Servais: Mariners know offense needs to improve, and increased ‘credibility’ may help

Oct 6, 2021, 4:29 PM
Mariners Mitch Haniger Ty France...
Mitch Haniger and Ty France could use help in the Mariners' lineup in 2022. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Mariners may have won 90 games for the first time since 2003, but their work is far from over.

The good news is that 90-72 season should play a role in helping the Mariners achieve their goals for the 2022 season.

Drayer: What we can learn about M’s from key points in ’21

On the final Scott Servais Show of the year, the Mariners manager spoke Wednesday to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps, Stacy Rost and Shannon Drayer about what his team accomplished in 2021, what the M’s need to do to have a better chance at ending their 20-year playoff drought next season, and how those two things go somewhat hand in hand.

“I think we did a lot to help establish credibility throughout the league based on how we played,” Servais said. “You heard comments from the Oakland A’s, for example. We’re so used to playing them so often and we really took care of business against them, and they speak differently about the Seattle Mariners based on what they’re seeing. And not just them – you know, we played very well against very many of the upper-echelon teams in the league this year, so credibility-wise is up throughout the league. People are starting to take notice.”

And when people take notice – particularly free agents – they may be more inclined to join the cause.

“If you’re a free agent, obviously you want to go to a situation where you do have an opportunity to win. You also want to get taken care of because this might be your opportunity to cash in, so to speak, where you’re at in your career,” Servais said.

The Mariners aren’t setting their hopes on just that one way of improving this offseason, however.

“There’s a lot of different ways to get better,” Servais said. “Our guys internally need to focus on getting better, but you do it through trades, there may be a free agent or two out there that is a perfect fit for us and you’re able to put a deal together.”

The Mariners’ pitching did a lot of the work in 2021, evidenced by the fact that the offense was tied for 22nd in MLB in runs scored (697), lowest among any team with a record over .500. Because of that, Servais knows it’s at the plate where Seattle needs to improve the most next season.

“We got off to a very slow start offensively and it was a struggle for us to find consistent offense up and down our lineup. We had a number of guys in the lineup all year that they were doing a lot of good things maybe on the defensive side or some other areas but struggled to provide consistent offense. … There are things that we can hit on internally with our guys about what we need to do offensively.”

Servais is positive that the younger players on Seattle’s roster have room to grow, especially since Seattle ranked second among all MLB teams in pitches seen per plate appearance.

“That’s a really good sign for a young team. That means we’re grinding through some things, we’re learning, but at the end of the day you gotta get on base, you gotta win the at-bat. And that’s where we need to get more consistent and get better at. I do think the addition of maybe a couple bats can help, but it’s gotta be the right players. We just have to wait and see how that plays out.”

Listen to the full final Scott Servais Show of the 2021 Mariners season at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More Mariners coverage from 710Sports.com

Drayer: How M’s 90-win journey wildly differed from April expectations
Mariners’ run was magical, but they need to add at 3 positions to build on it
It’s not ‘Wait ’til next year’ with M’s, it’s ‘Now just wait ’til next year’
Kyle Seager gets emotional sendoff from sellout M’s crowd
710 ESPN Seattle’s voices react to Mariners’ first 90-win season since 2003
ESPN’s Jeff Passan: ‘This is just the beginning’ for ‘really tough’ Mariners

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Servais: Mariners know offense needs to improve, and increased ‘credibility’ may help