During the first trial balloon... errr... season opening games in Japan, the M's offense was as ineffective as last season and the M's bullpen, beyond the top two or three guys, was as shaky as an over-caffeinated parkinsons sufferer.
Which begs the question: which one scares you more?
Are you convinced that the M's offense will be fine?
Pro: The young core of the team is looking good. Montero, Ackley and Smoak should be gelling into a solid MOTO this season. The rest of the offense just needs to be average.
Con: The M's offense was looking pretty good during Spring Training. But when you go look at the cactus league stats, the guys who were guaranteed jobs were not the ones, for the most part, driving that offensive success. If you look at the 20 players with Cactus League OPS better than .800, only four of them (Montero, Ackley, Smoak and Ichiro) were slated to be starters out of the gate. Two more (Seager and Saunders) get the nod as starters due to injuries to Gutierrez and Carp. The guys who'll be playing a bunch of the time (Figgins, Ryan, Olivo, Carp, Wells) really haven't shown much, either last season or in the precursor to this one.
Will the bullpen be OK?
Pro: The M's start the season with a bunch of question marks, but they do that every year and have a plethora of solid young arms in the farm. By the time the dust clears, the M's will, once again, have one of the best bullpens in the majors. With League, Wilhelmsen and Ramierez as the core, the relief squad will be fine.
Con: Contracts are again taking precedence over talent. The money and guaranteed contracts will keep Sherrill, Kelley and Iwannapuka at the top of the pen, getting reps and blowing games. Luetge will stick around so as not to lose him back to the Brewers. You can't ride the top two or three guys every night
Eric Thames - What? Are we waiting for him to become LESS patient at the plate?
2013 AAA: .298/.390/.496/.887 5 HR 20 RBI
Forrest Snow - Things look rather Stark for the bastard of the north. Winter is coming.
2013 AA: 1-4, 3.86 ERA, 23 K, 5 BB, 1.095 WHIP
2012 AAA/AA: 5-9, 6.35 ERA, 99K, 67 BB, 1.674 WHIP
Gone But Not Forgotten (former adopt-a-players):
Matt Mangini - Signed a minor league contract with the Reds in the off season, but appears to have been handed his walking papers.
Mike Morse - HEY! Look who's back!!!!!
Jamal Strong - Let go after 2005. Played in the Yankees, Cubs and Braves systems. Now a regional scout for the Cards.