Seattle Mariners Notebook: The good, the bad and the updates

Mar 3, 2024, 4:44 PM | Updated: 6:53 pm

Seattle Mariners spring training Scott Servais...

Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais before a spring training game against the San Diego Padres. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

It is not about the numbers in spring training. Scratch that – it’s not about the batting averages, ERAs and win-loss numbers.

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Those are not numbers that will cause concern, particularly early in spring training, but there are numbers that matter for Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais. And right now, he is not seeing them.

“Story of the game for us is our struggle on the mound,” he said following the Mariners’ 12-4 loss to the Padres on Sunday (box score here), which dropped Seattle to 1-7-1 in Cactus League play.

“We just haven’t thrown the ball well here over the last five or six days,” Servais continued. “Kind of uncharacteristic of what we’re about. We haven’t controlled counts. We’re getting into bad counts, and then the conditions are very favorable (in Arizona) for big offensive numbers with the wind, the sun, how hard the fields are. But no excuse, we’ve got to throw the ball better.”

The outcomes in the 0-0 counts and the 1-1 counts are the largely controllable numbers Servais is concerned about.

“We are not throwing strikes, we’re not going to get strike 1. We’re not winning 1-1 counts, and when you’re pitching behind in the count and in hitters counts in this type of environment, it’s not going to end well.”

Sunday was not a good day for a trio of bullpen hopefuls with Carlos Vargas, Collin Snider and Mauricio Llovera combining to allow nine runs on 11 hits and two walks. While Servais pointed out that the conditions and poor defense were factors in the game, there are no excuses.

“We can talk about it all you want, you go out and play the game and we gotta get better at that,” he said. “It’s not just been primarily younger kids coming into camp, but it’s been some other guys here the last couple of days who are actually fighting for jobs. So we’ve got to tighten it up and that’s where we’re at.”

On the positive side, he pointed to Cade Marlowe, who homered off Yu Darvish, and Josh Rojas, who got a hit and played solid defense, as players who are continuing to have a good camp.

“We played really well at third base, which is good to see,” Servais said.

Which Mariners stood out in first week of spring training games?

Also in the Mariners’ favor: an off day on Monday.

“We do need an off day,” Servais acknowledged. “Once we come back from that we’ve got to start playing better.”

Seattle Mariners notes

• Tuesday will be a big day for the Mariners as reliever Matt Brash, who has been dealing with elbow inflammation, is expected to resume throwing. All eyes will be on his catch session with a trainer. Brash appeared in an MLB-leading 78 games last season.

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• The Mariners have their first split squad on Tuesday with a game at home against the Rangers and one in Goodyear against the Guardians. Julio Rodríguez is scheduled to play in one of the games and the hope is Luis Urías, who has been dealing with a shoulder issue, will make his first start at 3B.

• A couple of relievers that have not been talked about this spring but contributed last year and could fit into the picture a little later in the season are Eduard Bazardo and Ty Adcock. Both are in camp but coming off injuries. Adcock threw 15 innings in 12 games for the M’s last year, posting a 3.45 ERA with 11 strikeouts and no walks. He has been throwing live batting practices on back fields and could get into a game this week.

“Ty Adcock throws strikes,” Servais said when asked Sunday morning what stood out about him. “For a guy who pitched about 28 professional innings before he got to the big leagues, that’s kind of unheard of.”

As for Bazardo, who put up a 2.63 ERA in nine games with the Mariners last year, he’s a little bit further behind and is not expected to begin throwing bullpens until the end of spring training at the earliest.

Roster moves

Following the game against the Padres, the Mariners re-assigned the following players to minor league camp:

• Jake Anchia
• Matt Scheffler
• Kaden Polcovich
• Brock Rodden
• Leo Rivas
• Hogan Windish
• Spencer Packard
• Alberto Rodriguez

The camp roster is now at 59.

More Mariners coverage from Seattle Sports

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How did Logan Gilbert’s unique work begin? His private pitching coach explains
Morosi: New-look lineup can help Mariners avoid another slow start
Mitch Garver explains why he picked Mariners, adjusting to DH spot
France’s adjustments could mean he gets hit less, Seattle Mariners 1B says

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