Description: Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders gave up 11 hits and four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings Saturday against Cleveland, but he escaped with a no decision.
Insight: Saunders is 3-4 with a 5.64 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. However, he is 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP in four starts at Safeco Field, compared to 0-4 with an 11.25 ERA and a 2.50 WHIP on the road.
Description: Mariners OF/DH Raul Ibanez has homered six times in the last seven games.
Insight: Ibanez has driven in 14 runs during that span. The 40-year-old was batting .158 with a .511 OPS, two homers and five RBI at the end of April, but he has raised his average to .236 and his OPS to .839.
Description: Mariners starter Aaron Harang has been scratched from Thursday's start against the Yankees due to back stiffness, according to Shannon Drayer of 710 AM ESPN Seattle.
Insight: Harang had an 11.37 ERA in three April starts but has gone 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP in two starts this month. Hector Noesi will make a spot start Thursday against his former ballclub.
Description: Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager went 2-for-4 with a homer, a walk and three RBI Wednesday at New York.
Insight: Seager has five homers, 21 RBI and a .286 batting average. His K rate is up from last year, but so is his BB rate. Also, he's hitting fewer flyballs, which is helping him hit for a higher BABIP (.286 last year, .330 this year).
Description: Mariners OF/DH Raul Ibanez went 2-for-5 with a grand slam and a two-run homer Wednesday against the Yankees, his former team.
Insight: Ibanez hit 19 homers in 384 at-bats with the Yankees last season, and he has returned to Yankee Stadium with three homers over the last two games. Overall, he has four homers and 11 RBI over his last four games.
Description: Seattle second baseman Dustin Ackley is 5-for-10 against Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes with a 1.200 OPS.
Insight: Ackley has not developed after an intriguing 90-game cameo in 2011. He hit .226 last year and owns a .231 average in 2013. This is a favorable matchup, but overall we don't see much of a future for the second overall pick of the 2009 draft.
Description: Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders is just 1-for-11 (.091) versus Yankees left-hander C.C. Sabathia.
Insight: Saunders has played solidly when on the field (as per his past history he's already spent time on the DL). He's batting .286 with four homers, 11 RBI and 17 runs scored in 20 games. This matchup, however, is not favorable.
Description: Seattle catcher Jesus Montero is a .500 hitter (7-for-14) against Oakland left-hander Tommy Milone with a 1.286 OPS.
Insight: Montero was hyped as a big-time offensive prospect with the Yankees, but he has disappointed since being traded to the Mariners for Michael Pineda. He's hitting just .198 with three homers and eight RBI this season. Perhaps this favorable matchup will help get him above the Mendoza Line.
Description: Seattle catcher Jesus Montero hit a solo homer off Pirates starter A.J. Burnett Wednesday afternoon.
Insight: Montero was hyped as a big-time offensive prospect with the Yankees, but he has disappointed since being traded to the Mariners in a deal for Michael Pineda. He's hitting just .205 with three homers and eight RBI this season.
Description: Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma was brilliant again Saturday against the Blue Jays, tossing seven innings of one-run ball. He walked three, struck out five and allowed five hits to improve to 3-1.
Insight: Iwakuma came into Saturday's start with the seventh-best swing-and-miss rate in the majors. While his 1.61 ERA will increase once his .191 BABIP rises, Iwakuma is still a tremendous fantasy option.
Description: Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders has two three-hit efforts in his last three games.
Insight: Saunders went 3-for-5 with two homers Saturday against the Blue Jays and is batting .300 with four home runs, 11 RBI, 14 runs and four steals despite spending two weeks on the DL with a shoulder injury.
Description: Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager is just 1-for-13 against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson with five strikeouts.
Insight: Seager has been crushing the ball over the past two weeks and owns a 14-game hitting streak which has jumped his totals for the season to .306 with a .908 OPS. Today will be a good test as to whether his hot streak can overcome his poor history against Wilson.
Description: Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will be sidelined for the next 2-to-3 weeks as he recovers from a Grade 1 hamstring strain. SOURCE: Shannon Drayer, MyNorthwest.com
Insight: Gutierrez has historically been a slow healer so three weeks to a month is probably a more realistic timetable. Endy Chavez (.263, 0 HR, 3 RBI) has been starting at center field in Gutierrez's place.
Description: Mariners pitching prospect Danny Hultzen has a 2.78 ERA and a 25/6 K/BB in 22 2/3 innings at Triple-A Tacoma this season.
Insight: Hultzen was the No. 2 overall pick in 2011 and is currently ranked as the 18th overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com. He had a 1.19 ERA at Double-A in 75 1/3 innings, but he posted a 5.92 mark in 48 2/3 innings at Triple-A last year, so this strong start is a good sign.
Description: Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders (shoulder) will likely go out on a rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma this weekend before rejoining the team. SOURCE: Mariners.mlb.com
Insight: Saunders is dealing with a sprained right shoulder. He's eligible to return from the 15-day DL on April 26, but he'll need a few games. Saunders is hitting .286 with a homer and three steals this season after belting 19 homers and stealing 21 bags last year.
Description: Seattle center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Gutierrez (.259, 4 HR, 10 RBI) has been in and out of the lineup lately with groin issues and suffered a hamstring strain Monday when he attempted to make a diving catch. The oft-injured outfielder has missed 197 games and counting since the start of the 2011 season.
Description: Marlins part-time catcher Miguel Olivo should get the start on Tuesday, weather permitting, as he's a career .600 hitter versus Minnesota right-hander Kevin Correia with a 1.736 OPS.
Insight: Olivo was a fantasy disappointment last season and has done little this season, although he does have three hits in his last five at-bats and a favorable matchup. If he's in the lineup he's worth a flier.
