The Mariners are trying to sort out their offensive issues, and that’s not strictly related to what they’re accomplishing at the plate.
Entering Tuesday, Seattle is 0 for 4 in stolen base attempts, one of only two teams in the MLB without a steal in 2016. The other is Detroit, which has attempted just one stolen base.
The most puzzling thing is that the Mariners definitely have speed in their lineup. Center fielder Leonys Martin has twice stolen 30-plus bases in his career and was a perfect 6 for 6 in spring training, and leadoff man Norichika Aoki, shortstop Ketel Marte and utility infielder Luis Sardinas could all also be considered threats to steal double-digit bases.
Mike Blowers, Mariners color commentator for ROOT Sports, told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Bob, Groz and Tom” that the lack of success on the base paths is one of a few “out of character” things he’s seen from the team early on, and he believes it could be a big boon for the offense to get the speedier players in motion.
“We saw all that speed during spring training and I don’t believe they’ve stolen a base yet. I think that’ll change once these guys get on base more often,” Blowers said. “When you look at the guys that can run, you’d like to see a stretch of two, four, five games when those guys are on consistently and causing some havoc on the bases while the power guys try to get their stuff together here.”
If nothing else, getting the running game going could take pressure off the middle of the lineup that has struggled for the better part of a week.
“Those other guys at the top and the bottom could be productive and help them through this time while you’re kinda waiting your way through it and trying to figure out what kind of offensive team you have,” said Blowers.