In the Mariners’ first two years under manager Scott Servais, they remained in the playoff conversation into the final weeks of the season. That was despite sluggish starts in April both years, however.
Servais hopes that Seattle can reverse its fortunes at the start of the regular season in 2018, and he has a reason why the Mariners should be able to do so.
“I think the one thing that excites me about this group is that we do not have the turnover on our roster,” Servais told Brock and Salk at Mariners spring training Wednesday. “We’ve got just a couple of new guys, and the continuity in the clubhouse, guys understanding each other (is) really, really important.”
The Mariners went 86-76 in 2016, Servais’ rookie season as skipper, but they started the year at 2-6 and didn’t get over .500 for good until late July. That factored into Seattle missing out on a wild card spot by three games. It was a similar case in 2017, as the Mariners went 11-15 in April and eventually finished seven games behind the American League’s last playoff team with a final record of 78-84.
Servais said that the experiences of those two seasons showed him the importance of having players return from the previous year.
“I think in baseball you think you can kinda just fire it all together and if it looks good on paper it should automatically work,” he said. “I’ve felt the last couple years the month of April we were just feeling ourselves out. I really feel this year because we have a better understanding of how each other plays and how all the pieces come together helps us hopefully get out of the gate quicker in April, create a little bit more buzz around our team in Safeco Field and around Seattle.
“What have I learned? I think the value of being consistent.”
You can hear Servais’ full interview in this podcast.