People often say they don’t watch local news because it’s just too depressing. Well, I’ll try to be uplifting – even though we start with the bad stuff.
Yes, Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano left today’s game with a broken finger in his hand. Just when the M’s were seemingly in the clear of unfortunate incidents, this happened. Cano is now out indefinitely, but at least a month, and could even need surgery.
For those not following along, a ridiculous number of injuries forced the M’s to use a club-record 17 different starting pitchers last year.
- Ryon Healy sat out most of Spring Training after unexpected hand surgery
- Mitch Haniger had a minor hand injury too
- Reliever David Phelps was lost for the year needing Tommy John Surgery
- Felix Hernandez got struck by a line drive and missed most of the spring
- Erasmo Ramirez strained his lat and missed the first few weeks of the regular season
- Ben Gamel strained his oblique and missed the first part of the year
- So did Mike Zunino – in batting practice, no less
- Then Nelson Cruz sprained his ankle slipping on the steps of the dugout at Safeco Field
I know I’m forgetting others too, including minor injuries to Ichiro and Jean Segura in March.
And now… Cano today. I mean, what the heck is going on?
Well, here’s the good stuff. Somehow, despite all of the terrible luck this offseason and Spring, the M’s were (are) somehow still right in the thick of it. So far, they’ve avoided the lengthy losing streak that’s put them behind the 8-Ball so many seasons before. And they’ve weathered a really challenging schedule that has them just 2.5 games out of first place in the division.
This team seems to be resilient. Cursed? Maybe. Snakebit? Maybe. But resilient. Did they lose today after losing Cano? Yes. But they still fought back to make it a game like they already have this season many times before.
I’m not saying this team doesn’t have question marks – especially with their starting pitching depth and relievers (clears throat) Juan Nicasio. Aside from James Paxton, the M’s don’t have a starting pitcher with an ERA below 5.3!
But if you take a close look at the schedule right now, even without Cano, it’s a perfect time to really make hay. 16 of their next 20 games are at home against five teams, none of which has a winning record. I realize the M’s have a better record on the road than at Safeco Field, but those numbers tend to even out.
If the M’s want to be in the conversation down the stretch in August and September, they have the chance to make the most of a huge opportunity right here.
Frankly, the team we’ve grown accustomed to – the “Lovable Losers” for more than a decade and a half – would’ve blown a chance like this. I’m usually the one to expect the worst.
But tonight, I’m choosing to go out on a limb and say that this team will actually hang in there. They’ve shown us they can so far this year. So why not... for a few more months?