffs.
Just making the postseason will be seen as a successful campaign, but this group is hungry and wants way more than that.