Two 2021 All-Stars, two struggling hitters, two plates of food – an unpleasant conversation.
After a day’s play last week, the Mariners’ Adam Frazier and Jesse Winker went out to dinner. They don’t usually talk about baseball while dining together, but this time the topic seemed inevitable.
At one point during the meal, Frazier mentioned to Winker that they were both All-Stars last year but were currently hitting the low .200. According to Adam, Jesse paused for a second or two before responding, “Hey, tough game.”
Let’s be real for a second – the Mariners (29-39) have zoomed past the bad and are in full disaster zone. They have lost seven of their last nine matches, 33 of their last 51 and are out in four of their last nine. Hitting is far more to blame for their struggles than pitching, and if you’re looking for a pair of players that epitomize offensive frustration, it’s Frazier and Winker.
Sentences like the one above are never pleasant to write. The two recent acquisitions are making over $7 million each year, but they’re still competitive with pride and all other human emotions. Still, it’s impossible to ignore the Grand Canyon-sized gap between their production this year versus last year.
Frasier had a War of 4.1 and a career-high OPS of .836 in 155 games with the Padres and Pirates last season. This year, the second baseman has a WAR of -0.1 and a career-low OPS of .600.
Winker had a battle of 2.7s and career-high OPS of .949 in 110 games with the Reds last season. This year, the outfielder has a WAR of -0.5 and a career-low OPS of .626.
they are not No Helping the Mariners – They’re outright hurting them. So on Saturday, I came to the clubhouse to know his perspective on his shortcomings.
First was Frazier, whose demeanor was odd but the disappointment was evident.
“I’ve never had it for so long. I’ve had a bad month or two and then figured it out, but I’ve never had a bad two and a half months,” said Frazier, who is batting. 227 .306 With the slugging percentage. “I felt great in the spring, then it was hit and miss for the first few weeks of the season, and then there was some tough luck and that’s when you start to pressurize.”
what do you think happened?
“I don’t know. That’s part of the kill. You go from being in nice weather to Arizona, then you go out to play in the snow for a few days and that makes it a little harder to consistently stay where you want to be. But you go through it every year,” Frazier said. “Baseball is a tough sport. You may be on top of the world at one point and at other times you’re exploring and feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Next was Winker, who clearly didn’t want to talk. Can’t really blame him. Our (brief) conversation came after the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, when he got the Angels out looking for a 10th innings win.
“I’m not playing well and it’s as simple as it can get,” said Winker, who leads the American League with 42 walks but is batting .209 and slugging .299. “I just have to find out.”
Obviously the expectations were high. Can you talk about the level of frustration you’re feeling and what you might have expected of yourself? I asked, in a very strange way.
“Things are clearly not going well,” Winker said, adding that his slowdown is not due to a mechanical problem. “It wasn’t what I expected, and it’s my job to find out why and change it.”
It’s hard not to think Mariners manager Scott Servais has lost some faith in the pairing. Winker did not start in any game on Saturday. Frazier didn’t start in the first game with a 4-0 loss on either Saturday or Sunday. This is when you have a negative battle and, out of 158 eligible MLB players, rank 142nd (Winker) and 147th (Frazier) in Ops.
What’s up, Scott?
“It has been a struggle for Wink and Frieze to achieve this. Their track record says one thing, and what we are seeing this year says something completely different, which is relatable,” said Service “Those two guys coming into the season we were weighing heavily. They needed to carry a substantial portion of the offensive load. ,
“They need to make adjustments,” Servais said. “One thing about this league is that if you are lacking in a certain area, a certain type of pitch or part of the strike zone, you will be exposed. And I think with both guys, teams are recognizing certain areas or pitches they’re struggling against and that’s filling them in with. ,
I don’t know how things will turn out for Frazier or Winker. I want to say things couldn’t get worse, but we are talking about a team that hasn’t made it to the playoffs for 21 years.
A season earlier, Frazier and Winker were playing at the All-Star level. I think at this point, the Mariners and their fans will just play for them at a major-league level.