Description: Seattle center fielder Franklin Gutierrez exited Monday's game against Houston because of hamstring tightness. SOURCE: Greg Johns, MLB.com
Insight: Gutierrez (.259, 4 HR, 10 RBI) just keeps finding new ways to get hurt. He's now missed 197 games since the start of the 2011 season. This latest injury should sideline Gutierrez for at least the next couple of days.
Description: Marlins part-time catcher Miguel Olivo should get the start on Monday as he's a career .600 hitter versus Minnesota right-hander Kevin Correia with a 1.736 OPS.
Insight: Olivo was a fantasy disappointment last season and has done little this season, although he does have three hits in his last five at-bats and a favorable matchup. If he's in the lineup he's worth a flier.
Description: Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager crushed a home run Sunday as part of a three-hit afternoon.
Insight: By doing so, Seager (.268, 1 HR, 7 RBI) was able to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. That's the third-longest streak in the American League right now. Torii Hunter and Coco Crisp are both in the midst of 13-game hitting streaks.
Description: Mariners starter Brandon Maurer has thrown two straight quality starts after giving up six runs and seven hits in 2/3 of an inning on April 9 against Houston. He limited Texas to two hits in 6 2/3 innings Saturday night, but both were homers.
Insight: Maurer put up a 0.90 ERA and 22/6 K/BB ratio in 20 innings this spring after coming in as a long shot to win a rotation job and went 9-2 with a 3.20 ERA and 117/48 K/BB in 137 2/3 innings at Double-A last season. He's worth holding onto in AL-only leagues despite the meltdown against the Astros.
Description: Mariners DH Kendrys Morales is 1-for-15 with eight strikeouts against Texas right-hander Yu Darvish.
Insight: Morales is getting most of the DH opportunities and is batting .259 with a homer and seven RBI, but just one RBI in his last five games. This isn't the matchup that will get him going, so put him on the bench.
Description: Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma outdueled Justin Verlander Thursday afternoon and shut out the high-powered Tigers' offense on three hits over six innings.
Insight: Iwakuma has given up a measly 12 hits and five earned runs (four homers) in 26 2/3 innings this season. He owns a 2-0 record and a 18/1 K/BB. This comes after he went 8-4 with a 2.65 ERA over 95 innings in 16 starts last year.
Description: M's righthander Felix Hernandez was spectacular Wednesday against Detroit (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 12 Ks, 0 BB).
Insight: Fantasy owners have to be frustrated with the lack of run support Hernandez (1-2, 2.20 ERA) is receiving this season. In four starts, Seattle has produced a combined nine runs for Hernandez. He hasn't won a decision since the season opener April 1st against Oakland.
Description: Mariners manager Eric Wedge says outfielder Michael Saunders (shoulder) could return when he's eligible on April 26. SOURCE: Greg Johns, MLB.com
Insight: Saunders is dealing with a sprained right shoulder but he has started some light swinging. Saunders hit 19 homers and stole 21 bases last season and had one homer and three steals in his first nine games this season.
Description: Mariners left fielder Mike Morse will return to the starting lineup Tuesday against Detroit, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com.
Insight: Morse sustained a small fracture in his right pinky finger Friday and was given a 3-7 day timetable. Morse has six homers in 41 at-bats after leading the majors in home runs during spring training.
Description: Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez won't be in the lineup Saturday against Texas. Gutierrez is dealing with groin tightness.
Insight: After a few sub-par seasons it looks like Gutierrez has finally found his power stroke again (.649 SLUG, .956 OPS). Former Baltimore outfielder Endy Chavez (.250 AVG) will take over in center field with Gutierrez getting the night off.
Description: Mariners DH Kendrys Morales must be taken out of all fantasy lineups when Seattle is facing right-hander Yu Darvish. He's hitless against Darvish with eight strikeouts in 13 at-bats.
Insight: Morales is getting most of the DH opportunities and is batting .286 with a home and six RBI. The Mariners' offense is averaging 4.2 runs per game this season, as compared to 3.8 a year ago, which should be a good omen for Morales. But not on Friday versus Darvish.
Description: The Mariners acquired Aaron Harang from the Rockies for a reliever.
Insight: Harang was traded from the Dodgers to the Rockies last week but was immediately designated for assignment. Harang should join Seattle's starting rotation immediately upon his arrival but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be useful to fantasy owners. Harang carried an abysmal strikeout to walk ratio in 2012 (131 K's to 85 free passes) and the AL West features some of the toughest lineups in baseball. For now, we'd recommend a wait and see approach with Harang.
Description: Larry Stone from the Seattle Times is reporting that Mariners right fielder Michael Saunders has been diagnosed with a sprained right shoulder.
Insight: Stone said the injury shouldn't affect Saunders long-term but he did concede that he could spend some time on the disabled list. Washed up outfielder Jason Bay (.214 in six games this season) will be in the mix for more playing time now that Saunders is out of commission.
Description: Seattle outfielder Michael Saunders left Wednesday's game against the Astros after crashing into the right field wall while making a catch.
Insight: Trainers were tending to his right shoulder, according to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, and his right arm was hanging limply as he walked off the field. Jason Bay replaced him in right field.
Description: Seattle minor league catching prospect Mike Zunino is making the most of his time with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers. He's batting .500 with three homers, 12 RBI and a 1.901 OPS in the team's first four games.
Insight: He's the top player in their minor league system and rated No.17 by Baseball America in their February Top-100 Prospects list. His ability to reach the majors this season is blocked by Jesus Montero behind the plate and Kendrys Morales at DH, but if he continues to hit this well he may force his way up to the big club by midseason.
Description: Mariners left fielder Mike Morse struck out four times Sunday against Chicago but he also hit his league-leading fifth homer of the season.
