A big issue for Mariners manager Eric Wedge during the off-season was improving the teams conditioning.
Wedge made it so much of a priority that he invited some selected players to his house to hammer home the issue. Wedge specifically wanted to see his young core players get in better condition so they could stand up to the rigors of a 162 game schedule.
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times did this piece the other day on his blog and it's what got me to ask Wedge about it today during pregame. Wedge claimed that he was very pleased with the conditioning of his club and that he can see the results every day because guys show up everyday and still have the energy to go out and compete.
I guess, if you ask me, that's not exactly a ringiing endorsement. The numbers don't lie as Baker pointed out the other day. There has really only been two players that have excelled in the second half and that's Kyle Seager and Jesus Montero.
Seager 1st half - .243/.306/.420
2nd half - .277/.332/.424
Montero 1st half - .245/.281/.376
2nd half - .292/.332/.432
Other than those two players, the M's really have not seen any type of improvement from their other core players.
In my opinion, I think we've finally realized what Justin Smoak is and he's a player that will never be a power at you put in the middle of your order to drive in runs. The Mariners need to move on and find another solution for first base.
As for Ackley, he's still in that early phase and really just completed his first full season in professional baseball. However, Ackley needs to show some major improvement next season because if he doesn't people will be reminded of other first round flops.