2014 Season in Review

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The following is an in-depth look at the Mariners 2014 season, complete with updated player bios, season review notes, in-depth statistics and a minor league review.

 

2014 Rewind – Who Gives a Shift?

A lot has been made in recent seasons about the amount of defensive shifts that have taken place in MLB. An interesting story was published today via John Dewan’s Stat of the Week and Seattle Times writers Adam Jude also wrote an article on shifts earlier during the season.

The Fielding Bible data, which will appear in the 2015 Bill James Handbook, shows that over the past four seasons the number of shifts in Major League Baseball, as measured by a ball hit into play when a shift is in effect, has nearly doubled every year. Here are the totals by year:

MLB Shifts by Season
Year Number of Shifts
2010 2,464
2011 2,357
2012 4,577
2013 8,180
2014 13,296

The report goes on to show that the shift has also been pretty effective in terms of the defensive metric of runs saved:

MLB Shifts by Season
Year Number of Shifts Shift Runs Saved
2010 2,464 36
2011 2,357 42
2012 4,577 76
2013 8,180 135
2014 13,296 195

How do the Mariners stack up in all of this? According to Baseball Info Solutions the Mariners had 9 defensive runs saved this season due to the shift (Mariners were at -2 runs saved overall for the season, a drastic improvement from -97 in 2013). The 9 runs saved due to shifts was 7th-best in the American League.

 

Kyle, Felix, Robinson Named Gold Glove Finalists

Gold Glove

Three finalists at each position in the American League and National League were announced today for the prestigious Rawlings® Gold Glove.

Mariners Kyle Seager (3B), Robinson Cano (2B) and Felix Hernandez (P) were among the three players at their respective positions to be named finalists. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, November 4 at 4 pm PT on Baseball Tonight on ESPN2.

The Rawlings® Gold Glove selection process is based approximately via 75% votes by manager and coaches (up to 7 per team, can’t vote for players on own team) and 25% based on the SABR Defensive Index (statistical based).

The Mariners have not had a Gold Glove winner since Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez in 2010. Seattle had at least one winner 24 consecutive seasons from 1987-2010.

James Paxton Part of Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

James Paxton's fielding mitt from the 2014 season is displayed at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

James Paxton’s fielding mitt from the 2014 season is displayed at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

James Paxton had a fine rookie season with the Mariners, going 6-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 13 starts. In 17 career Major League starts, the left-hander is 9-4 with a 2.66 ERA.

A native of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada, Paxton was asked if he had any items from his rookie season he could donate to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Following the season, Paxton donated the mitt he used all season to be displayed at the museum in St. Marys, Ontario.

As you can see in the picture above, Paxton’s mitt is placed nicely next to a signed Mariners hat and game-used batting gloves from Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders, who is also a Canadian native from Victoria.

Felix Hernandez Named Sporting News All-Star

Felix Hernandez was named a Sporting News All-Star.

Felix Hernandez was named a Sporting News All-Star.

Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez has been named the starting pitcher on the Sporting News American League All-Star team.

Hernandez went 15-6 with an American League-leading 2.14 ERA in 34 starts in 2014.

The All-Star team was selected by a panel of 20 American League General Managers and Assistant General Managers. The Sporting News has been selecting postseason All-Star teams since the 1920s.

The above image of Felix is courtesy of SN and pays homage to the Topps’ classic 1954 baseball cards.

Live Stream of World Series Games Now Available

MLB_TV

For the first time ever in the United States, every World Series Game will be streamed LIVE to authenticated MLB.TV subscribers with no blackouts.

Eligible subscribers in the US must authenticate through their supported Pay TV provider. Participating Pay TV partners include: DirecTV, Optimum, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse TV, COX, Bright House Networks, Buckeye, Arvig, WOW!, Suddenlink and Consolidated Communications.

Fans can watch LIVE online or on over 400 devices with a full HD picture, in-game highlights and stats, clickable linescores and more.

See all the details at via MLB.com.

And, of course, every game will be LIVE on FOX TV and ESPN Radio, as well.

Michael Saunders to Receive Community Service Award

Michael Saunders is the 2014 Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award winner.

Michael Saunders is the 2014 Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award winner.

The Seattle Mariners RBI Club has conferred its top community service award on Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders. The 2014 Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award will be presented to Saunders on November 15, at the RBI Club’s annual Toys for Kids fundraiser at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom. The RBI Club is an organization of Mariners season ticketholders who are active in the community.

The Moose Clausen Award is given to a member of the Mariners organization (active or retired) for significant contributions to the community. This year’s award is being presented to Saunders in recognition of his community service to the Seattle area.

Saunders’ life has been touched by cancer and his community involvement reflects that personal connection. Saunders’ mother died in 2011 at the age of 50 after a 13-year fight with cancer. Each season, Saunders is involved with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Major League Baseball’s “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative. Saunders also spends time during the offseason on the Mariners Caravan talking with elementary school students about education and staying drug-free and visiting children at Boys & Girls Clubs.

This year, Saunders joined Felix Hernandez and manager Lloyd McClendon as spokesmen for the Refuse To Abuse® anti-domestic violence public service campaign. The campaign is part of the 17-year partnership between the Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The RBI Community Service Award is named for Al “Moose” Clausen who is a Seattle born and raised baseball fanatic. During his years at Ballard High School, Clausen’s baseball coaches nicknamed him “Moose.” The name stuck, and he has been fondly called Moose ever since.

In 1982, Clausen joined the Mariners Front Office as Director of Sales and was part of the Mariners family until he retired in 2012. Due to his decades of service with Northwest baseball and the community, the RBI Club and Seattle Mariners named their Community Service Award for Moose in 2001.

