Kendrys Morales is back in a Mariners uniform, however; they still fell short with a lack of offense to the Baltimore Orioles. Sacrificing Stephen Pryor is not such a bad thing as the Mariner bullpen has had great success this year without him and despite Morales not having big numbers this year he is a natural hitter and should have no issue turning it around before year’s end.
This move improves the top of the order giving them some more power in the middle of their lineup. Even though he was hitless last night he still produced the only run with a sacrifice fly scoring Robinson Cano.
While I believe in Morales and his ability I don’t agree with the batting order used last night. I said last week that the Mariners need to take advantage of their resources when they are available naming Michael Saunders as someone who needs to hit higher in the order.
Last night, we saw Kyle Seager drop to fifth in the lineup. Fifth doesn’t seem too bad considering whoever is hitting fifth is behind the cleanup hitter. Seems fine, right? Except that Kyle Seager is the second best hitter on the team and it would make sense that we would want the second best hitter to get more at bats. The only player we want to have more at bats is the best hitter, Cano.
Take last night for example. The top three spots in the batting order saw five plate appearances with the rest seeing four. I’ve picked on Endy Chavez enough as someone who shouldn’t be hitting leadoff despite having a good game last night with two hits. It would also seem that James Jones is not providing the spark he had in the beginning of his year as numbers have been creeping lower.
Your leadoff hitter should be one that has a high OBP and make the pitcher work by seeing more pitches. Unfortunately for the Mariners the players with the two highest on base numbers are Cano and Seager, the two players I think should be hitting second and third at the moment.
Morales entering gives me more reason to believe that Mariners should pursue Ben Zobrist that much more. Rumors had been swirling that they were interested in Zobrist along with David Price. I’m not as concerned with Price though. I’m not saying he wouldn’t make the team better, because he would do that and then some. I’m saying a complete top of the order is a more pressing issue.
Do we need any more evidence than what we saw last night? Now would Zobrist have made the difference in that particular game? No one knows, that’s the beauty of baseball. But he would have given them a better chance for sure.
Going after Zobrist is the next move. The Mariners have lost 4 of their last five series and are a loss away from losing another to the Orioles. Morales helps but one more move should be done before their record slips too far.