3 questions Mariners have answered in Spring Training, 1 they haven't

The Mariners have answered a handful of questions in Spring Training so far, but this is one hanging over their heads that they don't have an answer for yet

Seattle Mariners Photo Day
Seattle Mariners Photo Day / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
1 of 4

The Seattle Mariners have just passed the two-week mark on the spring training schedule. It has been very exciting to see this group play together (many fans wish we could actually watch them more however).

The spring is an exciting time for fans to get to see new faces and how they fit and perform with each other. We get to see a great blend of youth and veteran talent as some of the prospects get to try and earn their stripes alongside veterans that have been in the league for 10+ years.

Spring Training is full of many position battles, along with a lot of anxiety. This team is uber-talented, Dipoto has done such a great job of mixing upside with proven ability. The anxiety comes with the fact that this team has a lot of injury concerns, with many hoping that spring training would just end, and we could get the season on with.

Did the Mariners fix the strikeout issue that plagued them in 2023?

The most frustrating part of the 2023 Mariners team was the lack of production with a runner in scoring position. A big part of this had to do with the ridiculous number of strikeouts. They had two of the top three and three of the top five leaders in strikeouts on the offensive side of the ball. It was constantly a strikeout or two with a runner on third base and less than two outs. 

Coming into the 2024 season the biggest emphasis placed on changes was going to be cutting back on strikeouts. The Mariners let Teoscar Hernandez (third in all of MLB in strikeouts) leave without extending the qualifying offer. They also traded Eugenio Suarez (second in MLB in strikeouts). These two combined for 425 strikeouts in 2023; that is just an insane number of strikeouts. 

Those two weren’t replaced by any one player as the right field position should see a combination of Dominic Canzone and Mitch Haniger. The Mariners replaced Geno at third base with a platoon of Luis Urias and Josh Rojas. I would bet a lot of money that those groups will strike out significantly less than Teo and Geno did in 2023. 

Those two weren’t the only ones with a high strikeout rate in 2023. The Mariners had the second-highest strikeout rate in baseball at 25.9%. Things look to be a lot different for this team in 2024 with a different roster but also based on the early performance this spring. This spring the Mariners are all the way down at number 18 in strikeouts as a team. This is a huge improvement from the 2023 season as they look to have solved and decreased the strikeout issue dramatically.