BUMP AND STACY

The unsung player during Mariners’ hot streak? Teoscar Hernández

Aug 29, 2023, 4:32 PM

Seattle Mariners Teoscar Hernández...

Teoscar Hernández of the Seattle Mariners gestures after hitting a home run on Aug. 27, 2023. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

One player is getting the majority of attention during this current Seattle Mariners hot streak, and deservedly so. Julio Rodríguez is likely to win American League Player of the Month honors for August as he’s made history left and right with his torrid hitting.

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That doesn’t mean Rodríguez is the only Mariners hitter on a tear, though. In fact, if Rodríguez wasn’t so hot, people might be talking about one of his teammates now just as much as they are talking about him.

That teammate is slugging right fielder Teoscar Hernández, who has also been one of the best hitters in baseball this month. Over his last 15 games entering Tuesday, Hernández has a slash line of .419/.439/.758 for an OPS of 1.197. He’s turned it on even more in the past seven games, as four of his six homers in August have come in that stretch. For the month as a whole, Hernández has a slash of .371/.398/.649 for an OPS of 1.047.

“I think the one guy that really has elevated his game to the best level it’s been all season is Teoscar Hernández,” said Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith on Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy when asked which player outside of Rodríguez has stood out to him.

Watch: Mariners stay hot as Teoscar Hernández hits grand slam

Goldsmith, who joined the show Tuesday for The Dugout, a weekly hour dedicated to Mariners interviews and analysis, said that while Hernández had hot stretches earlier in the season, this time he’s providing more of the power he was known for in his time with the Toronto Blue Jays before coming to Seattle in a trade last offseason.

“We’ve seen Teo get hot by this year’s standards earlier this year, but if you remember, a lot of it was kind of opposite-field singles, doubles to the opposite-field gap,” Goldsmith said. “And all of those things are great, and all those things help sustain an average and help sustain an on-base (percentage), and those are all important parts of the game. But what makes Teoscar Hernández dynamic is putting the ball over the fence. Pull power, straightaway center field home runs – I mean, just the tanks, and we’ve seen that from Teoscar to go along with the contact that has led him to get on base as frequently as he has this month.”

It’s precisely what the Mariners were hoping to see out of Hernández when they dealt for him not long after he had a two-homer game against Seattle in the playoffs last year.

“He’s a type of guy who can carry a lineup for weeks at a time, and fortunately for the Mariners, they have everyone hot right now, and Teoscar has kind of been one of the major anchors of that,” Goldsmith said. “He’s a major gamechanger when he is swinging the bat like this. He won’t (play this well) every week for the rest of the season, that’s not how the game works, but he’s been able to sustain it for weeks now at this point. It’s been remarkable to watch because this is the best form of Teoscar Hernández.”

The Dugout airs at 1 p.m. Tuesdays during Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy. Listen to the conversation with Aaron Goldsmith in the player near the top of this post, and click here for a podcast of the full hour of Seattle Mariners talk.

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