We've made it all the way through all of the players who played meaningful time this year for the Mariners, but there are still a couple of spots that we need to look at on the team. You could argue that the most important one is the one that we have remaining, as it comes down to the Front Office on making sure that the team is setup for success. Decision making at a game level is important as well, which is why we are looking at Scott Servais and his grade today.
I'm trying to break this apart and look solely at how Scott did as the Manager of the Seattle Mariners in 2023. You can't neccesarily blame a Manager for having a bad offense or a bad pitching staff if they aren't handed the correct tools to succeed. However, if you are consistently seeing issues arise when they aren't expected, that is when the worries start to creep in.
That's where we are at with Servais. It's tough, because this team definitely looks talented enough to succeed. The starting pitching is amazing, the bullpen continues to find cast-offs and turn them into meaningful pieces. How does Servais do, though?
Scott Servais gets a C+ for his 2023 season
I can't blame him for Pollock or Wong. I think there is partial blame for the regression from France and Geno. Lineup construction was rough at times, not just in who hit where, but in who was playing on a given day. Giving a handful of guys a day of in the middle of summer makes sense. Doing so in Game 161, not so much. Haggerty at DH? Dylan Moore in LF? Those should be guys coming off the BN late as a spark of PH/DEF sub... not starting in the most important game of the year.
There were also some funky moves in the bullpen throughout the year. I'm a pro-matchup over specific inning guy, but it still seemed like he was making blind decisions out there. Brash set a team record for appearances, and it did seem like pitchers were getting overworked and then untouched for a while.
The last two seasons have been met with everything from "Fire this guy" to "wow, Servais is good". It follows success, and I think that's why people are frustrated right now. Then again, if the Mariners had a record in one-run games similar to the last two seasons, they win the division in a landslide. Is that on Servais? Some of it is, yes. We saw odd decisions in extras and clutch moments this year, and it's never good for fans to be upset before the first pitch is even thrown in those situations.
Servais might still be good, but it wasn't a great year. He's the second winningest coach in team history, and has had a very good three year run in Seattle. He passed 2023, but not by a big margain.