BROCK AND SALK

Dipoto: How Mariners’ lineup can find more consistency

May 19, 2023, 1:21 PM

Seattle Mariners...

Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners scores a run against the Texas Rangers on May 10, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners enter their series with the Atlanta Braves at 21-22, and that’s largely due to inconsistency from the lineup.

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Multiple big-name bats – Julio Rodríguez, Eugenio Suárez, Teoscar Hernández and Ty France – have hit well below their average numbers to start the year, and the M’s are middle of the pack in runs scored, but are second-to-last in batting average and third-to-last in OPS in MLB.

During his weekly visit with Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto shared his observations of the team’s hitting and what the bats can do to be better more consistently.

“I think we’ve watched a couple of guys really get going here in the month of May,” he said. A”nd quietly in the month of May we’re averaging almost five runs a game as an offense. If we do that, we’re going to win a lot of games.”

If the Mariners are going to string more runs and wins together, the strikeouts need to cut down in a big way.

“Right now, we’re striking out and an extreme rate, and that has been the case really since the St. Louis series at home,” Dipoto said. “We’ve done a little bit better job here in the last 10 days of reeling that in. That can’t be such a pronounced part of our game is that kind of swing and miss.”

Where the Mariners can improve along with less strikeouts and whiffs is walks and home runs, which is the team’s “formula” for scoring runs, Dipoto said.

“It’s the pitches we choose to swing at and staying in our zone. It’s not leaving the white part of the plate and chasing on the edges and off,” Dipoto said. “And it’s understanding your skill set. Each guy’s got a different way that they contribute. Some guys, their big value is getting on base and some guys, their big value is driving in the runs. And there’s everything that happens in between.

“When we really start clicking – and I think we started to see it a little bit on this road trip – when we start clicking, it’s usually when our walk rate starts to build and our homers start to fly … We score when we homer. And for the first five weeks of the season, we just weren’t homering like we usually do. And I do think that that is a weather-related thing. As the weather warms, the homers start to fly.”

Listen to this week’s Jerry Dipoto Show at this link or in the player below.

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Dipoto: How Mariners’ lineup can find more consistency