When Robinson Cano was suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball at the beginning of May, it seemed that people were ready to write off the Mariners' chances along with him. The thought process was understandable, as Cano is Seattle's most recognizable name, and the franchise was hoping when they signed him that he could help carry the team to the postseason.
Well, far from plummeting down the standings, the Mariners have ripped off eight wins in their last 10 games and have launched themselves into first place in the A.L. West heading into a crucial divisional battle with the defending-champion Astros this week.
Starting pitcher James Paxton had a ridiculous May, going 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched. Jean Segura (.331) and Dee Gordon (.297) are picking up the slack in Cano's absence, and the bullpen ranks in the top 10 in ERA (3.53), allowing opponents to hit just .229 against them this season.
There's still plenty of time left in the season, and the M's could cool off. But, right now, they are on their way to finally ending the playoff drought that has been in place since 2001.
MLB Draft Begins
While the Mariners are focused on the near future of trying to make the playoffs, several rebuilding teams will take their next step towards potential future playoff appearances when the MLB Entry Draft gets underway tonight. The Detroit Tigers are on the clock first and have their pick of several top collegiate players.
The consensus number-one prospect among many evaluators is Auburn junior right-hander Casey Mize. Mize has posted a 10-5 record with a 2.95 ERA and 151 strike outs in 109.2 innings, and opponents are hitting just .195 off of him. Florida junior righty Brady Singer is also in the discussion, along with Georgia Tech junior catcher Joey Bart.
After the Tigers make their pick, there will be up to 40 rounds played out over the next three days, as teams look to find that next superstar.
for more features.