Why Passan is ‘not there yet’ on panicking about Mariners

Apr 9, 2024, 11:32 AM

Seattle Mariners...

Luis Urías of the Seattle Mariners is given the trident on April 6, 2024. (John Fisher/Getty Images)

(John Fisher/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners are just 4-7 to open the 2024 season, and in some ways, they’re lucky to have that many wins.

What Servais said about slow starts for Seattle Mariners, Julio and Castillo

The M’s are once again struggling at the plate with strikeouts piling up, and the team’s pitching and defense have also been below-average top start 2024.

How serious of a problem is this for the Mariners?

“I’m not there yet,” ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan told Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Tuesday. “We do this every year, guys. Sometimes it’s the Mariners, sometimes it’s other teams that start off really bad. This may be cold comfort, but the fact that they’re 4-7 when everybody on the team but Ty France can’t hit right now is actually a good thing.”

So far, the Mariners have just four regulars with an OPS over .700, and France is the only one with an OPS over .750.

Runs and baserunners have been hard to come by, and the Mariners rank in the bottom-10 in MLB in team ERA. That has resulted in Seattle having the fourth-worst run differential in MLB, lower than even the Oakland A’s. The only three teams with worse run differentials than the Mariners have a combined five wins so far.

“So I look at that and say OK, having four (wins) at this point is better than where they should be,” Passan said.

Hitting will be a big focus for the Mariners in 2024 since the bats’ collective struggle is the biggest reason they missed the playoffs by a single game in 2023. But the Mariners are built on the strength of their pitching, which has underperformed through 11 games.

Passan isn’t too worried about Seattle’s arms.

“If you go and look at the differences between ERA (4.99 for the team) and Fielding Independent Pitching (4.11) … when there’s a big gap between ERA and FIP, that means there’s going to be some positive regression to the mean,” Passan said. “And I believe every Mariners starter has a higher ERA – in Luis Castillo’s case a significantly higher ERA – than his FIP, which means it’s probably going to get better.”

“Ultimately, we know the pitching is going to be good. As long as it’s healthy, the pitching is going to be good,” Passan later said. “The bats just need to figure it out.”

As for the bats, the Mariners struck out the second-most times in MLB last year. This year? They’re No. 1 with a 28.6% strikeout rate, highest in MLB.

“The hitting is an issue because of strikeouts,” Passan said. ” … Everyone needs to figure it out, otherwise this thing’s just gonna spiral and get pretty gnarly.”

Listen to Brock and Salk’s full conversation with Jeff Passan at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Seattle Mariners Roster Moves: Seven players involved in flurry
• Mariners Notebook: Thoughts on offense, more from the road
• Mariners infielder tests the limits with impossibly slow pitch
‘The time to strike’ is now for Seattle Mariners
• Why it may ‘take a little time’ for Seattle Mariners’ changes at plate

Brock and Salk podcast

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Partly Sunny
High 66° | Low 47°
No game today.

Brock and Salk

Seattle Seahawks Mike Macdonald...

Mike Salk

Salk’s Observations: What we saw at Seahawks’ first open OTA practice

Mike Salk of Seattle Sports was at the first open Seahawks OTA practice under new coach Mike Macdonald on Wednesday. He shares his takeaways.

5 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Bryan Woo...

Brent Stecker

Hot start by Mariners’ Bryan Woo isn’t all about him that’s ‘absurd’

Seattle Mariners starter Bryan Woo has been nearly untouchable since returning from the IL. Mike Salk and Shannon Drayer share some details.

10 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks draft pick Byron Murphy IUI...

Cameron Van Til

How Byron Murphy II has advantage over past Seahawks 1st-rounders

Brock Huard explains why No. 16 overall pick Byron Murphy II has some advantages over other recent Seattle Seahawks first-round picks.

11 hours ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Baseball Beyond Borders stopped by to talk about what they are doing to impact our communities

Earlier on the Brock and Salk show, Bookie Gates and EC Parker of Baseball Beyond Borders (BBB) stopped by to talk about what the program is all about. BBB affords families and communities the opportunity to expose their youth to critical skills necessary for life through participation in the sport of baseball and softball. Their […]

12 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Dylan Moore Josh Rojas...

The Associated Press and Seattle Sports staff

Did Mariners relay tipped pitch on Moore HR, or are Yankees paranoid?

Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt thought he tipped his pitch to Dylan Moore, who homered for the Seattle Mariners in the third inning Tuesday.

13 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks edge rusher Boye Mafe...

Zac Hereth

Huard: The Seahawks position group most thrilled by new schemes

Ex-NFL QB Brock Huard explains why Seattle Seahawks D-linemen and pass rushers are most excited about the new coaching staff and schemes.

14 hours ago

Why Passan is ‘not there yet’ on panicking about Mariners