After being no-hit by John Means of the Orioles, manager Scott Servais decided to shuffle things around with a “new” look Seattle Mariners batting lineup against the Texas Rangers. Instead of having Kyle Lewis in the four-hole, Servais slotted him right behind Mitch Haniger. Since Ty France was hitting second, he was moved to clean up instead.
Other notable changes include moving J.P. Crawford to the five-hole after hitting ninth for most of the season. Evan White was also moved down in the lineup instead of being near the heart of the order.
The result of the changes to the Mariners lineup…
In short, the results have been great! Although I will say, shuffling people in the lineup doesn’t always affect how one performs so it should be viewed as a correlation, not causation. Since changing the batting order, the Mariners have hit 10+ hits in back-to-back games.
As you already know, the M’s have been struggling offensively so recording 10+ hits in recent weeks is definitely a good thing to see. On Friday, the Mariners recorded 10 hits, five extra-base hits and scored five runs.
Kyle Lewis and J.P Crawford excelled in their new roles as the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year went three for five with a double. The Gold Glove shortstop went three for three and hit his first home run of the year.
And in yesterday’s loss, the Mariners scored eight runs on 11 hits. Lewis once again played well while hitting second in the lineup. He finished the day two for three with two walks. The bottom of the lineup also turned things around; highlighted by Luis Torrens’ solo home run, and Dylan Moore and Evan White’s two for four performances.
Again I will reiterate, the lineup changes might not be the reason for the better offense we have seen the past two games. The Rangers pitchers aren’t fantastic so it could just be a more favorable matchup for the Mariners hitters. But at the same time, maybe Lewis is just more comfortable hitting second.
Although it is a very small sample size, Lewis has the worst batting average and wOBA as the cleanup hitter. Evan White also has better wOBA numbers the further down he is in the batting order, which Scott Servais has adjusted to.
In the end, I have no idea if the lineup changes are actually good things because of the small samples. But, it is good to see Scott Servais adapting and mixing things up to try and get the struggling bats warmed up.
The Mariners finish off the three-game series against the Rangers today. Justus Sheffield will take on another young pitcher, Dane Dunning.