01 July 2015

2013 SEGA Card-Gen Extravaganza 12: Seattle Mariners

It's time for another installment of the 2013 SEGA Card-Gen set. This post features the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners' team contains 13 cards, which matches the 13 players per team average across the 390-card set.

The set jumps right over the catcher and first base positions to get to Dustin Ackley at second base. 2012 was the last season that Ackley played most of his games at second base, though, as in 2013-2015 most of his playing time has come in the outfield. Apparently now Seattle has got another guy at second base. His numbers in 2015 haven't been very good at all, but he was a valuable player from 2011-2014.

Kyle Seager is a pretty good player but that doesn't translate as well to the fantasy baseball world, so I was under the impression that he is doing much worse than he actually is. He must be a plus defender or something. I don't know. All of the Mariners' home games are blacked out on my MLB.tv subscription because they are the 'local' team, so I don't actually get to see much of them.

At shortstop is Brendan Ryan, who in this photo looks like he should be named Cletus. It's been a little while since he was very relevant. He is currently in the Yankees organization, and it looks like he has spent much of this season injured and/or in the minors. It was interesting to see that he was drafted out of Lewis-Clark State College, a little school in the northern part of my home state of Idaho.

Michael Morse got his first big-league playing time with Seattle, but was traded to the Washington Nationals for a few years before being traded back to the Mariners in 2013. He spent part of 2013 with the Mariners and then got traded to the Orioles. In a bit of perfect timing, he signed with the Giants for 2014 and won himself a Championship ring. He is currently in the Marlins organization.

Michael Saunders has put together some decent stretches of playing, but has some injury history and even had a spat with Mariners management in 2014 over his perceived (lack of) work ethic. That got him traded to the Blue Jays, where he injured his knee tripping on a sprinkler. He might make it back to the Blue Jays some time this season.

Eric Thames didn't even play Major League Baseball in 2013, which makes his inclusion in this set an interesting choice. After playing in the minors for Seattle and Baltimore in 2013, he found his niche as a superstar in Korea's top baseball league, where he is among the league leaders in many batting categories.

Seattle's Card-Gen roster gets two designated hitters, both shown on their cards wearing other teams' uniforms. Morales played with the Angels until he was traded to the Mariners before the 2013 season. After the season, the Mariners granted him his free agency and he signed with the Twins, only to be traded back to the Mariners partway through the year, This year he plays for the Royals. I saw him hit a home run this evening against my Astros, but it wasn't enough to keep the Astros from sweeping the 3-game series as they won the game 6-5. My eldest son has started taking some interest in watching baseball games with me, learning about outs, innings, and runs.

Ibanez bounced around quite a bit in his career, playing three different stints with the Mariners, the team that originally drafted him. His 2013 run with the team lasted just one year, and he spent parts of 2014 with the Angels and Royals before calling it a career. He finished with 2,034 hits and 305 home runs over 19 seasons, placing him somewhere in the Hall of Pretty Good.

King Felix is the one superstar on this otherwise pretty mediocre roster. He gets a full 8-star rating and plenty of big numbers on the back of his card. He is a perennial All-Star and Cy Young contender. It's a shame that he has to toil away on a Seattle team that never really puts it all together. I guess getting a pretty good photo on his 2013 SEGA Card-Gen card is an okay consolation prize.

Hisashi Iwakuma came into the league in 2012 as a 31-year old rookie after a successful career in Japan. He has been consistently pretty good for the Mariners, with a really good 2013 in which he was an All-Star and 3rd in the Cy Young vote. He started off 2015 pretty poorly, which pretty quickly turned into a DL stint. He has been making minor league rehab appearances lately, so he could be returning to the Mariners pretty soon. I hope that he does well on his return, as he is one of my fringe PC guys.

Lucas Luetge made 63 appearances for the Mariners in 2012, about half that with 35 appearances in 2013, and about a third of that number with 12 appearances in 2014. He pitched 2.1 innings in an April game for them in 2015, and he has spent the rest of the season in AAA. He fills a basic bullpen slot. I guess the Card-Gen game needed a few middle-of-the-road bullpen arms so players could go cheap on their relievers and spend their points on power hitters and ace pitchers.

Up next is a guy who owns the spot next to Rusty Kuntz in the Dirty Name Hall of Fame, Charlie Furbush. He has been a pretty good reliever for the Mariners, putting up decent numbers in the middle innings for the last few years. But his main contribution to the world of baseball is his name.

Tom Wilhelmsen spent much of 2012 and 2013 as the Mariners' closer before giving way to Fernando Rodney and returning to a role in the bullpen. He hasn't been all that great this year and he wasn't really a great closer either, but he filled the role for a while.

And that's it for the 2013 SEGA Card-Gen Seattle Mariners. The team is surprisingly short on star power for those of us who still associate superstars like Griffey Jr., A-Roid, and Randy Johnson with the team.

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