Insight: Clearly, Morse is swinging for the fences. Five of his nine hits this year have left the stadium and ten of the 20 outs he's made have come by way of the K. Continue to expect big power numbers from Morse but don't be surprised if his batting average begins to slip a little bit.
Description: Seattle outfielder Michael Saunders went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer Saturday against Chicago.
Insight: Saunders has a hit in four straight games and an RBI in three straight. He's someone to keep an eye on after he hit 19 homers and stole 21 bases in 139 games last season, though he'll drag down fantasy owners' batting averages.
Description: Seattle outfielder Michael Morse has picked up where he left off in spring by crushing four homers in his first four games this season.
Insight: Morse knocked nine out of the park during spring training. It sure looks like he is elevating the ball again after his flyball percentage dipped from 36.5 percent in 2011 to 24.6 percent last season.
Description: Seattle C/DH Jesus Montero is 5-for-11 (.455) against the A's scheduled starter Tommy Milone with a homer and a 1.273 OPS.
Insight: Montero has started slowly, going 1-for-9 in the first two games, but he batted .400 this spring. Seattle has moved in the fences at Safeco Field, which should help improve Montero's 10.8 percent HR/FB rate.
Description: After going deep Wednesday, Seattle outfielder Michael Morse now has eight homers this spring.
Insight: Morse hit .303 with 31 homers for Washington in 2011 but a lat strain limited him to 102 games last season. He also saw his groundball rate spike from 44 percent to 55.3 percent, which explains why he was limited to 18 homers. Fantasy owners shouldn't be scared off by Safeco Field; the Mariners moved in the fences in left and left-center field and Morse has big-time power anyway. The eight spring homers are a sign that he is elevating the ball again.
Description: Seattle starter Brandon Maurer will serve as Seattle's fourth starter, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
Insight: He put up a 0.90 ERA and 22/6 K/BB ratio in 20 innings this spring after coming in as a long shot to win a rotation job. The 22-year-old had a strong stint in Double-A last season, going 9-2 with a 3.20 ERA and 117/48 K/BB in 137 2/3 innings. The right-hander is worth a flyer in AL-only leagues.
Description: Blake Beavan will be Seattle's fifth starter to begin the season despite posting an 8.52 ERA in five appearances this spring.
Insight: Beavan, a former first-round pick by Texas, has a 4.37 ERA and 109/39 K/BB in 249 1/3 big league innings. If he doesn't pitch well out of the gate, we could see Erasmo Ramirez take over his spot in the rotation.
Description: The Mariners have demoted Erasmo Ramirez to Triple-A.
Insight: The 22-year-old will be the first man up if Seattle needs a starter. He had a 3.72 ERA in 77 1/3 innings at Triple-A and a 3.36 ERA in 59 innings in the majors last season and posted a 3.53 K/BB between the two levels.
Description: Seattle C/DH Jesus Montero was struck in the head with a bat Saturday but he escaped without suffering a concussion. SOURCE: Seattle Times
Insight: Montero struggled in his first full season at the major league level batting .260 with 15 HR, 62 RBI and a .685 OPS, but has plenty of upside. He actually hit .310 with 10 homers, 32 RBIs and an .841 OPS in 213 at-bats as a catcher compared to .226 with five homers, 30 RBIs and a .574 OPS in 301 as a DH. Seattle has moved in the fences at Safeco Field, which should help improve Montero's 10.8 percent HR/FB.
Description: Seattle Mariners' pitcher Jeremy Bonderman went three innings and impressed manager Eric Wedge, according to a Tacoma News Tribune report.
Insight: Back in 2006 Bonderman went 14-8 with 202 strikeouts, but he's never posted an ERA under 4.08 or a WHIP under 1.299. Throw in his arm troubles over the past two years and you should avoid him no matter what he does this spring.
Description: Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune is reporting that Mariners DH Kendrys Morales is taking part in all baseball activities without restrictions.
Insight: Morales (.273, 22 HR, 73 RBI) is capable of much more if he is 100 percent healthy. He's likely to be the primary DH, though he might eventually be eligible at 1B if he proved the ankle is as good as it was before the injury. In 2009 he hit 34 HR and knocked in 108 runs.
Description: Sources have told FOX Sports reporters Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal that Mariners ace Felix Hernandez's contract includes an eighth year team option for $1 million that would kick in if the right-hander suffers a specific elbow injury.
Insight: Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said earlier Wednesday that Hernandez received a "clean bill of health" from team doctors, but it looks like there were still some concerns about Hernandez' elbow when he signed his contract extension. Hernandez would need to miss approximately 120-130 days in one season or consecutive seasons in order for the clause to activated.
Description: Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said Seattle team doctors "were very satisfied" with Felix Hernandez. "He got a clean bill of health," Zduriencik said. SOURCE: Greg Johns, MLB.com
Insight: Negotiations for a contract extension with Hernandez reportedly hit a snag due to an elbow issue but it appears Hernandez is just fine. Fantasy owners can go ahead and draft him as you normally would in 2013.
Description: The Mariners have finalized a seven-year, $175 million contract extension with starter Felix Hernandez. The deal hit a snag over the weekend due to an elbow issue, but it appears both parties have resolved any concerns.
Insight: Only three pitchers have thrown more innings before their 27th birthday -- Bert Blyleven, Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden (Elias Sports Bureau) -- than Hernandez' 1620 1/3, so the Mariners likely needed to add some provisions to the contract to protect them in case Hernandez goes down with a serious injury.
Description: The record-setting extension between the Mariners and ace Felix Hernandez is being held up by concerns over a condition in Hernandez' pitching elbow. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: Hernandez has thrown 1620 1/3 innings in his career. Only three pitchers have thrown more innings before their 27th birthday -- Bert Blyleven, Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden (Elias Sports Bureau).
