3 bold internal moves to jumpstart Mariners' uneven offense

The Mariners path to the AL West crown is clear (for now), but there are clear strategic moves the team can make to make it a reality and better position the front office for the trade deadline.
Atlanta Braves v Seattle Mariners
Atlanta Braves v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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A new role for Mitch Haniger 

Like most Mariner fans, general manager Justin Hollander's reacquisition of Mitch Haniger tugged at my heartstrings. From the clutch hits to the grinder attitude, Haniger embodied what we all wanted in a Mariner, and his coming back home was a fantastic story. However, he's underperforming in the batter's box (.197/.258/.596) and in the field (-3 OAA). 

Haniger's subpar defensive performance, combined with Mitch Garver's being a full-time designated hitter, puts Servais in a bind because both Mitches should be bat-only players. Servais has a strategic move to make here, and it's in the mold of protecting a player with flaws. He did this in 2022 with Dylan Moore and Sam Haggerty, only playing them against opposite-handed pitching and getting the best out of two role players. The result was career years for both players (combined 3.9 WAR). 

Luke Raley's emergence, teamed with Haniger's quarter-season slump, is reason enough to play the 33-year-old against lefties. Mitch Haniger is a veteran with an injury history who will always need load management. It's time to embrace reality; Haniger isn't an everyday player. Play him 2-3 times a week, and put the clubhouse leader in the best situation to succeed.