Scott Servais says Mariners ‘most complete team’ he’s managed

Apr 1, 2022, 12:40 PM
Mariners Scott Servais...
Mariners manager Scott Servais during a game at Kansas City on Sept. 19, 2021. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

The Mariners won 90 games last year for the first time in a season since 2003, then went out and signed the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner and traded for three players that have been All-Stars inside of the last three seasons.

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That only tells part of the story, however, of the M’s roster going into the 2022 season, which begins next Thursday in Minnesota. And it’s a roster the manager is plenty excited about.

“I think it’s the most complete team that we’ve had since I’ve been here as the manager,” Mariners skipper Scott Servais told Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday.

Not a bad spot to be in.

Servais went on to say that so often, teams go into a season with question marks about one of multiple areas of their roster, whether it’s not knowing “how our offense is going to work out,” concerns about starting rotation depth, questionable defense, or “unknowns in the bullpen.” When he looks at his squad, he’s not seeing the same question marks he has in previous seasons.

“If you look kind of at all the different facets of the game, I think we have a chance to be above-average in every area, and that’s probably the first time I can say that since I’ve been the manager here, so that excites me,” Servais said. “And I say that knowing that we have, like, the second-youngest team in the league. We still have a chance to get a lot better.”

Servais believes Seattle is balanced better thanks to the additions of Robbie Ray, the 2021 AL Cy Young, second baseman Adam Frazier, and recent trade acquisitions Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez from the Cincinnati Reds.

“What we’ve been able to add, whether it’s Adam Frazier, Robbie Ray, the two guys from Cincinnati, additions of a couple guys in the bullpen, I think we’re very balanced. That usually means that if you can stay healthy, you have a chance to have a pretty good year.”

Mariners’ improved bench depth

As alluded to earlier in this post, the key offseason moves tell just some of the story of why the Mariners’ roster looks more complete than in previous years. There are also a number of players who aren’t penciled in as everyday starters that will should still play big roles in Seattle’s lineup.

Those names include Abraham Toro, Dylan Moore and Luis Torrens, who can all provide offense and play multiple positions, which will help the Mariners give veteran players time off or days at designated hitter.

“Toro’s having an awesome spring training. He’s probably been our most consistent hitter all spring from both sides of the plate – he’s going to find his way into the lineup, there’s no question about it,” Servais said. “And it will create some opportunities for Suárez; he may DH once or twice a week. … D-Mo, he can play all over the field, he’s kind of your backup shortstop if you want to give J.P. (Crawford) a day. … Luis Torrens has swung the bat well this spring also, and his catching has improved. He’s going to find himself getting opportunities if he continues to perform.”

Having those players all at his disposal will actually make it hard on Servais to give everybody regular playing time – which isn’t the worst problem to have.

“It’ll be a little bit of a challenge early on to keep all these guys going, but you guys know, a guy gets hit by a pitch, his hamstring tightens up for a couple days and and all of a sudden it’s really nice to have the depth that we have,” he said. “(It’s better to be) putting guys in that have played in the big leagues, that have done well in the big leagues in certain spots instead of just calling up a guy from Tacoma that’s never been there before and asking him to really make an impact for us. So we’ve got some depth, and we’re going to need it throughout the course of the year.”

You can listen to Wyman and Bob’s full interview with Servais in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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Scott Servais says Mariners ‘most complete team’ he’s managed