Description: Former Dodgers and White Sox righthander Jon Garland has agreed to a minor league contract with the Mariners.
Insight: Pitching in Seattle is a bit of a double-edged sword. Safeco Field has always been viewed as pitcher-friendly but by pitching in the American League West, Garland will have to face superstar hitters like Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Nelson Cruz on a fairly regular basis. Garland last appeared in the major leagues in 2011, going 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA in nine starts for the Dodgers.
Description: Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was reported to have signed a seven-year, $175 million contract extension but now Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes is reporting that the deal has yet to be finalized and when it does become official, it will only be a five-year extension worth $135 million.
Insight: Hernandez's agent was quoted as saying, "At this moment, we have covered 70 percent of the road." On a side note, Hernandez has decided to skip the World Baseball Classic next month for Team Venezuela. It's a major loss for the Venezuelans, who finished third at the last WBC back in 2009.
Description: The Mariners have agreed to a one-year deal with free agent left-hander Joe Saunders, pending a physical. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, FOXSports.com
Insight: Saunders went 9-13 with a 4.07 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 28 starts for Arizona and Baltimore last season. He knows the AL West well, having pitched with the Angels for five years, but he posted an ERA over 4.60 in his last two seasons there. Safeco Field is much more pitcher-friendly than Chase Field and Camden Yards, but keep in mind the Mariners are also moving in the fences this season.
Description: If Seattle righthander Felix Hernandez wasn't a rich man before today, he sure is now. The 2010 AL Cy Young award winner agreed to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension on Thursday.
Insight: Well, that should put an end to any trade discussions involving King Felix, who was set to become a free agent after the 2014 season. Hernandez (13-9, 3.06 ERA in 2012) is now the richest pitcher in MLB history, eclipsing the mark set by CC Sabathia when he signed with the Yankees in 2009 (seven years, $161 million).
Description: Seattle C/DH Jesus Montero was one of the players to allegedly have his name appear on documents at the Miami anti-aging clinic "Biogenesis."
Insight: Montero struggled in his first full season at the major league level batting .260 with 15 HR, 62 RBI and a .685 OPS, but has plenty of upside. He was one of the key pieces for the Mariners in the deal that sent SP Michael Pineda to the Yankees.
Description: Starting pitcher Kevin Millwood has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball.
Insight: Millwood played for seven teams during his 16-year major league career. Last season he won six times for Seattle while recording a 4.25 ERA. The 38-year-old Millwood will end his career with 169 wins in 443 starts.
Description: Outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse was traded to Seattle Wednesday as part of a three-team swap.
Insight: Morse spent the first four seasons of his career with the Mariners so he's familiar with Safeco Field. He still has the talent to hit for 30 home runs but the lack of protection he'll receive from the Mariners' lineup could hinder his fantasy value.
Description: The Mariners have agreed to a one-year deal with OF/DH Raul Ibanez. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports
Insight: Any hopes that Ibanez would carry fantasy value in 2013 just got washed away as he'll return to one of the worst hitter's parks in baseball. Ibanez previously played for the Mariners from 1996-2000 and 2004-08. The 40-year-old hit .240 with 19 homers and 62 RBIs for the Yankees last season and belted several clutch postseason homers.
Description: DH Kendrys Morales has been traded to the Mariners in exchange for left-hander Jason Vargas.
Insight: With Morales (.273, 22 HR, 73 RBI) gone, Mark Trumbo will slide into the DH role with Josh Hamilton, Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos occupying the three outifeld positions. The addition of Vargas (14-11, 3.85 ERA) gives Anaheim a much needed starter to fill out the rotation after losing Ervin Santana and Zack Greinke to trades and free agency.
Description: Outfielder Jason Bay has agreed to a one-year pact with the Seattle Mariners.
Insight: Seattle isn't far away from where he grew up in British Columbia so the deal makes sense for Bay. With that said, Bay is coming off a dismal season and we wouldn't expect him to improve much playing half of his games at pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.
Description: Seattle re-signed RHP Hisashi Iwakuma to a two-year contract extension with a club option for 2015.
Insight: If Seattle failed to reach an agreement with the pitcher by Saturday he would have become a free agent, and even if they re-signed him after the deadline he would have been ineligible to play for the Mariners until mid-May. The 31-year-old went 9-5 with a 3.16 ERA last season, though was even better as a starter, posting an 8-4 record and 2.65 ERA in 16 starts.
Description: Seattle didn't pick up catcher Miguel Olivo's option for next season.
Insight: Though he hits for a low average, Olivo has usually provided fantasy owners with decent power numbers. This year he failed to do that, smacking just 12 homers in 315 at bats. At age 34, it looks like Olivo's best fantasy years are behind him. Feel free to forget about him in next season's fantasy draft.
Description: Third baseman Chone Figgins would welcome a trade out of Seattle during the offseason.
Insight: Figgins told SportsPressNW.com's John Hickey on Wednesday that he wants to be traded. He still has $9 million left on his contract so moving Figgins is a lot easier said than done. After his dismal two homer, 11 RBI campaign in 2012, we're guessing teams won't be jumping out of their seats to try and acquire the disgruntled veteran.
Description: Seattle DH Jesus Montero is 5-for-9 (.556) against Angels righty Jered Weaver with four homers and a 2.444 OPS.
Insight: Montero has hit .258 with 15 HR and 59 RBI in 511 at-bats, but he's yet to turn the promise he showed in New York into season-long numbers. However, his statistics against a great pitcher like Weaver are extraordinary. Start him.
Description: Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma is 7-4 with a 2.83 ERA in 15 starts this season. The rookie righty beat the Angels Thursday by allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits with zero walks and three strikeouts in six innings.
