The things I don't like about the Mariners 2024 Zips
#1: They are not fans of Josh Rojas... at all
I like the Rojas and Caballero combo at second. I think they both have solid enough defense, and do exactly what you want out of your second baseman position. Cabby is feisty, quick, and messes with pitchers. Rojas gives you a surprising power/speed boost with a good bat. He had a 0.8 WAR in 46 games with the Mariners last year, and a 3.2 with Arizona in 2022.
ZiPS sees him struggling this year, though. .225/.298/.345 with a 0.7 WAR. This one seems odd to me, as even his 80th percentile numbers don't reach what he did in Seattle last year or Arizona in 2022... or 2021. Are we going to see that Rojas, or the one that struggled in Arizona in 2023? Let's hope that was the outlier and not the real thing.
#2: Not their fault, but the lineup is so ugly
I despise this lineup so much right now, and I really want to like it. I really do. I think you could tell it was going to be ugly when Clase was the 2nd best OF on the roster on here, and the 7th best hitter overall. Add up your DH, LF, RF, 3B, and 2B combo of Rojas+Cabby, and you get a 6.4 WAR from six players. it's worse when you look at just the Moore/Trammell/Marlowe combo, all you sit within the starting 9 hitters and combine for a 2.6 WAR. You just cannot have that. Gross.
#3: Justin Topa gets no love
This one surprised me the most. Topa had a great 2023, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 3.15 FIP, and even had a 3.66 FIP the year before that (only 7 games that season). He was worth 1.6 WAR as well, showing true value to the Mariners. ZiPS kicks him straight in the shin by projecting a 0.2 WAR season with a 4.25 ERA, lower K rate, higher BB rate, double the HR rate, and a 4.29 FIP. Could he turn into Drew Steckenrider from a couple of years ago and just forget how to pitch? Let's hope not.
There are a lot of fun things to look at on here, and I'll spend hours just chewing through the numbers. Go check it all out, and as always, go Mariners!