Previous Moose Clausen Award Winners are:
2001   Jamie Moyer
2002   Dan Wilson
2003   Edgar Martinez
2004   Jay Buhner
2005   Rick Rizzs/David Henderson
2006   Raul Ibanez
2007   Dave Valle
2008   John Olerud
2009   Howard Lincoln
2010   Bill Krueger
2011   Julio Cruz
2012   Jack Zduriencik
2013   Eric & Kate Wedge

RBI Club

Chris Young Named AL Comeback Player of the Year

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The Sporting News announced its annual Comeback Player of the Year award today and Mariners right-handed pitcher Chris Young was named the American League winner.

Young, 35, returned to the Majors for the first time since 2012 to go 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA (67 ER, 165.0 IP) in 30 games/29 starts with the Mariners. The 6-10 right-hander did not pitch in the Majors in 2013 after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder. From 2009-2012, Young made just 42 Major League starts battling various shoulder injuries.

“I am extremely honored to be named Comeback Player of the Year by the Sporting News,” said Young. “There are many deserving players who have demonstrated the commitment, dedication and perseverance to overcome similar obstacles and I am humbled to be recognized amongst them. The life lessons I have learned throughout this experience are invaluable and will stay with me the rest of my career. Furthermore, I hope that I can serve as inspiration to other players in the same manner in which I was inspired to pursue my comeback. I am extremely grateful to my teammates, coaches, the Seattle Mariners organization and my family, as each and every member contributed to my success.”

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Young’s 12 wins tied his career-high set in 2005 with the Texas Rangers, and recorded the 3rd-most innings (165.0) of his 10-season Major League career. The span of 8 years between 12+ win seasons is tied for the 3rd-longest in MLB history behind Danny Darwin (12 years, 1980-93), Lindy McDaniel (9 years, 1963-73) and Ron Kline (9 years, 1958-68).

“Chris was a big part of our success in 2014, really solidifying our rotation,” said manager Lloyd McClendon. “To think he won as many games as he did, and made 29 starts, coming off the type of surgery and the injuries that he had, I think it’s just tremendous. He is a tireless worker and showed his determination with his performance. This is a very deserving award for him in every way possible.”

“This is a tremendous and well-deserving honor for Chris,” added pitching coach Rick Waits. “He worked tirelessly and stuck to his routine to keep himself healthy and on the mound throughout the season. He had a breakthrough year making a comeback, but it wasn’t really that surprising to me. This is a testament to his resolve, patience, determination, hard work, his routine and his tireless study of opposing hitters.”

Young is the fifth player in Mariners history to win the Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award, joining Willie Horton (1979), Richie Zisk (1981), Gorman Thomas (1985) and Gil Meche (2003).

Miami’s Casey McGehee was the NL Comeback Player of the Year. Here are the voting results:

American League (voting by only AL players)

1. Chris Young, Mariners-49
2. J.D. Martinez, Tigers-22
3. Scott Kazmir, Athletics-14
4. Derek Jeter, Yankees-11
5. Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays-6
Others-30

National League (voting by only NL players)

1. Casey McGehee, Marlins-26
2. Tim Hudson, Giant-17
3. Matt Kemp, Dodgers-15
4. Starlin Castro, Cubs-2
5. Others-4

Mariners Harness Arizona Sun for Clean Energy at Spring Training Facility

PEORIA Solar 1

Solar panels have been installed at the Mariners Spring Training facility in Peoria, Arizona.

The Seattle Mariners have gone solar. Solar panels have been installed at the Mariners Spring Training complex in Peoria, Arizona that will generate clean energy and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

The installation consists of 1,380 panels that will generate 529 megawatts of energy every year. That’s enough to power 33 homes for a year. The output is equal to burning almost 200 tons of coal which means the panels will take about 365 metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

The panels, which are manufactured by Kyocera, are on the roof of the Mariners Peoria headquarters and cover 96 parking spaces on the adjacent parking lot.

The project is a collaboration between the Mariners, Healthy Planet Partners, LLC (HPP) and Kyocera Solar Inc. HPP is a Clean Energy Solutions Fund that finances, implements and maintains distributed energy and energy efficiency projects in commercial buildings. Kyocera provided the engineering and project management support, as well as financing. Sky Engineering and Construction Inc. built the system using Kyocera’s industry-leading high-efficiency solar modules.

Healthy Planet Partners financed, owns and operates the panels, which are being hosted at the Mariners facility on a long-term Solar Services Agreement. Under the agreement the Mariners purchase power that is generated by the panels. The project benefits from a Production Based Incentive under the Arizona Public Service Schools & Governments Program.

A Wild (Card) World Series

Raise your hand if you’ve enjoyed the playoffs so far this season? And last night’s walk-off home run by Washington native Travis Ishikawa (Federal Way) has set up a pretty “wild” setting for the upcoming World Series.

For just the second time during the 20 years of the Wild Card era, two teams that entered the playoffs as wild card teams have advanced to the World Series. The Royals and Giants will open the 2014 World Series next Tuesday (4:30 pm PT/FOX) after clinching their respective pennants over the last two days.

The Royals and Giants join the Angels and Giants in 2002 as the only season since 1995 (the year the Wild Card was introduced) where both Wild Card teams advanced to the World Series. In total, 12 of 46 Wild Card teams have advanced to the World Series (26.1%), while 28 of 120 division champions have advanced to the Fall Classic (23.3%).

Another fun fact is that the Giants are the first “lowest seed” Wild Card team to advance to the playoffs since the expansion to two Wild Card teams in 2012. The following teams have won the World Series as a Wild Card team: Marlins (1997 & 2003), Angels (2002), Red Sox (2004), and Cardinals (2011), meaning that three consecutive titles were won by a wild card (2002–2004). A Wild Card team appeared in the World Series each year from 2002–2007.

Here is the official World Series schedule from @MLB_PR:

World_Series

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