Mariners Mailbag: Who is the real team? Baby Kyle Lewis? After Haniger’s return?

Like sunny days in Seattle, apparently, Twitter’s mailbag is waiting until July to appear. And with the Mariners on an impressive swing from ‘fire everybody’ to ‘I always knew they’d be back’ and rampant speculation over roster traffic and who the Mariners should acquire at the trade deadline , it seems like the perfect time for the mailbag. triumphant return.

As always, these are real questions for non-bandwagon fans who are my Twitter followers.

Given what it takes every night, winning eight straight can be considered an aberration for any team, even the Yankees and Astros. Usually, when streaks occur, they’re not just about the winning team, but often the circumstances of the other teams they’re playing against.

While it’s fun to play the schedule game (a favorite of some sportstalk radio hosts), it’s often about when you play against teams and what happens with them. Toronto barely looked like a playoff team in the lead-up to the four-game series with Seattle.

Does the Mariners winning streak reach eight games if Kevin Gausman pitches in the Blue Jays series? Does it even start if A’s ace Frankie Montas doesn’t start after a working inning due to shoulder issues?

After the dreadful 3-8 homestand where everyone thought Scott Servais (or at least someone) was getting fired, the Mariners are 19-3. Do I think they are that good? Of course not. Do I also think they were as bad as they played during this homestand or in the 9-21 streak from April 27 to May 25? No.

They fall somewhere between these extremes. The recent success of the starting rotation will be difficult to sustain on a day-to-day basis for the rest of the season. There will be a stretch where one or two starters will struggle. The Mariners haven’t seen a starting pitcher miss a start this season due to injury, which is atypical in baseball. They have yet to release a lineup that features a healthy Mitch Haniger and Kyle Lewis at the same time or even offer an extended extension showing what the Offense could actually deliver.

I never tell fans how to be fans. But the Mariners arrived Monday holding one of three wildcard spots in the American League (they own the tiebreaker over the Blue Jays) and were just one game shy of second wildcard and 2.5 matches of the first joker. place.

Even if you’re skeptical and afraid to believe better days are ahead, it’s respectable that they’ve returned to something more than consideration.

Well, it’s not as bad as when fans were calling Lewis soft for missing so much time with a concussion, saying that because the pitch peeked over his shoulder, he didn’t. Shouldn’t have caused a severe concussion even if he had hit the soft area behind his ear where skull protection is minimal.

There are no minor concussions. Either you are concussed or not. And each person reacts differently to concussions. I had five. Lewis was bothered by the sun and bright lights, had blurred vision, headaches, nausea and fatigue. He recently spoke of being stuck in bed for hours a day as he tried to get the symptoms to go away.

But as far as the Mariners pampering him and not letting him come back, you’d be 100% wrong on that situation.

You don’t think Servais wanted Lewis back when it came to suspensions?

While the Mariners won’t openly admit it or criticize it, it’s Lewis in control with his time in rehab and his return to the MLB roster. He’s always had the final say in determining if he’s ready to return, dating back to his previous knee issues early in his career.

On June 30, Servais was asked when Lewis and Mitch Haniger might return from their respective injuries. His answer :

“You’re kind of on point with the players working here before the game, it’s up to them as much as anything where they are at and when they want to come out. [on a rehab assignment] and play to prepare to come back here and help us. I don’t have an exact date. You will have to talk to them.

It was not the first time that Servais had said something of this nature.

In a trend with more players around MLB, they are taking control of their recovery and rehabilitation. That’s not to say they completely ignore the Mariners training staff. But they want to have a say with their own doctors and coaches who they trust to work with the team staff.

That’s why Servais and Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto had somewhat vague or generalized comments about the injury status of these two players.

Players absolutely must have the right to control their health and make decisions about their recovery and return from injury. They better understand that rushing or not getting enough reps during a rehab stint usually leads to poor performance and a greater risk of recurrent injury.

The one thing the Mariners have said since Lewis started this current rehab mission that could prolong it is that they want him to be able to come back and play in the outfield and not be strictly a designated hitter. Given the current roster setup, they don’t have the luxury of a DH-only player. Lewis is expected to play the field with Class AAA Tacoma this week and should be ready to go after the All-Star break.

Also, a “locked swing” in the minor leagues does not mean it hits the major league pitcher.

My initial response is something that infuriates people, but there’s a fair amount of truth to it: “Baseball has a way of understanding these things.”

Eh?

This means that by the time Haniger and Lewis are back on the roster together, things might not look complicated due to injury or poor performance.

So let’s say Lewis returns after the break and Haniger is ready to go on July 28 when the Mariners open up a massive road trip, which starts with four games in Houston and three at Yankee Stadium and includes the August 2 trade deadline. .

Until then, there may not be a list break. But Upton has always been replaceable and has done nothing to change that belief. For most fans, Winker’s biggest contribution was starting a fight, then eating and tweeting about a pizza he received for making it. Kelenic’s numbers are great in Tacoma, but there’s a reason he hasn’t been called up yet. The Mariners want some changes to his two-hit approach and recognize and hit broken pitches to show more consistency.

To me, if the Mariners are still in that wildcard position when Haniger and Lewis are both healthy and on the roster, then each player’s personal feelings about their role, playing time, or being fired don’t shouldn’t mean a damn thing to Servais or Dipoto.

This organization has not made the playoffs in 21 years. The sole focus over the past few months is to get the players on the pitch that give them the best chance of getting there, hurt feelings be damned. It’s not about development anymore. It is not about building for the future. It’s not even about having an extended window of success. Seize the moment, end the drought and start changing the perception of the franchise. It’s what the fans deserve.

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