Last time I wrote the obituary for the 2011 season. Well, a 6-1 week now leaves the Seattle Mariners only 1.5 games behind the first place Rangers changes my outlook.
Texas and Anaheim are the favorites to win the division but the Mariners have the best group of starters in the division. Michael Pineda outperforms even the most optimistic projections, Erik Bedard is throwing efficiently(???!!), Felix is Felix while Doug Fister and Jason Vargas are maximizing their decent stuff. If the anemic offense picks up a bit and the bullpen continues to overachieve... who knows?
The arrivals of Carlos Peguero and Mike Wilson have introduced some brute strength to the lineup. Carlos in particular has been crushing the ball -- when he makes contact. Neither one is particularly a good defender but the bats will play in left field.
Franklin Gutierrez's return should have the M's strongly consider dropping Michael Saunders to AAA where he can play everyday and beat up on inferior pitching. He looks lost and needs to regain his confidence. It worked for Justin Smoak last year.
In a few weeks Dustin Ackley will be called up. If Seattle can hover around .500 until then the team will have to seriously consider buying before the trade deadline.