Mariners notebook: Jerry Dipoto on Seattle’s quick turnaround
The Mariners have the chance to make a good homestand a great one with a sweep of the Royals as they send Taijuan Walker to the hill Sunday.
Prior to the game, Jerry Dipoto joined Aaron Goldsmith and Mike Blowers on the Mariners Magazine show on 710 ESPN and gave his thoughts on what he has seen so far. Needless to say, there has been plenty of good.
“The 12 guys we broke camp with we couldn’t be happier with, the way they got through the first month of the season,” he said. “Some adjustments were needed and they were made and overall I think the club is playing really well.”
The Mariners would appear to have weathered the early storm, bouncing back with an 11-4 record since an early five-game losing streak.
“The first homestand was just terrible,” said Dipoto. “We played poorly, there was a malaise around the ballpark and I think everybody expected the sky to fall. (laughs) It was my first introduction to people expecting the sky to fall. Scott did a good job of holding the sky up. I think he kept an energetic, positive outlook in the clubhouse. The coaching staff, I can’t say enough about the job they have done dating back to spring training.”
Dipoto has been happy with the pitching, has seen the defense improve since the first 10 days and has seen a steady uptick in the C the Z numbers, walks and strikeouts. He would like to see his hitters rewarded a little bit more for the good approach he is seeing at the plate, though.
“I’d like to see us get more hits, physically put the ball in play and find green grass,” he said. “That’s a little luck involved. Our approach, I don’t want to say flawless, but really good. We are driving deep counts, I do believe the hits will come. Our BABIP is ridiculously low, it almost seems unsustainable. As much as anything, I would like to have better luck in getting a hit.”
Pitching, check. Defense – particularly that of Leonys Martin and Kyle Seager, who he called “a revelation” – check. Baserunning, improving. Luck? Dial it up.
Ketel Marte, SS
Seth Smith, LF
Robinson Cano, DH
Nelson Cruz, RF
Adam Lind, 1B
Kyle Seager, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Leonys Martin, CF
Luis Sardinas, 2B
Taijuan Walker, RHP
• Charlie Furbush took a big step forward before the game, throwing from the mound for the first time since being shut down in spring training. He threw 10 pitches and all went well. As for Joaquin Benoit, he is back on his throwing program after a brief shutdown. According to Dipoto the expectation is he should be closer to the 2-3 week point than anything beyond that. He is eligible to come off the DL May 8.
• Nori Aoki is getting a day off in part because Scott Servais had a planned DH day for Robinson Cano and wanted to keep Seth Smith in the lineup. Despite hitting just .205 on the season, Servais is encouraged by what he has seen from Aoki recently at the plate and said he will remain the leadoff hitter. After walking just two times in his first 17 games, Aoki has walked 8 times in his last 23 plate appearances.
• Probables for the upcoming three-game series against the A’s: Monday, Nathan Karns vs. Kendall Graveman; Tuesday, Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Sonny Gray; Wednesday, Felix Hernandez vs. Sean Manaea.