Mariners’ series win ‘underscored’ why there’s urgency this season

Jun 14, 2024, 3:23 PM

Seattle Mariners Scott Servais...

Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais talks with Carson Vitale on June 13, 2024. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners had a good week, winning of three of four games against the Chicago White Sox to open a seven-game homestand to build on their lead in the American League West.

The way the Mariners won that series, however, didn’t exactly instill confidence in the team’s current makeup.

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Seattle had to come back in the late innings of every one of their three wins, twice went to extra innings over the four games, and scored just one run against each of Chicago’s starting pitchers in the series. The White Sox, by the way, have the worst record in MLB at 18-52 entering Friday.

“I think what this series has underscored is two things: No. 1, they need at least one bat at the (MLB trade) deadline,” MLB Network insider Jon Morosi told Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday. “But just as quickly, No. 2 is they are good enough that adding a bat is such a clear and obvious approach that the front office has no choice but to do it.”

Morosi, who is a weekly guest with Wyman and Bob typically at 5 p.m. every Thursday, shared a few other points about the state of the Mariners, whose offense ranks near the bottom of the league in several categories even though Seattle improved to 40-31 with its series win over the White Sox and currently leads the AL West by 5 1/2 games.

“The Mariners’ division right now is making it so clear that this is the Mariners’ division to win or lose,” he said. “This is theirs. It should be theirs. The other teams have struggled. Houston still hasn’t gotten things going yet. The Rangers have been having some different injury-related issues and they just haven’t performed that well. This is the Mariners’ division this year. Should be. It looks that way from now until October, and so now they need to act like that. They need to act like front runners.”

What does that mean to Morosi?

“Their postseason odds right now – I checked Baseball Reference today – it’s above 70%. So if you’re not gonna go for it when your playoff odds are above 70%, when you’ve already got – even though he’s not playing like it necessarily – a superstar under contract for a long time in Julio (Rodríguez), you’ve got one of the best rotations in baseball. What are you waiting for? And I say that by prefacing, of course, I’m not expecting them to make a trade today. But this is a clear, clear time to buy for the Mariners, and I do believe they will.”

The performance of Rodríguez, who hit just his sixth home run of the season Thursday and owns an uncharacteristic .671 OPS, is another reason Morosi believes the Mariners need to capitalize on their position before the July 30 MLB trade deadline.

“If you were to tell me that Julio was hitting what he’s hitting and that really offensively they would be very much an average to below-average team, and they’d still have this kind of lead in the division, I would say, ‘Oh my gosh, I would take that every day of the week,'” Morosi said. “This is about as good as the Mariners could possibly expect to be with a lineup that is as inconsistent as their lineup is. That’s where they’re at. They are fortunate to be where they’re at. Which is why when you’re fortunate, you act and say, ‘Maybe the baseball gods are telling us something here and let’s do something with this year.'”

Listen to the full Wyman and Bob conversation with MLB Network insider Jon Morosi in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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