The Seattle Mariners have had their share of pitching problems this season. Our Jordan Cordano believes many of the issues are a result of Scott Servais overmanaging his pitchers.
The Seattle Mariners are guilty of a few things this season. One is the front office and its lack of aggressiveness at the trade deadline to add needed pieces to this roster. Another is the lineup for most of the season being unable to get on base, get the runner over and drive in runs. You can interpret that, however, you like. Finally, the other thing that I believe the Mariners coaches, especially Manager Scott Servais, are guilty of is “overmanaging” the pitchers.
At times this season, Scott Servais kept Juan Nicasio in the 8th inning role and that cost the Mariners a few games this season early on. Instead of pulling the plug when he could, he kept his course like Servais has done all year. The lack of acknowledgment to make changes to the back end of the bullpen (minus Diaz) was well known. It forced GM Jerry Dipoto to go out and make the trade for Alex Colome. That was rough at first but turned out to be a good move.
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You can also point to the fact that the front office stuck with Felix Hernandez in the rotation for far too long. He was briefly pulled for a couple of starts before Felix was forced back into the rotation due to some injuries, and lack of starting pitching depth.
Hernandez is owed a vault full of money ($27 Million in 2019) but that doesn’t necessarily mean the M’s had to play him in the same role because of what he has done for them in the past. He should’ve been pulled out of the rotation a couple of months earlier and possibly filled in with someone off of waivers or via trade.
We can even look another direction and see the number of starts that Wade LeBlanc, Mike Leake and Marco Gonzalez made this season and those pitchers were pulled early in their starts for only the bullpen to end up giving up runs that lead to a loss.
Putting Gonzalez on a “pitch count” made some sense if you look back at his prior injury history. But guys like Leake and LeBlanc were pulled sometimes after pitching 4-6 innings while their pitch counts were low and at times seemed to have the games under control.
The season is down to its final couple of weeks and. it’s been a positive one with the Mariners securing a “winning record.” It looks less and less likely the team will string together enough wins paired with enough Athletic losses for the M’s to sneak into the playoffs.
For the 2019 season, Scott needs to stop over managing and trying to be headstrong captain of a ship that needs to sail another direction.