Insight: Iwakuma started out in Seattle's bullpen but he's been excellent since joining the rotation in July.
Description: Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley won't be available for Tuesday's game against the Angels. Ackley is battling a stiff neck.
Insight: Ackley (.231, 12 HR, 50 RBI) missed both weekend games. We are expecting much more from the well-hyped second-year player, but he's just 24-years-old and still has plenty of time to mature into the hitter we all want to see.
Description: Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley won't be available for Saturday's game against Texas. Ackley is battling a stiff neck.
Insight: Ackley (.231, 12 HR, 50 RBI) is expected to be back in the lineup Sunday for the series finale. Tonight, Kyle Seager (.256, 18 HR, 81 RBI) will slide over to second base with Alex Liddi (.230, 3 HR, 10 RBI) getting the start at third base.
Description: Mariners infielder Kyle Seager had been a surprise performer this season with 18 homers and 81 RBIs, but he's not someone you want to be starting Saturday.
Insight: Seager has fantasy eligibility at second base, third base and shortstop, which makes his RBI total that much more valuable. However, a 1-for-15 career mark against Rangers starter Matt Harrison makes Seager unappealing Saturday.
Description: Catcher Miguel Olivo will have the night off Friday when the Mariners open their series with the Angels.
Insight: Olivo's production (.213, 9 HR, 24 RBI) is way down from last year when he recorded 19 long balls and 62 RBI in 130 games. Jesus Montero (.257, 14 HR, 52 RBI) is getting the start at catcher tonight for Seattle.
Description: Mariners ace Felix Hernandez stayed hot by firing a complete game shutout Monday night against the Twins.
Insight: King Felix has emerged as the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young award thanks to his briliant second half. Since the All-Star break, Hernandez is 7-0 with an incredible 1.23 ERA. Monday's shutout was his fifth of the season, a new career-high for the 26-year-old.
Description: Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo is only a spot starter these days, but he's a .476 career hitter (10-for-21) against Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn with three homers and a 1.571 OPS.
Insight: The Mariners are going with offensively superior Jesus Montero (.266, 12 HRs, 46 RBIs) and John Jaso (.286, 7 HR, 36 RBI) at catcher most of the time, but if you see Olivo's name in the starting lineup, take advantage of this matchup.
Description: Seattle starter Felix Hernandez threw the 23rd perfect game in major league history Wednesday afternoon in a 1-0 Mariners win over the Rays. Hernandez struck out 12 in the 113-pitch masterpiece.
Insight: This epic outing likely vaulted Hernandez back ahead of the pack in what has become a highly competitive AL Cy Young race. He's now 5-0 with a 1.44 ERA in seven appearances since the All-Star break. This performance also speaks volumes about Tampa Bay's offense, which was no-hit for the fourth time in the last four seasons on Wednesday.
Description: Mariners C/DH Jesus Montero is 0-for-6 in his career against Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.
Insight: Montero is batting .324 since the All-Star break with an OPS 199 points higher. Perhaps he's finally settled in as a key cog in the Mariners offense. Wednesday, however, is an unfavorable matchup.
Description: Mariners C/DH Jesus Montero is 5-for-6 (.833) in his career against Rays youngster Matt Moore.
Insight: Montero is batting .337 since the All-Star break with an OPS 231 points higher. perhaps he's finally settled in as a key cog in the Mariners offense. Despite the small sample size, Montero should be a must start on Tuesday.
Description: Mariners C/DH Jesus Montero has six multi-hit games in his last seven, including a two-homer game Sunday.
Insight: It should come as no surprise that Montero's big day Sunday came from the catching position. In 162 plate appearances as a catcher this season, Montero is hitting .316 with eight homers and 22 RBIs, compared to .242/4/23 in 237 plate appearances as the designated hitter.
Description: Mariners starter Jason Vargas has won six of his last seven starts to improve to 13-8.
Insight: Vargas pitched into the ninth inning against the Angels Sunday, holding them to one run on seven hits and striking out five. The left-hander has registered a 1.88 ERA over his last nine starts.
Description: According to the Associated Press, X-rays on Seattle starter Felix Hernandez' left hand came back negative, Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. Hernandez was hit in the left wrist with a line drive Sunday against Kansas City but he stayed in the game.
Insight: Luckily, Hernandez only has a bruise. The right-hander was able to hold Kansas City to two runs on five hits in seven innings Sunday but he took a no decision when Seattle's bullpen blew the lead.
Description: Mariners infielder Kyle Seager has 62 RBIs this season, a total that puts him first among second basemen and shortstops.
Insight: Seager (.245, 11 HR, 62 RBIs, 42 R, 9 SB) is eligible at second, third and short. While his batting average and OPS are both low, the infielder could reach the 15-homer, 100-RBI and 15-steal plateaus. That gives him value in all formats.
Description: Mariners C/DH Jesus Montero is not in the starting nine for Seattle's series opener Thursday versus Kansas City.
Insight: Montero (.258, 9 HRs, 38 RBIs) has looked like a completely different hitter since the All-Star break (.341 average since the break, .245 before it) but tonight he'll ride the bench while Miguel Olivo (.198, 7 HRs, 18 RBIs) gets the start at catcher.
Description: For those hoping that Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak would find his swing, he'll have to do it in the minors as the team sent him to Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday.
Insight: Smoak is hitting just .189 for the season with 13 HR and 38 RBI, but he's never lived up to the hype as a first-round selection in 2008 (11th overall). He was traded to Seattle from Texas in the six-player Cliff Lee deal.
Description: Mariners starter Jason Vargas has allowed just eight earned runs in his last 35 2/3 innings following his disasterous start on June 20 (4 1/3, 9 H, 10 ER).
