Seattle's hope for a new season

Updated: February 19, 2012, 10:33 AM ET
By Buster Olney

In the midst of the Seattle Mariners' historically bad offensive showing last summer, a professional scout learned that he had been asked to track Seattle for a few days, and he was upset about it. Aesthetically, he found them to be excruciating. "Can't stand watching them," the scout griped. "Their hitters have no chance. None."

Seattle ranked dead last in the majors in runs last season, and scored almost a half-run less per game than any other American League team. There wasn't much good to glean from the numbers inside that number, either.

The Mariners' hitters ranked last in OPS, next-to-last in the AL in homers and third-to-last in walks among all teams, and struck out more than any AL team. Seattle had just four games last season in which it posted 10 or more runs.

Improvement is probably inevitable, because it's almost impossible for the Mariners to be worse offensively than they were last year. But Seattle's camp has been open for only a few days and already there are signs of progress, and Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik ran through some of them over the phone: