"Whistling past the graveyard" - thass a cleeeeeean push there Diderot. As always you make the 'case against' forcefully and with reality-based examples.
If Cano, Cruz and Seager especially - guys you cannot feasibly 'punish' - if the team captains throw away April and May games by getting tossed out at 3B and HR it's going to go a looooooong way towards a losing chemistry and season. Scott Servais can (and no doubt does) make this very point to them, but it's on those three to bear down when on the basepaths.
You have to budget for injuries, and IMHO the Mariners can budget for a handful. They can't budget for 35 pitching injuries :- ) and they can't budget for a James Paxton injury unless the offense is prepared to put up a 115-120 type season.
The farm system is down to three cigarettes on a match, no doubts there, so that's 2 of the 3 player acquisition methods that we've locked ourselves out of (when you include the Free Agency talent reservoir that other teams are helping themselves to, right now helping themselves to with both hands.) Let's hope the brilliance of the Gordon/Diaz/whatever inventiveness can overcome that.
The good news is that Dipoto WILL spend $10-15 mill on a Gordon/Leake/Lind type that he thinks is a clever sleight-of-hand-move. So I guess the M's have 1.5 of 3-4 player onload tracks.
In any case, I'd love to see what a healthy Haniger/Paxton/Zuumball/Cruz season would look like - am sure you do too amigo :- )
I suppose you have to try to stay avante garde on the mental-performance/injury staff but .... it seems to me like all pro sports teams, that's every sport, already put avalanches of effort into this with little to no return. To me it's a roll of the dice, as to whether a fastball hits Cruz on the hand, and you tell me whether there's anything you can do about it other than try to build up your draws at the deck. .... be the team that is willing to snag Gerrit Cole, I guess.
Dr. D would welcome the input of Denizens as to just how much "budgeting for injuries" the 2018 ballclub has baked in. If an OF gets injured, for example, we can slide things around (even Ichiro or Haniger or Gamel into CF, Oakland-style) and if we take one big hit to the IF (3B, SS or 2B with Romine or Motter moving in, or Zuumball taking one off his thumb and us losing that production) then it will be up to a 'Bach or a 'Boom to step up and carry one IF injury.
I'm personally not petrified about any particular single pitching injury, because I'm intrigued by Whalen and Povse and Moore, and I've got to admit that Ariel Miranda looks like the #5 starter on an okay team. It does seem like JeDi pulled off a smooooth maneuver reeling in Nicasio in case Diaz is the "budgeted" one that the DL sniper gets from the rooftop; I'm very pleased that we have a certifiable backup closer.
Also the #7-8 relievers are looking attractive to me with Altavilla (?) throwing so well, and an SP dropping back (free safety-style) into a position from where he can cover 3 IP at a time.
It's a club that does seem to have draws at the deck and if Paxton, the IF and the C stay on the field the 'Frame is looking forward to '18.
PS it may seem cheesy and may draw some snickers around the league but objectively speaking, is there really anything wrong with Ichiro soaking up some innings in blowouts? Seriously, that means something on a 25-man roster, "buffering" the top 7 guys who would otherwise have to use up an appearance. It's not like you have a .350 hitter to lose any more. Have you seen his overhand curve? Check the 2:00 mark on this vid :- )