Comparing the Mariner's 2023 end-of-season and projected 2024 roster is like comparing apples and oranges, an exercise in futility. The swing and miss are still there because power hitters like Cal Raleigh, Julio Rodriguez, and Mitch Garver will always sell out now and then. However, the swing and miss should be less prevalent, thanks to a concerted effort from the front office to remake the roster. While manager Scott Servais probably accepts Garver, Raleigh, and Rodriguez slowly walking back to the dugout a hundred-plus times, one player, Dylan Moore, could be on the bubble.
Moore, a super utility player known for his positional versatility, sneaky pop, and above-average speed, has been a mainstay on Servais' rosters since 2021. However, one concerning statistic might allow one of the other contenders to steal the job. That glaring hole in Moore's game is, in fact, the strikeout. The 31-year-old has an alarming trend in the strikeout department. Remember, the league average is around 23%, so Moore was 10% above 2023.
Jerry Dipoto, the Mariner's president of baseball operations, and Justin Hollander, the general manager, reimagined this roster with players who best fit the philosophy. Moore has gotten away from the contact, sold out for power, and is at the edge of his prime, which means more regression.
There are plenty of options to replace Moore on the roster if the Mariners think he is due for another step back.
Dipoto has invited the following utility players to Peoria in a tight battle for a couple of spots, with one being Moore's role. While Michael Chavis, Cole Tucker, and Ryan Bliss are probably long shots, speedy switch-hitting Sam Haggerty and newcomer Samad Taylor could make some noise this spring. Both players offer more contact and the same positional versatility and speed as the 31-year-old Moore. With all those factors, this should be one of the most hyped position player battles of the spring and a reason to follow all the action in the Cactus League, which kicks off on February 24th.