Insight: Vargas (10-7, 3.91 ERA) held Tampa Bay to one unearned run in six innings Saturday for his fifth straight quality start. He's been much better at home this season but he's now won three straight road starts, so he's safe to play anywhere.
Description: Mariners C/DH Jesus Montero belted a homer and drove in four runs while going 3-for-4 Thursday against Kansas City.
Insight: Montero (.262, 9 HR, 36 RBIs) has raised his average 20 points with an 10-for-17 with three doubles, one homer and eight RBIs in his last four games. The former Yankees prospect has been a disappointment with Seattle this season, but there's still plenty of time for him to make an impact.
Description: Mariners second baseman won't be on the field for the rubber match of Seattle's three-game series with Texas on Sunday.
Insight: Ackley went 1-9 in the first two games of the series. He hasn't made much noise in fantasy so far this season (.230, 5 HRs, 25 RBIs in 84 games) and given the lack of help around him in the Mariners' lineup, we wouldn't expect much out of Ackley in the season's second half either.
Description: Seattle ace Felix Hernandez lowered his season ERA to 2.92 after turning in another masterful performance against the AL West-leading Texas Rangers Saturday night at Safeco Field. The 26-year-old tossed nine scoreless frames, allowing three hits and striking out 12.
Insight: The complete game shutout was Hernandez's second of the season. With his 12 strikeouts, Hernandez (7-5) was able to pass Tigers starter Justin Verlander for the American League lead in strikeouts. It's also worth noting that the offensively challenged Mariners actually provided Hernandez with some decent run support on Saturday by scoring seven runs. That's been a rarity this season.
Description: Mariners C/DH Jesus Montero is not in the lineup Saturday against Texas.
Insight: Montero (.242, 8 HRs, 28 RBIs) returned to the lineup Friday after a nine-day absence. He had been suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Montero's bat has gone ice cold recently. The former Yankee is hitless in his last 25 at bats.
Description: Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has not been fooled by anything new import Yu Darvish has thrown him. He's batting .714 (5-for-7) against him this season.
Insight: Ichiro is only a shell of the fantasy star who led the league in hits for five consecutive years from 2006-10 and seven times in 11 seasons, but apparently he gets up for his matchups with Darvish. Start him on Saturday.
Description: Imagine how many wins Mariners starter Felix Hernandez could rack up with a team that scores more than 3.87 runs-per-game. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, it appears that its just a dream as Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said Hernandez "ain't going anywhere."
Insight: Hernandez is 6-5 this season despite a 3.13 ERA, 1.229 WHIP and league-leading 128 strikeouts. From 2006-2011 Hernandez has averaged just 13.5 wins a season.
Description: Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has faced Bartolo Colon 79 times in his career and he's managed to collect 24 hits for a .304 batting average.
Insight: Ichiro went 0-for-20 from July 1 to July 6, but he picked up two hits Saturday and has a favorable matchup Sunday. The Japanese outfielder appears to be fading into mediocrity quickly and he really hasn't done much to warrant fantasy consideration this season, but those who are still holding onto him should get him in the lineup Sunday.
Description: Seattle C/DH Jesus Montero is is doubtful for Saturday's game against Oakland with a concussion.
Insight: Montero (.245, 8 HRs, 28 RBIs) hasn't had the type of season fantasy owners were hoping for after a strong showing for the Yankees at the end of the 2011 season (.328, 4 HRs, 12 RBIs in 18 games). He's hitless in his last 22 at bats.
Description: Seattle C/DH Jesus Montero has been ruled out for Friday night's game against the A's. Montero is battling a mild concussion right now.
Insight: Montero (.245, 8 HRs, 28 RBIs) hasn't had the type of season fantasy owners were hoping for after a strong showing for the Yankees at the end of the 2011 season (.328, 4 HRs, 12 RBIs in 18 games). He's hitless in his last 22 at bats.
Description: Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma is expected to assume Hector Noesi's spot in Seattle's rotation after the All-Star break, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
Insight: Iwakuma is 1-1 with a 4.84 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 15 appearances this season, including one start. The Japanese right-hander has struggled with control, walking 18 batters in 35 1/3 innings, so he may have a difficult time going deep into games as a starter.
Description: Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has faced young Orioles starter Jason Hammel seven times and has collected five hits (.714).
Insight: Ichiro has batted .353 over the past two weeks to raise his average to .271, still well below his career average of .323. Other than 11 stolen bases, he's done little to warrant fantasy attention.
Description: Seattle DH Jesus Montero won't start Saturday night's game against the Red Sox.
Insight: John Jaso (.277, 3 HRs, 18 RBIs) will occupy the DH slot for the Mariners tonight. Montero (.253, 8 HRs, 28 RBIs) went 0-3 in Friday night's game and overall, he's hitless in his last 13 at bats.
Description: Mariners starter Felix Hernandez appears to be back on track after throwing his third straight dominant outing Thursday night against the Red Sox.
Insight: Hernandez tossed his first complete game of the season and fifth shutout of his career in a five-hit, 13-strikeout game Thursday. The right-hander has allowed two earned runs on 17 hits in his last 23 innings after giving up 25 on 51 hits in the previous 35 1/3.
Description: Despite leaving his last start with a groin injury, Seattle starter Kevin Millwood is confident he'll be able to make his next turn in the starting rotation.
Insight: Millwood (3-6, 4.00 ERA) won't win fantasy owners many games playing for the lowly Mariners, but his ERA has been hovering in the threes most of the season and lefties are hitting only .248 against him in 2012. He's not your best starting pitching often but Millwood won't really hurt you either.
Description: Seattle starter Kevin Millwood left Wednesday's game with a groin injury.
Insight: Millwood allowed one run on one hit in 2 2/3 innings before leaving. The right-hander left a no-hitter in the sixth inning with a groin injury several weeks ago and didn't make another start for eight days. He may be out a little longer after his latest injury.
