Mariners manager Scott Servais was joking around and upbeat hours before the game Monday night against the Texas Rangers.
Even as the team has struggled mightily since the All-Star break, Servais said he has stayed positive during this “step-back” year by not forgetting the long-term plan of developing young players in hope that it eventually pays off.
Even by rebuilding standards, this has been a tough stretch. The Mariners are 1-7 since the All-Star break, and they have been outscored 62-14 in the seven defeats.
“I’ve been able to focus on the big picture, and I kind of knew what we were up against and that we would have some tough times,” he said. “How we have gone about the season has maybe been a little more rocky than I anticipated — the ups and down, playing really good for a while, then struggling for a while — but you take the long play.
“What has really helped is my experience in the past of being in player development,” Servais said. “We’re about developing players. There is more tied to wins and losses here than there is in the minors, but the focus is on getting better.”
Crawford struggling at the plate
It has been a tough month offensively for rookie shortstop J.P. Crawford. Even with his 2-for-4 night Monday, he is hitting .132 (7 of 53) in July, dropping his batting average from .310 to .257.
“Teams have been pitching him a little differently the last week or so,” Servais said. “Teams have made an adjustment. He realizes that and he has to adjust back. He’s been playing well defensively. No issues there at all.”
Servais said he has been impressed with Crawford’s attitude.
“You can’t tell if he’s 8 for his last 10 or 0 for 10, and that is a good sign,” Servais said.
Servais said he had some inside information on right-handed reliever Matt Magill, acquired from the Minnesota Twins on Sunday after he was designated for assignment.
“He has a really great nickname, so grab your pens,” Servais said. “He goes by Goose and his son’s name is Maverick.”
That will undoubtedly make Magill a favorite for Mariners fans who also like “Top Gun.”