Morosi: Why Mariners limiting use of in-game tech is good call

Apr 19, 2024, 2:57 PM | Updated: 7:03 pm

Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh Reds...

Cal Raleigh of the Seattle Mariners draws a walk against the Reds in 2024. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Did the Seattle Mariners’ early-season hitting struggles stem in part from an overreliance on technology?

Manager: Mariners hitters starting to look at iPads less in dugout

According to ROOT Sports’ Jen Mueller, Mariners manager Scott Servais said Wednesday that Seattle hitters have made a concerted effort this week to spend less time using iPads in the dugout between at-bats.

In recent years, there has been an increased use of iPads and electronic devices in dugouts, allowing players to review their own performance and scout opposing players. It can be a useful tool, but it also can create a “paralysis by analysis” situation.

For what it’s worth, the Mariners turned things around at the plate after making the change. After posting a .204/.282/.308 slash line through their first 16 games, they slashed .266/.397/.532 in their three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds this week.

During his weekly conversation with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday, MLB insider Jon Morosi gave his thoughts on how MLB players are using in-game technology.

“I recognize the value of analytics in the game,” Morosi said. “They’ve brought so much and it is an important component. But notice that I said ‘component.’ … I think that Scott Servais’ point — and it clearly worked, at least for a few days, against a good ballclub — is ‘Let’s not be so quick to dive into the the iPad screen and the analytics, especially (during) the game.’ It’s a useful tool to help you prepare, but I had somebody just tell me today, ‘A simpler approach is better.’

“I think that was Scott’s way of bringing a bit more human element,” Morosi added. “And wow, look at the way the Mariners played. Look at the quality of at-bats that we saw.”

Morosi, who joked that it was “Humans 3, iPads 0” after the Mariners swept the Reds, believes technology and analytics are more useful for game preparation than in-game adjustments.

“The game plan is important,” Morosi said. “It’s important to be prepared. We all feel that in life. It’s a very valuable thing. But as soon as the game starts, the preparation time is done and the performance time has arrived. And I really think that we need to do a better job in baseball of separating those two things and letting players play, and letting yourself just be in the moment and go.

“I just think the Mariners might be on to something here: Let’s have analytics, yes, but a lighter touch,” he added. “Good for before (the game), but in game, let’s trust our instincts. And then when it’s a 2-2 count and the tying run’s on second base in the eighth inning, maybe you trust yourself more and worry about the iPad less.”

Listen to the full conversation from Thursday’s Wyman and Bob in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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