Description: Mariners starter Hector Noesi fell to 2-9 after losing to the Padres on Sunday. Noesi pitched well, holding San Diego to two runs on seven hits in six innings while also going 2-for-2 at the plate. However, the rest of his team went 3-for-29.
Insight: Noesi (2-9, 5.50) has potential to be a useful fantasy starter, but until he starts to show some consistency you can stay away from him.
Description: All signs point to Seattle starter Kevin Millwood being a solid streaming option Friday at San Diego. Millwood is owned in just 13 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Insight: Millwood (3-5, 3.69) is 2-3 with a 2.44 ERA in seven road starts this season and 8-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 17 career starts against the Padres. Plus, San Diego is second to last in baseball in runs scored.
Description: Mariners young second baseman Dustin Ackley has already faced Trevor Cahill 10 times in his career and is batting .500 with a 1.683 OPS in the matchup.
Insight: Ackley came up in mid-season last year with much fanfare, but hasn't yet backed it up with his performance. He was recently dropped from the top of the lineup to seventh in the order and at this point should only be on a fantasy roster in keeper leagues. For Wednesday, however, he might be a viable option.
Description: Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo is out again Tuesday night against the Diamondbacks.
Insight: The Mariners are going with the offensively superior Jesus Montero (.266, 8 HRs, 28 RBIs) at catcher again on Tuesday. It looks like we won't be seeing much of Olivo (.211, 5 HRs, 15 RBIs) until interleague play is over.
Description: Mariners starter Felix Hernandez (back) allowed one run on six hits in seven innings in a no decision Sunday against San Francisco. Hernandez walked one and struck out seven.
Insight: King Felix has been a court jester on the mound as of late. Hernandez came into Sunday having gone 1-4 with a 6.37 ERA in his last six starts. All of that damage was not done in one or two starts either. Hernandez gave up four runs or more in five of those six starts and 10 hits or more three of them. Hopefully he's over the back injury that has plagued him and can get back to dominating opponents.
Description: The Mariners activated outfielder Franklin Gutierrez from the DL on Wednesday. Gutierrez has yet to play in a major league game so far in 2012, missing time with pectoral and heel injuries.
Insight: Gutierrez is expected to start in center field in Thursday's series finale against the Padres. He was terrible last season (.224, 1 HR, 19 RBIs) but he finished with 12 HRs and 64 RBIs in 2010, so you might want to keep an eye out for Gutierrez if you're struggling to find a fourth or fifth outfielder.
Description: Seattle starting pitcher Blake Beavan has been demoted to Triple-A.
Insight: The Mariners decided they had seen enough after Beavan's last awful outing Sunday against the Dodgers (2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER). Beavan (3-6, 5.92 ERA) could return to the majors later on in the year if any of Seattle's starters wind up on the DL.
Description: Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been called up from Triple-A Tacoma to start Thursday. Kevin Millwood (groin) will be pushed back to Saturday.
Insight: Ramirez has a 3.11 ERA in seven starts at Triple-A. He took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his last start and has allowed just four runs in 21 1/3 innings over his last three turns. Ramirez also has a 2.45 ERA in seven relief appearances for Seattle this season. He's worth a flier against the light-hitting Padres Thursday.
Description: Seattle outfielder Michael Saunders is hitting .337 over the past month with three homers and five stolen bases.
Insight: Saunders has put together a solid start and can help in multiple categories. For the season he's batting .281 with seven homers, 22 RBI, 10 stolen bases and a 0.824 OPS. He's just 25-years-old, getting his first opportunity as a full-time outfielder and should continue to get better.
Description: Mariners manager Eric Wedge said the team is still waiting to determine starter Kevin Millwood's status for his start Thursday. If his groin is still sore, Seattle could move Jason Vargas' start up a day.
Insight: Millwood (3-5) left his start Friday during a no-hitter due to a mild groin strain, though five Mariners relievers finished the job for him. The right-hander has gone 3-1 with a 1.46 ERA in his last six starts.
Description: Mariners starter Felix Hernandez (back) is probable for Tuesday's scheduled start against San Diego.
Insight: The Mariners ace was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday due to a sore back. Seattle had off days Thursday and Monday, so they were cautious and held Hernandez out until next today. Hernandez is 4-2 against the Padres in his career with a 3.07 ERA.
Description: Brandon League appears to be close to winning back the closer's job in Seattle.
Insight: Since his blown save May 25th against the Angels, League has an ERA of 1.35 in six appearances. It looks like League got the message from manager Eric Wedge and it shouldn't be long before we see him working the ninth inning again.
Description: Mariners starter Kevin Millwood had a no-hitter going when he was forced to leave Friday night's game with a mild groin strain. The Mariners staff did complete the no-hit game over the Dodgers.
Insight: Millwood (3-5) has been very good of late, yielding one or no runs in five of his last six outings. He's not a big strikeout guy, but if he's not stopped by this injury you could use him as a temporary fix for your starting staff.
Description: Mariners middle infield prospect Nick Franklin is batting .351 with two doubles, two triple and two homers for Double-A Jackson. Franklin is hitting .337 with 16 doubles, four triples four homers and seven steals in 48 games this season.
Insight: Franklin is ranked No. 48 on MLB.com's list of top 100 prospects. He led the Southern League in hitting and slugging while ranking third in OBP through Sunday. The shortstop was a first-round pick in 2009, and though he's yet to prove himself at the Triple-A level, Seattle may be quick to elevate him through its system due to its 26th-ranked batting average, 28th-ranked OBP and 25th-ranked slugging percentage. Plus, the Mariners aren't exactly set at shortstop with Brendan Ryan (.164/.265/.252) getting regular at-bats there.
