The Seattle Mariners enter play Wednesday 33-39, in fourth place in the AL West and just 1.5 games ahead of the cellar-dwelling Oakland Athletics. Their team offense has performed poorly thus far in 2015 outside of slugger Nelson Cruz, and the club is having a tough time turning their preseason hype into reality.
Their .230 team batting average is among the lowest in the league, exemplifying their woes as an offensive unit. In a new radio chat with ESPN 710 Seattle, ESPN senior baseball writer Keith Law made no bones about who he sees responsible for the M’s underachieving: general manager Jack Zduriencik. On Tuesday, Law said on the Brock and Salk Show that, "The offense stinks. That’s really the bottom line. Jack Zduriencik has not been able to build an effective offense in seven years as general manager."
While established veteran Robinson Cano is having a rough second year in Seattle by his standards (.246/.285/.348), Law targets other acquisitions made by Zduriencik as ultimately being detrimental to the long-term success of the lineup: "He doesn’t put together lineups that get on base, and it’s hard for any team to score enough runs if you’re not getting enough base runners. Power helps, power can certainly win you ballgames, but it’s not gonna win you enough if you don’t have guys on base."
Article continues below ...
As for those who point fingers at Mariner manager Lloyd McClendon as being responsible for the Mariners’ issues, Law disagrees: "Ultimately if you’re looking for someone to blame, it has to be the general manager in this case. He assembled the roster, this roster is his responsibility, and all accountability for the players actually on the roster should go to him and zero in that situation goes to the manager."
Here’s Law’s full radio interview, in which he expands further on the topic: