The Mariners’ hopes for 2023 are to close the gap on their main American League West rival, the World Series champion Houston Astros.
Drayer: Mariners options with deeper rotation than ever before
Seattle has made several moves to fulfill its mission this offseason, with the biggest additions being 2021 All-Star outfielder Teoscar Hernández, two-time Gold Glove second baseman Kolten Wong, and veteran slugger. AJ Pollock. But a roster move isn’t the only change that could help the Mariners’ case this year. There are also new rules introduced around Major League Baseball.
The most notable change is the infield shift, as teams must have two infielders on either side of second base, and all infielders must begin play with their feet on the infield dirt. is the limit of There will also be a pitch clock (30 seconds between hitters, 15 seconds between pitches with no bases, and 20 seconds between pitches with runners), larger bases, and a limit of two pickoffs by the pitcher per at-bat.
Will these changes help the Mariners? John Morosi We believe so, as he explained in a recent weekly conversation with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob.
Here are three ways Morosi said MLB’s new rule could benefit M.L. players.
1. An infielder ready for a no-shift life
As for shift regulations, Morosi said, “I think it will probably change the game in ways we didn’t fully anticipate.” One of those ways is his way of emphasizing athletic defenders in the infield. Seattle has won three Gold Gloves for him between shortstop JP Crawford and new second baseman Wong.
“I think having a good defensive infield[is an advantage]and certainly having an athletic defensive infield,” Morosi said. Caliber Defense is second.
diving. Flip! turn!@KoltenWong X @willia02 pic.twitter.com/QPSkfhlVpj
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 28, 2022
Wong, 34, won Gold Gloves with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019 and 2020, and although his fielding numbers have dropped significantly in 2022 with Milwaukee, he and others believe he’s back to where he used to be. We have shared the belief that we will return to the state. After dealing with calf and oblique injuries in the past two seasons, he’s not ready for this season. Perry Hill has worked great with other Mariners fielders, including Crawford, first baseman Ty France and third baseman Eugenio Suarez.
“Generally, I think the Mariners are better equipped[in terms of the new shift rules]than many other teams,” Morosi said.
2. Steal more bases
The base around the league will now be 18 inches square instead of 15 inches square. This change was made for safety concerns as it can prevent collisions, but has a secondary benefit that adds excitement to the game.
“I think we’re going to see more stolen bases, and the Mariners certainly have a team[that can steal bases],” Morosi said. “Whether it’s Julio (Rodriguez) or Kolten Wong who has a good stolen base record growing up in the game, (Jared) Kellenick … base. The bench is thanks to (Dylan) Moore and (Sam) Haggerty. There is considerable speed in
Bigger bags work in tandem with another new rule to encourage teams to take more chances on base passes.
“I think we’re going to be able to pick up as many as 90 feet, so I think that’s definitely going to change the game. And it’s not just the bigger bases, but the limit on how many times a pitcher can throw[at the pickoff].” “This is an opportunistic young team. … I think last year the Mariners were roughly in the middle of the pack in stolen bases.” 83 stolen bases, which is an MLB average by baseball reference and ranks 17th in the league.) If Kolten Wong, Theoscar, and possibly Kellenick, Moore, and Haggerty’s involvement is one year, they I think they can really go higher. I think they’ll make a good baserunning team.”
3. A more comfortable environment for left-handed hitters
Finally, there’s one thing that dominates most of the headlines whenever the shift discussion comes up. That is, the shift is disproportionately affecting left-handed hitters.
The Mariners have several players who need to be very invested in how their defense reacts to shift restrictions. Most notably Kelenic and Cal Rowley.
Kelenic, 23, has yet to find lasting success at the MLB level. Lowry, 26, is a switch hitter, but he’s seen more hitting from the left side at bat, batting just .211 in his 2022 breakout campaign.
Morosi pointed out that as important as the improved results left-handed hitters might see is how it helps them mentally.
“I think one of the ways we see change is that it takes the mental strain off hitters,” he said, citing perhaps the most radically changed player in baseball. “Joey Gallo, if he was sitting with us today…I think he would say it wasn’t just the shift and the number of times a fielder snares what should have been a base hit off the bat (it made him He was batting 50 points lower than he should have been, and it was a victim of his lack of confidence, kind of a battle with himself, and I’m so frustrated. I look up and see 20 players on the field, ready to catch a line drive.
“Especially with a left-handed bat, I think it affected them mentally, maybe someone like[Jesse]Winker, maybe someone like Kelenic, and certainly Gallo. And I think the restoration of the usual confidence and approach, especially for left-handed hitters, will be one of the more dramatic changes. , not just one ball in play, but an overall nimbleness in doing their job without feeling that the odds are so stacked against them.”
You can listen to Wyman and Bob’s full conversation with Morosi on the podcast at this link or in the player below.
Mariners sign veteran utility player Tommy La Stella, DFA Sheffield