Mariners Haven’t Shown Aggressiveness On Base Paths…Yet
Since Scott Servais became the Mariners manager shortly after the 2015 season ended, he has vowed to be aggressive on the base paths in both spring and regular season ball. In the first two games of the 2017 season, we haven’t seen Servais play this card, but that doesn’t mean it’s not coming.
When Servais took the reigns in Seattle, he wanted to utilize the lineup that Gm, Jerry Dipoto put together by having his players play aggressively on the base paths, as well as hitting home runs.
"“Believe me.” Servais said to MLB.com’s Mariners reporter, Greg Johns, during spring training in 2016, “I love home runs, everybody does. But there are other ways to score and we have to do things a little differently to be consistent because you can’t rely on the home run every night.”"
In his first spring, Servais had the Mariners stealing 29 bags, six in one game. This was an increase of 10 stolen bases from the spring before.
During the regular season in 2016, the M’s failed to be a threat on the basepaths. By the end of the year, the M’s stole only 56 bags which was 7th-worst in the league.
The hope last year was that Ketel Marte, Leonys Martin, and Nori Aoki could make the Mariners a top-10 base stealing team, but by season’s end, the three combined for 42 stolen bases and only Martin had more than 15 bags stolen.
Related Story: Are The Mariners A Top Base-Stealing Team?
This year, with roster adjustments to make the team even faster, he pushed the Mariners t great heights in spring training when it came to stealing bases.
This past spring, the M’s made another substantial jump in steals from the year before. They took 11 more bags and finished with a spring-best 40 stolen bases. They were helped by four players who all stole five bases each.
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However, just two games in, with no help from the offense, the M’s have stolen no bases. There is no need to panic about this just yet since five of the 18 teams who have played at least two games also have no stolen bases, but if this stays true, the Mariners won’t be using their speed to its fullest potential.
There is no need to panic about this just yet since five of the 18 teams who have played at least two games also have no stolen bases, but if this stays true, the Mariners won’t be using their speed to its fullest potential.
With the new speedy legs of Jean Segura, Jarrod Dyson, Taylor Motter, and former quick feet of Guillermo Heredia and Leonys Martin, the M’s should have no problem stealing more than 56 bases, in fact, they should have no problem hitting 100.
First, they need to start getting on base more. Currently, they have the 4th-worst OBP in the league at .238. Once they raise that figure, Servais will need to start keeping pitchers on their toes by having his runners attempt steals like they did this spring.
It’s hard to steal a base after all, even when you reach base when you haven’t attempted to steal a base once so far this season.