The Seattle Mariners are dead last in the MLB in team batting average, the only team in the show currently hitting below the Mendoza line. The team also resides at the bottom of the league in other offensive categories like OBP, OPS, and total hits.
Those are the ingredients for a complete disaster offensively, and it’s starting to trend that way now, unfortunately, with four straight losses and counting. Haggerty is hitting .183. Kelenic is hitting .139. Tom Murphy is slashing .133, and Seager has cooled down to a .234 clip.
The fact that this team is still afloat in the American League with their extensive offensive struggles should press the issue even more; Scott Servais needs to make changes to the batting order right now. So, what changes specifically should be made to shake this lineup around and hopefully start to throw this team into a rhythm offensively?
Seattle Mariners Lineup Change #1: Move Jarred Kelenic out of the leadoff spot
Jarred Kelenic led off again in the opener versus the Padres after the travel day. Unfortunately, nothing changed. A lot of credit has been given to Kelenic in the past for his advanced approach in the minor leagues, and rightfully so. But, it’s growing increasingly obvious that Kelenic may take a little bit more time and adjusting to consistently mash big-league pitching.
His hands are lightning-quick, compact, and his swing is incredibly pure. The way he carries himself day-to-day as such a young kid reminds me so much of watching an early-career Bryce Harper from my couch. But Jarred Kelenic is hitting a mere .139 through his first week with only a pair of walks and a home run, and needs to descend down the order in favor of someone who is getting on base and in scoring position consistently.
Given the Mariners’ current offensive issues, it’s understood that there may not be many other options, but it’s time for a change. J.P. Crawford should be given the chance to lead off. It’s pretty puzzling as to why he hasn’t gotten more of an opportunity at the top-of-the-order. He doesn’t strikeout a lot, is one of the fastest and most aggressive baserunners on the team, and he also owns one of the only somewhat respectable slash lines on the team: at .247/.314/.312.
J.P. isn’t hitting for a lot of power at all right now but that is no issue. He has the right approach every at-bat and will attempt to set the table every time the lineup flips over with his patience at the plate.