Tough not to notice all the strikeouts the Mariners have taken of late. Hitting coach Dave Hansen is hard to pin down, but we got him for a few moments today and one of the topics that came up was the team’s strikeout rate. The Mariners have struck out at least 11 times in four of the first seven games on this 2-5 trip.
They have struck out 13 times on three occasions and are averaging 9.3 strikeouts per contest.
Then again, if you crunch the date, the Mariners also have a .348 on-base-percentage and a .474 slugging mark during those seven games for an .814 OPS and are averaging 4.7 runs per contest. The team’s walk rate has also gone up. So, on the surface of it, the team is still putting up some impressive offensive totals despite the whiffs.
Hansen said what you’re seeing now is the team going through the process of “refining” its strike zone. The Mariners are still striking out, ut they are also taking more walks and generating more offense by swinging at hittable pitches and doing some damage with them.
“We’re still working on it,” Hansen said. “We’re still getting our strikeouts. But when you’re consistent with your approach, you refine your strike zone. It’s a byproduct, I think. You just don’t chase as many. We still chase. But we don’t chase as many pitches. We’re looking for more specific pitches and that’s real important that we do that — stay focused that way.
“You will see the walks. We’re still working on the other part, but I do see that we’re in it every pitch. And that’s real important.More