The Seattle Mariners have only played four games. All of them have come against the Oakland Athletics. As such, it seems rather absurd to get too excited over anything that has happened thus far. But, gosh, isn't it kind of exciting to see Chone Figgins play the way he is? Figgins has been the colossal bust in Seattle since signing that four year, $36 million dollar contract after his 6.9 fWAR season for the Angels in 2009. He fell hard in 2010 but still had a semblance of value. But last year he really bottomed out becoming one of the least valuable players in all of baseball. And then his manager, Eric Wedge, proclaimed before the start of Spring Training that Figgins would lead off and Ichiro Suzuki would bat third. We all scoffed. This space said that Wedge had lost his mind. Again, it is very early, but don't we all look pretty stupid right now?
After four games, Chone Figgins is batting .412 after starting the season seven for seventeen. In yesterday's win, Figgins went three for five with a double and a triple. He is the Mariners' early leader in RBIs despite his lead off spot. This looks like the 2009 Chone Figgins, doesn't it? And if it is, how much difference does that make this Seattle Mariners team? A big difference.
Why? Because as predicted in this space, Ichiro Suzuki is going to bounce back from last season despite his advanced age, Dustin Ackley is going to hit a ton and Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero really haven't gotten going yet. When they do, this could be a vastly improved offense than we have seen in Seattle for the past couple of seasons and Figgins is the key to it all. Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders are off to good starts as is Brendan Ryan at short. This offense could be on to something.
And it all starts with Chone Figgins. If the Mariners can get something close to the 2009 version of Figgins instead of the 2010 and 2011 versions, then this could be a lot more fun a season for Mariners' fans than previously thought. To continue our Easter theme, thus far Chone Figgins is like Lazarus--back from the dead.