Areas Of Concern For The Seattle Mariners, So Far
Concern #2 - Second base and infield depth
I cannot say that I was ecstatic after acquiring Kolten Wong in the offseason but I was certainly happy. Mmm, a better word to describe my feelings is that I was "content." Wong is not a star player but he felt like a good fit considering his defensive skills, experience, and average hitting and speed.
Prior to 2023, he was a .261/.334/.398 slash line per 162 games. This is not bad at all for the type of player he is.
Right now, his Baseball Savant page doesn't look great. He doesn't whiff or strike out a lot, but his exit velocity, barrel rate, xBA, xwOBA, and xSLG are at the bottom of the league.
Offensive production from second basemen in 2022 was an inconsistent mixed bag and Wong hasn't lived up to the hype yet. Luckily, Wong is defensively minded so he will be an important part of the team even if he only hits .225. But right now, he isn't close to that and will need to produce with the bat against right-handed pitchers. So far, his xBA is around .168.
The utility man is fun to watch and cheer on, but he struggled so far in 2023. Haggerty is another Mariners player that is below the Mendoza Line and we need him to get on base one way or another. He is a great base stealer but that won't do us any good unless he can get on base.
Sam's xBA is higher than his batting average which gives me a bit of hope, but his xBA is still quite low. It is roughly .215 according to Baseball Savant.
I am particularly paying close attention to Haggerty because of his defensive flexibility. The outfield looks to be in good shape but Haggerty is the main backup at second and shortstop with Dylan Moore still working his way back from injury.
Tommy La Stella
Like I said, I was content with bringing in Kolten Wong but the addition of Tommy La Stella was a bit of a head scratcher. His offensive metrics look nearly identical to Tom Murphy's and I am not feeling too optimistic about him picking things up.
La Stella's xBA is low and it regressed in 2022 as well. The well experienced infielder has some decent seasons early in his career that would be viable as a backup. But as of now, he isn't there much like Kolten Wong.
It will be interesting to see how much of an impact Dylan Moore will make when he is back healthy and is able to give Ty France and Eugenio Suarez breaks at the corners.