We’re at the halfway point of the season. So far the 2019 Mariners have been pretty good (18-14 in March/April), completely dismal (7-21 in May), and mediocre to lower-mediocre (the worst they can finish off June is at 12-15). That makes it hard to get a handle on the big-league team overall, but there have been bright spots: Omar Narvaez has been the fifth-best catcher in baseball (min. 250 PAs) by fWAR and the second best in the AL by offense alone; J.P. Crawford has played of late like the Top-100 prospect he was touted as; Daniel Vogelbach has been smacking moonshot home runs. It hasn’t always been pretty [glares in direction of bullpen], but the team has come a long ways from that terrible .250 May.
Meanwhile, the farm is in better shape than it has been in years, with exciting talent at virtually every level of the system. Prospect writers used to draw straws for who had the displeasure of writing about the M’s farm; now the clubs are a regular fixture on MLB Pipeline tweets. Even the mainstream Mariners media like The Seattle Times and ROOT are devoting time to talking about the farm. Yesterday it was announced that the Mariners would be one of just five clubs sending three prospects to the Futures Game.
Despite the losing record, Mariners fans in the FanPulse survey generally believe the team is on the right track: 77% express confidence with the direction of the team, while 78% approve of the job Scott Servais is doing as manager. That’s something that was covered this week on 710 ESPN; Jeff Passan stopped by and voiced his opinion that Servais won’t make it through the rebuild with his job, as teams generally like to clean house after re-starting a rebuild. That assertion was strongly disputed by 710 hosts Bob Stelton, Dave Grosby, and Tom Wassell, who pointed out that a) Servais and Dipoto seem to be a package deal; and b) Servais can’t be faulted for the level of talent that’s on the team. The issue of the bullpen was brought up: how can one manage an unmanageable bullpen? While the manager is the most popular target for a symbolic regime change, in Seattle, that change has already happened. I would personally be very surprised if Servais isn’t given the same chance Dipoto is given to oversee a team of their own making.
Do you see Scott Servais losing his job at the end of the season?
This poll is closed
The national question for the week was about stadium funding. As you can see, readers feel pretty strongly that ownership should be in charge of ponying up money for a stadium:
And most maintain they’d feel that even if it was their own team:
This is another timely question, as the MLBN documentary “Saving Baseball in Seattle” is set to air July 7. I won’t spoil the ending for you (okay, I will: baseball gets saved!), but it seems to cast some doubt on the 76% up there who are adamant they wouldn’t vote for city-funded stadiums.
If you want to be part of future FanPulse voting (it’s easy! it’s free! it will occupy you for a few minutes when you’re bored!), sign up here.