As about eight Mariners get their running in at Petco Park - Cliff Lee ran earlier, and alone - Seattle and its 23 wins matches the second fewest in baseball.
The simplest explanation, and one offered by general manager Jack Zduriencik, is that a team that over-achieved in 2009 is badly under-achieving in 2010.
Clearly, that's true for Mariners like Felix Hernandez and Chone Figgins, two veterans with track records.
Then there are players like Doug Fister, Jason Vargas, Shawn Kelley, Cliff Lee, Franklin Gutierrez, Ichiro Suzuki and Josh Wilson. None have under-achieved - and the team still has just 23 wins.
When the Mariners put together a 25-man roster over the off-season and into spring training, did they expect Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Sweeney to be the answer?
Was Ian Snell? Jack Wilson? Casey Kotchman? Milton Bradley?
Who was supposed to replace Russell Branyan or Jarrod Washburn? Where was the offense going to come from with young catchers Rob Johnson, who hit .213 year, and rookie Adam Moore?
How effective was a bench made up of Michael Saunders, Matt Tuiasosopo and Ryan Langerhans?
Injuries have played a major role for Seattle, in large part because the minor league system offered no depth. When Cliff Lee missed a month, when setup man Mark Lowe went down in May and couldn't get up, when Erik Bedard's comeback efforts slowed, there was no one in the wings to step in.
When Zduriencik was hired to turn the franchise around, and he hired Don Wakamatsu as his manager, it was a long-term project. Teams don't get ruined overnight, they can't be rebuilt in a year.
Not all trades have worked. The one that brought Jack Wilson and Snell from Pittsburgh, for instance, didn't help either team much - Jeff Clement is back in AAA and Ronny Cededno is a reserve.
Figgins was a long-term addition in a year when the Mariners probably could have used a run producer, not a run scorer. Kotchman was a longshot - like Ryan Garko, Eric Byrnes, Kanekoa Texeira, Jesus Colome and others.
Last year, everything worked and a 101-loss team won 85 games. The team hoped Wakamatsu and his staff could repeat it, build on it - and gave him Griffey and Sweeney, Bradley and Byrnes, Snell and Wilson and wished him luck.
The building of a team continues. Zduriencik has been asked to reconstrucst a major league team and a minor league system at the same time. Wakamatsu has been asked to win with a dysfunctional roster with too many holes.
It's a process, and it's slowed down.