Early Season Mariners Musings: Three Quick Fixes

Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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We are more than a month into the 2023 campaign, 35 games. There’s still a crowd of Twitterites who are calling for massive moves, ranging from trading Teoscar Hernandez to moving superstar Julio Rodriguez (more on that later). In addition, there are a few small moves the President of Baseball Operations, Jerry Dipoto, and General Manager, Justin Hollander, could make to right the ship. However, in this edition of Mariner Musings, we’ll stick to Manager Scott Servais’ wheelhouse, outlining three minor moves he can make to steady the season.

Move #1: J.P. Crawford, New Leadoff Hitter

The past two weeks, we’ve seen J.P. Crawford produce at a level far better than your average bottom-of-the-lineup hitter. He has come through in critical spots, time and time again, even when the rest of the lineup is pressing. With all the handwringing about the team’s ineptitude in base-loaded situations, Crawford is the only one delivering (4-5, 10 RBI).

Crawford’s work with Driveline during the offseason pays big dividends, as the 28-year-old shortstop is back to using the entire field. He’s also on pace for career highs in average exit velocity (90.4), hard-hit rate (36.7), and walk rate (18). That sure seems like the blueprint for a perfect leadoff hitter.

It’s about time to push Julio Rodriguez down and slide everyone down a spot in the lineup. Get the team’s OBP leader (.378) those extra at-bats, take the added pressure off the scuffling 22-year-old, and put it on the Mariners’ emotional leader. He’s proven he can handle it.