Mariners notebook: Scott Servais appreciates Shawn O’Malley’s versatility, approach

Aug 29, 2016, 5:49 PM | Updated: 6:17 pm

Shawn O'Malley hit .229. with two home runs and six stolen bases in the Mariners' utility role last...

Shawn O'Malley hit .229. with two home runs and six stolen bases in the Mariners' utility role last season. (AP)


ARLINGTON – Shawn O’Malley is back in the lineup Monday night, this time in left field as the Mariners face the right-hander Yu Darvish. O’Malley, who began the season in Triple-A, has become an important part of the 25-man roster.

“It’s been huge the value of the players who can play the multiple positions and actually do good at all of them. He’s done a great job,” manager Scott Servais said. “It’s a nice piece to have.”

It has been interesting to watch the appreciation for O’Malley grow, particularly with his manager. Servais was familiar with O’Malley as he spent a year in the Angels organization. In 2014, he hit .317/.400/.464/.864 between Double- and Triple-A and earned a call-up to the big leagues at the end of the year. In December he was released by the organization and picked up by the Mariners. The O’Malley that Servais sees now is one who has taken big steps forward.

“He’s matured offensively, kind of understanding who he is,” he said. “He knows at this level, it’s not about – he’ll surprise you with the home run but that’s not his thing. It’s to get on base, to bunt, to keep the lineup moving, that’s the value of that.”

Servais believes O’Malley has taken the biggest steps forward in what the Mariners needed most from him on this roster.

“I go back to where we were at spring training with him,” Servais said. “He’s played much better at shortstop than anybody … that’s originally why he didn’t make the club out of spring training. We were concerned about his shortstop play but he’s certainly done fine in that position.”

The versatility that O’Malley brings has been invaluable. His athleticism has helped in positions where he has less experience – arm strength at third base, speed in the outfield.

“The outfield stuff, the play he made in Safeco, jumping in the stands. The big thing he brings is speed. He can run, he can cover ground in the outfield. That’s why we put him out there late in the game.”

It is not just the manager that O’Malley has won over. Teammates appreciate the effort he brings day in and day out.

“Shawn plays so hard,” Kyle Seager pointed out. “Every single play, no matter what position he is playing. Hitting, defense, base running, everything he does he plays so hard and is such a spark and puts such life into this team.”


• Russell Wilson will throw out the first pitch before the Mariners series opener against the Angels Friday, September 2. A special ticket promotion is available that includes a Mariners Why Not You Foundation T-shirt and $12 donation to Wilson’s foundation. Tickets are available online only at this link.

• Dan Altavilla is the only arm in the pen Servais would like to stay away from Monday night. With the off day coming up Thursday we could see him use the pen a little differently in this series. Overall, Servais believes the relievers are right where they should be innings-wise at this point of the year. “We’ve weathered the storm, so to speak. The bullpen guys, nobody in that bullpen is throwing above their career norm. None of them, none of them. This is what bullpen guys do and our guys have done a pretty good job hanging in there,” he said.

• Servais said that for now the plan is to stay in rotation after the off day Thursday.

• The Mariners have announced a two-year extension with their Class-A affiliate, the Clinton LumberKings through 2018.

Team: mariners
Date Starting Pitcher
Friday, June 9 @ 6:38 pm Mariners' Luis Castillo RHP vs. Angels' Shohei Ohtani RHP

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Mariners notebook: Scott Servais appreciates Shawn O’Malley’s versatility, approach