GM Justin Hollander: Mariners do 4 things that ‘drive’ playoff success

Oct 7, 2022, 9:59 AM | Updated: 1:58 pm
Mitch Haniger of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his home run against the Detroit Tigers at T-Mobile Park on October 05, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Mariners are on less than 24 hours from playing the franchise’s first playoff game since 2001, and they have a tough task in the opening round as they are in Toronto for a best-of-three series with the Blue Jays.

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Someone who has played a major role in getting the Mariners to this point is Justin Hollander, a longtime Seattle front office member who was recently promoted to general manager.

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The new Mariners GM joined Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Bump and Stacy Thursday morning from Toronto to discuss his team and why he thinks the M’s have a chance to do some damage this postseason.

“I think we do a few things well that portend for what we hope is success this weekend and then into the playoffs. Which is that we throw strikes, we pitch really well, we take walks and we hit homers,” Hollander said. “Those are the things that really drive postseason success — getting on base, hitting homers throwing strikes, missing bats. Those are the things that we do really well.”

The Mariners do indeed do those things well, as evidenced by ranking eighth in MLB in ERA, ninth in walks allowed and 12th in strikeouts recorded on the mound and third in walks and ninth in home runs at the plate.

What the Mariners don’t have, though, are two players due to injury in Sam Haggerty and Jesse Winker. Hollander explained why not having those two is potentially important.

?Some of the things that I wish we still had, I wish we still had Sam Haggerty. That’s a huge blow for us. And I talked to Sam earlier. He’s disappointed, obviously, and we are, too, because that’s a great element for Scott (Servais) to have in games to do different things with,” Hollander said. “And losing Jesse Winker on the last day of the season, too, really hurts us as well because the quality of his at-bat is so good, and Toronto’s particularly right-handed. So those are things that we wish we still had, but I think the overall core of the roster, the things that we do well, generally are things that good postseason teams do.”

Is this the type of team Hollander and the Mariners front office envisioned heading into the year?

“Yes, I think in general, it’s the team we imagined. I don’t think it’s changed radically, but there’s always guys that surprise you in positive or maybe less positive ways, somebody turns out to have a better season than you expected and obviously adding things at the deadline,” Hollander said. “Adding Luis Castillo at the deadline changed the dynamic of our pitching staff in a lot of ways and in a way we maybe didn’t anticipate when we came out of spring training. But generally speaking, our core foundation, throwing strikes, missing bats, taking walks, hitting homers, those are things that we walked into the offseason and talked about ‘how can we build a team that does these things?'”

Listen to the full interview with Hollander at this link or in the player below.

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