SERVAIS WITH A SMILE
Mariners' Manager feeling good, focused & thrilled
Bucky & I spoke, at length, with Scott Servais Wednesday. The following is a breakdown of just some of his answers.
1) Regarding how he'll use the back end of his bullpen.
The gist of what Servais told us: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. You can bet the organization will lean into matchups in the late innings over defined roles.
My guess: Munoz won't be the "closer", but he'll save more games than Sewald this season. And Matt Brash is ready for high leverage situations. We saw him shine last postseason, and his arsenal of filthy stuff might actually be improved.
2) How "platoony" are you going to be this year?
Servais (the gist): Quite platoony. Pollock & Kelenic seem like a given in left field. Kolten Wong has already been informed that Dylan Moore is going to get a lot of AB's versus lefties. And the DH spot will be used as a revolving door.
3) How will the rotation stack up?
Servais: Marco Gonzales will make the rotation. Despite the hype, Bryce Miller will very likely start in the minors. Chris Flexen is back in the pen. Determining the rotation sequence is insignificant, although he will split up lefties so that they won't pitch back-to-back games.
My guess: (1) Castillo (2) Ray (3) Gilbert (4) Kirby (5) Marco
4) Is this the most talented staff you've ever managed?
Servais: "Without a doubt"
5) Your base-stealers, you've always said, have the green light. With the new rules benefitting base-stealing, will you take it further and order more base-stealing?
Servais: We'd be fools not to take advantage of the new rules.
6) What is the ceiling for Julio Rodriguez in 2023?