2 Mariners that should play more, 2 that should play less

What are some adjustments to playing time the Mariners could make to improve their performance?
Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners
Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Austin Voth Should Get Less Time

If one were to take a look at the current lay of the land, the number one name that probably comes to mind as a pitcher that needs to take a seat for a bit would probably be Emerson Hancock. He's had a rough go of it and is currently cruising around with a 7.98 ERA that looks better than it did days ago after a nice start against the Cubs. However, it's important to note that once Bryan Woo is back from the IL, he'll almost certainly be taking back his spot in the rotation from Hancock.

A less clear option would be Austin Voth. After being designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles and electing free agency after 2023, he signed a one-year deal to join the bullpen. He has been slightly underwhelming thus far, pitching to a 4.70 ERA over 7.2 innings. What's most concerning, however, is his relatively low strikeout rate and high walk rate.

The best relievers come into the game in high-leverage situations and shut down the opposing team, which explains why many often choose to focus more on WHIP when evaluating them. Any traffic on the base-paths is bad and relatively low innings counts can inflate and distort ERA numbers.

Emmanuel Clase is known as a low-strikeout closer but his walk rate is typically among the best in the best and his ground-ball rate is always in the 90th percentile or higher. On the other hand, Voth isn't able to compensate for his low strikeout rate with soft contact or limiting walks which explains his stats 1.41 WHIP and 5.37 FIP.

The issue is that currently, the Mariners are a pretty low-scoring team. This means that most innings are somewhat important because Seattle is usually protecting a very small lead, if any exists at all. Thus, it ends up being risky bringing Voth in the game, whether it's the sixth or ninth inning. Any major-leaguer can turn it around and there's a reason they've made it to the show, but like Mitch Garver, he might just need more time to rediscover what got him there in the first place.