Description: Seattle outfielder Michael Saunders is batting .450 (9-for-20) with two homers, four RBIs and a stolen base in five games this month.
Insight: Saunders finished May by going 7-for-14 and his hot streak has carried over into June. The 6-foot-4 outfielder has six homers and eight steals on the season, so he clearly has multi-category potential.
Description: Mariners starter Felix Hernandez (back) hopes to return Sunday after he throws a bullpen session Friday.
Insight: The Mariners ace was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday due to a sore back. Seattle has off days Thursday and Monday, so it can afford to be cautious and hold Hernandez out until next Tuesday.
Description: The Mariners ace Felix Hernandez will miss Wednesday's scheduled start against Los Angeles due to a sore back. Hector Noesi will start on short rest.
Insight: The Mariners ace righthander will be re-evaluated on Thursday. Hernandez has given up 22 runs in his last 29 1/3 innings pitched so something wasn't right. Hopefully, it won't mean a trip to the disabled list.
Description: Seattle DH Jesus Montero won't be a part of the Mariners starting lineup on Monday night.
Insight: No word on any injury for Montero so it's likely just a day of rest. Montero (.259, 7 HR, 27 RBI) is hitting .389 with 1 HR and 4 RBIs over his past four games. He is owned in a little over 86 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues right now.
Description: Seattle C/DH Jesus Montero has faced Ervin Santana just six times, but he's still seeking his first hit off the veteran right-hander. He's struck out on three of the six at-bats.
Insight: Montero (.259, 7 HR, 27 RBI) will return to being a full-time DH with the activation of Miguel Olivo from the disabled list, but has played catcher enough to qualify at the position and has value as a fantasy catcher. However, there is little value in starting him on Monday in this unfavorable matchup.
Description: Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak is a lifetime .385 hitter (5-for-13) versus Angels starter Ervin Santana.
Insight: Smoak has blasted five homers and driven in 15 runs while batting .333 over the past 11 games. He's still not hitting for an overall high average, batting just .238 for the season, but he and the Mariners lineup are beginning to show some life.
Description: The Mariners are still unsure if Felix Hernandez will be able to make his next start Wednesday against the Angels. Hernandez injured his back pitching in Friday night's game against the White Sox.
Insight: The Mariners righthander will try to throw a bullpen session on Monday so we should know more about his availablity for Wednesday in the next 24 hours.
Description: Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-6 with a pair of solo homers against the White Sox on Saturday.
Insight: Back in the leadoff spot for the second straight game, Ichiro led off the game with a homer before hitting another one in the third. However, he'll have to raise his average closer to .300 to warrant a roster spot in mixed leagues. He's currently batting just .271. Anyone who owns or starts Ichiro right now is just fishing for past glory.
Description: Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki will bat leadoff for the first time this season
Insight: In 2012, Ichiro has been a major fantasy disappointment (.271, 1 HR, 17 RBIs, 7 SBs). Perhaps a return to the top of the lineup will perk up hit statistics. Third baseman Kyle Seager is hitting third.
Description: Casper Wells has been solid in his return to the minor leagues. Since joining the Triple-A Tacoma Rainers back on May 25th, Wells has posted a .350 average with one home run and seven RBIs.
Insight: Wells struggled in his 25 games with the Mariners earlier in the year (.213, 1 HRs, 7 RBIs) but he played fairly well for Seattle in 95 games last season (.237, 11 HRs, 27 RBIs). If Wells keeps hitting at this torrid pace, he should be back in the big leagues soon.
Description: Dustin Ackley is out of the lineup on Monday.
Insight: Ackley has only missed one game this season so Seattle is just giving him another night off. It's convenient because Ackley has never gotten a hit against Matt Harrison, who will be on the mound for Texas tonight.
Description: Brandon League has been relieved of his duties as closer after blowing his fourth save of the season Friday against the Angels.
Insight: League has only converted two saves in his last five oppotunities and his ERA is over seven in the month of May. Eric Wedge has not named a new closer though Tom Wilhelmsen (1-1, 4.44 ERA in 23 appearances) could be a possibility.
Description: Seattle C/DH Jesus Montero probably wouldn't mind the day off with Angels pitcher Ervin Santana on the mound. He's faced him three times and struck out in each at-bat.
Insight: Sure, its a small sample size, but it would be nice to know that your hitter can at least put the ball in play. Montero is batting .262 this season with six homers and 22 RBi is his first full season and has plenty of potential, just not for today's game.
Description: Mariners' No. 1 prospect Danny Hultzen struck out a career-high 12 batters while giving up a run on five hits in six innings on Wednesday for Double-A Jackson.
Insight: Hultzen was the No. 2 overall pick last season, one spot in front of the Diamondbacks' Trevor Bauer. Bauer has already been promoted to Triple-A, and Hultzen may follow him soon if he continues to pitch as well as he has. The lefty is 4-3 with a 1.78 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings. He needs to work on his command, as indicated by his 25 walks, but he clearly has dominant stuff -- opposing batters have a .146 batting average against him.
Description: Kevin Millwood followed up his first shutout since 2003 by throwing six shutout innings against the Rangers on Wednesday.
Insight: Millwood has won three straight starts after starting out 0-4. He's dropped his ERA by more than two runs in that span, allowing one earned run in 22 innings. Millwood no doubt earned some trust from fantasy owners by beating the Yankees, Rockies and Rangers during his personal three-game winning streak.
Description: Seattle second baseman Dustin Ackley is still looking for his first hit off Texas starter Matt Harrison after 11 at-bats.
Insight: The highly touted Ackley, who was the second pick of the 2009 MLB draft behind Stephen Strasburg, is struggling to live up to expectations. So far this season he's batting just .257 with a .695 OPS.