Feb. 18, 2012: The day the Mariners bats came alive

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Sure the Mariners finished last in the majors in runs scored in 2011 and 2010 (and last in the AL in 2009), but that’s no reason not to be optimistic in mid-February.

We’ll let Seattle Times beat writer Larry Stone take over from here:

Ichiro, Carp, and Smoak are putting on a show in their BP group. Lots of bombs.

Mike Carp, in particular, was hitting tape measure shots, scurrying the fans behind RF and whacking at least one car

Montero just missed hitting a truck driving on road beyond left field

Gutierrez showing some pop. He’s hit a couple over the wall, lots of gap liners. Physical difference is notable

From the sound of things, it looks like a massive turnaround is on the way. Fortunately, Stone does have a sense of humor abut the whole thing:

If Mariners can talk opponents into starting Jeff Datz on mound every game, they’ll be in business

For the record, the Mariners did improve from 513 runs scored to 556 runs scored last year. Of course, that still put them 63 runs behind the AL’s next worst team, Minnesota.

Tampa Bay Rays trade Alex Colome, Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners

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The Tampa Bay Rays were reported this week to be “open for business” as far as trades go. Normally that means nothing happens until late June or something. The Rays are getting right down to it, though, as they’ve just traded closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners, who have played some outstanding ball lately thanks to some outstanding starting pitching, and are looking to bolster other areas as they make a push in the AL West, will likely slot Colome into a setup role in front of closer Edwin Diaz. Span will take over center field, allowing Dee Gordon to, eventually anyway, once he recovers from a fractured toe, cover for the suspended Robinson Cano at second base. If the M’s make the playoffs he’d likely do so in the postseason too, given that Cano will be ineligible for any October play due to his suspension.

Colome has saved 11 games for the Rays, with a 4.15 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 23/8 in 21.2 innings.Span is hitting .238/.364/.385 with four homers and six stolen bases on the season.

Two players are going back to the Rays: righties Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. Moore was the Mariners’ second round pick in 2015 and made his big league debut last season, pitching 59 innings in 2018 but back in the minors so far in 2018. Romero was a 15th rounder for Seattle in 2017 and is currently plying his trade in A-ball.

The Rays, as expected, are using the 2018 season to acquire prospects. The Mariners, who are unexpectedly strong in the early going, are trying to go for it even harder. Quite a big trade for late May.