Can Mariners live up to goals in 2nd half?

This story was excerpted from Daniel Kramer’s Mariners Beat e-newsletter. To learn the complete e-newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it usually in your inbox.

SEATTLE — After an thrilling All-Star Week that showcased the Pacific Northwest, welcome to the second half of the common season.

The Mariners have climbed to 3rd place within the American League West, six video games out of the division lead and 4 video games behind the final AL Wild Card. It’s promising, however additionally they sit amongst a crowded discipline, and with the Aug. 1 Commerce Deadline looming, this stretch to persuade the entrance workplace so as to add is essential.

“We talked loads about this early within the season, attempting to do an excessive amount of, reside as much as expectations,” supervisor Scott Servais mentioned throughout All-Star Media Day. “And positively we have had expectations on us this yr, which does change issues slightly bit. And after they do not go properly, you strive too onerous.”

Earlier than we look forward to the ultimate stretch, let’s put a bow on the primary half:

What we realized within the first half: The skeptics had some extent

The one evident criticism of Seattle’s offseason was that it didn’t do sufficient to bolster a lineup that had clear limitations final yr regardless of reaching the postseason.

Their largest addition, Teoscar Hernández, had a powerful June and has proven some flashes of elite energy, however he additionally has a 30.9% strikeout charge and has been very increase or bust. The opposite large add, second baseman Kolten Wong, would possibly’ve been designated for project by now if it weren’t for his $10 million wage.

By not including extra final offseason, the Mariners pigeonholed themselves to both swing large on the Commerce Deadline, after they have much less management, or hope that what they’ve obtained makes a flip.

Commerce Deadline technique: Get that run-producing bat

The excellent news is that the Mariners went into the break 7-2 to drag near postseason rivalry — as a result of if they’d spiraled within the different route, it might’ve put their entrance workplace in a precarious spot to doubtlessly promote, moderately than add.

And if it buys, Seattle ought to swing for a minimum of one high-caliber bat. For the second straight yr, the Mariners have had a principally average-to-below-average offense, reaching the break with a collective slash line of .233/.312/.391 (.703 OPS) that’s been good for a 101 wRC+ (league common is 100).

For a crew that thrives on the draft, develop and commerce mannequin, that is its time to shine. That mentioned, this yr’s market appears much more murky, given the shortage of distinct sellers. The Cardinals look like the clearest associate, however they will certainly sell high.

Key participant to observe: CF Julio Rodríguez

Who else? In each conceivable style, Seattle goes so far as its finest participant. Within the 43 wins that Rodríguez has been a part of, he has a slash line of .308/.363/.487 (850 OPS), and within the 44 losses that he’s performed in, that clip is .189/.255/.333 (.588 OPS). Put merely, the Mariners want Rodríguez to be an elite participant down the stretch in the event that they wish to attain the postseason once more.

That mentioned, maybe with the stress behind him of not simply being chosen to the All-Star Sport, but additionally, being a headline host of it, perhaps he’ll be capable to gradual issues down some.

“These are emotional moments that take loads out of you,” president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto mentioned on his weekly radio hit with Seattle Sports activities 710. “ After which going by means of all of the glad-handing, the events, the household, each a kind of gamers had household in to come back see him and that is its personal stress. So I am hoping that Julio has spent the final 48 hours simply sleeping and catching up on slowing life down, as a result of he did carry numerous load.”

Prospect to observe: RHP Emerson Hancock (No. 5)

After the promotions of Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo, Hancock represents the subsequent wave of top-end pitching expertise within the Mariners’ pipeline, and on condition that the membership will have to be inventive to curb the innings of the 2 who preceded him, it’s definitely attainable that the Mariners will discover a option to work Hancock into the combination down the stretch. The 2020 first-round decide reached 98 1/3 innings final yr and is at 73 thus far in ‘23, leaving him with a pleasant leash heading into late summer season.

Hancock’s numbers have been marred by a couple of clunkers — 4 outings of a minimum of six runs surrendered — however he strung collectively 5 outings in June by which he went 4-0 with a 1.74 ERA to earn the Mariners’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month honors.

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Revealed : 2023-07-14 19:36:07

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