SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners Insider: The transition for rookie Ryan Bliss to big leagues

Jun 10, 2024, 11:17 AM

Seattle Mariners Ryan Bliss...

Ryan Bliss of the Seattle Mariners runs the bases after a home run in Kansas City on June 7, 2024. (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

(Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

A quick hit from the Seattle Mariners pregame show on the road:

It has been good to see rookie second baseman Ryan Bliss getting his legs under him at the big league level. A key for him in making the transition from the minors to the majors?

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“Just being me,” he answered with a smile before expanding. “Knowing what my what my strength is, what my identity is, and just playing my fullest availability to that and being who I am.”

The work has been put in, the experience gathered, and the bumps of identifying his true identity have all happened in the minors. Being traded and having new eyes on him and new voices around him have likely contributed to putting those final, big league-ready touches on Bliss.

“I worked on a lot in spring training,” he said. “Just really watch and see how these guys that have been here, have taken at-bats and taking it down to Tacoma to start the year and just really working on it, really getting comfortable and into myself. And I think it’s just paid off up here knowing that you know you stick to your approach, see the pitches – you know, they still have to throw strike over the over the plate so just be ready to hit whenever he does.”

Video: Ryan Bliss’ first MLB HR caps Mariners’ seven-run inning

Ten games in with the Mariners, Bliss is hitting .217 with an on-base percentage of .333 in 28 plate appearances. He has struck out six times, walked four and posted a wRC+ of 106. Pair this with three stolen bases and these are numbers you will gladly take at the bottom of the order. It is a small sample, but it is encouraging that the approach has been solid – and according to Bliss, more consistent than a year ago.

Being with the big league club has helped.

“We are given a good game plan and a lot of these guys have seen guys already that we’re facing,” he explained. “So just asking them questions, their feedback on how they attack. And honestly, sitting on (ninth in the batting order), watching how their at-bats go help a lot as well seeing how they’re pitching righties and how he’s getting his outs or how he’s giving up his hits. So that’s a big help to me.”

Bliss hasn’t seemed overwhelmed by anything on or off the field, which is exactly how the Mariners want their young players to feel. When asked if he has had a moment of pressure, however, Bliss’s answer is a reminder of the reality of the job he and his teammates do.

“I would say every game is a moment of pressure, but I think it’s just the way you handle it,” he said. “I mean, every game up here matters. You can feel it. It’s heavy. We’re all trying to win. We’re all trying to go for the same goal and that’s win the AL West, and I think all that’s pressure. But I think we all know we trained for it. We’re here for it. We’re here for a reason. We love the game of baseball. Let’s just go have fun and then you know. Pressure makes diamonds.”

The Clubhouse Insider segment airs 30 minutes into every Mariners Pregame Show on Seattle Sports. Listen to the full conversation from Saturday with M’s rookie Ryan Bliss in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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