Areas Of Concern For The Seattle Mariners, So Far

Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs
Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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The Seattle Mariners aren't off to a great start and it's not surprising given how the team is struggling in several areas. We are extremely early in the season but here are a few areas where the Mariners need to pick it up.

Early Areas of Concern for the Seattle Mariners | Concern #1 - Backup catchers

Tom Murphy

Prior to the season starting, I was excited to have Tom Murphy back in T-Mobile Park as the main backup for Cal Raleigh. He is no All-Star player, but I will gladly take his 2019 season slash line: .273/.324/.535. I became even more excited after monitoring Murphy's Spring Training stats; he hit .275 with three home runs.

Now we're half way through April and things aren't looking great. The Mariners catcher is hitting well below the Mendoza Line and his advanced metrics doesn't give me any hope at the moment. His xBA (prior to 4/15/23) is .183 and his xwOBA is .210. For comparison, Cal Raleigh's xBA is .282 and his xwOBA is .356.

Cooper Hummel

Cooper Hummel, the backup to Tom Murphy at home plate, is also off to a rough start. Like Murphy, the Oregon native had a good Spring Training. Hummel hit .275 with four home runs and four stolen bases. However, his numbers in Arizona are not translating in the regular season. The 28-year-old is also hitting below the Mendoza Line and hasn't homered yet. He does have one stolen base which is one of the unique skills he brings to the lineup as a catcher.

All this being said, it's still VERY early in the season and I expect Tom Murphy to pick it up next month. It's been a little while since he's had action and he might just need more opportunities to find his groove.

As far as Cooper Hummel, he is a little more of an unknown and expendable for the Seattle Mariners. He hasn't proven himself at the big league level and he has minor league options if the Mariners decide to give him more work in Tacoma.

Now on to the next area of concern.