Michael Saunders has had his ups and downs over the years and it was looking like there wouldn't be another chance for him at all this spring, but the Mariners organization just won't give up on him. Another year, another swing, another opportunity. That opportunity became even greater when Franklin Gutierrez went down with a torn pectoral muscle.
Here we are now, after playing in 8 games this spring to date, Michael Saunders is hitting .409 with 3 doubles and a homerun. Saunders hit two of those doubles today to help lead the Mariners to a 7 - 4 victory over the Brewers and Zack Greinke.
Saunders struggled so much last year that it was almost painful to watch him come to the plate. I wasn't anticipating much from him at all, even after Guti went down. I fully expected that Casper Wells would land the center field duties.
Everyone seems to talk about Saunders athleticism and how he would be a sure candidate for the center field job. I didn't think it would ever happen. In an interview on Seattle Mariner media day, Saunders had talked about his new swing that he had been working on and how it is something that he was getting comfortable with, but in the interview he seemed unsure of himself. Maybe he's uncomfortable in front of the camera.
Being that the M's are so high on Saunders, I fully anticipate that he will win that starting roster spot in center. If his hitting can continue in the regular season, I would even go as far to say he may be splitting duties in center with Gutierrez upon return from the DL. Crazier things have happened, but maybe Saunders has found his groove and maybe the M's are lucky enough to have held onto him to figure it out. Usually players figure these things out after they leave Seattle.
So, what is your opinion? Do you think Saunders has finally found his way to the MLB to stay? Or, do you think that this is just another flash in the pan at Spring Training? I would love to hear your thoughts!