Is Mariners first base platoon working?

The long ball heroics of Dae-Ho Lee and the early season struggles of Adam Lind have left some Seattle Mariners fans clamoring for change. These frustrated faithful want manager Scott Servais to give Lee more playing time at first base and exile Lind to the bench. Some would prefer that the team would go a step further and jettison Lind from Seattle altogether.

Is the Mariners first base situation so lopsided that a change needs to be made at the position? If that’s the case, the club’s platoon would have to be classified a failure. Is that really the case though?

Lee’s proponents contend that their man has been far more successful at the plate and that he’d continue to be productive, if given the opportunity to play every day. They point to the 34-year-old’s offensive success during two seasons in Japan — 50 home runs and .292/.365/.487 triple-slash — as proof that he can be productive as a full-time player.

Lind/Lee  Stats (2016 Season)
Name Age G PA H HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Adam Lind 32 47 165 38 7 9 35 .245 .285 .406 .691
Dae-ho Lee 34 41 109 31 10 5 21 .301 .339 .592 .932
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/11/2016.

Lind backers counter that the left-handed hitter has a .273/.330/.463 triple-slash during his 11-year major league career and that he’s likely to bounce back to his career norms. As far as they’re concerned, Lee’s success is a small sample size, while their man is a proven major league hitter.

Each player’s supporters make a compelling case. Should Servais change his approach or stay the course? Look at the production of his two first baseman during the last month of play before you decide.

Lind/Lee Stats (Last 28 games)
Name G GS PA H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Dae-ho Lee 19 11 56 18 5 15 2 11 .333 .357 .611 .968
Adam Lind 18 17 65 16 5 15 6 9 .271 .338 .542 .881
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/11/2016.

Both players have been producing at the plate since May 11 and have combined for a .303/.346/.590 slash, which ranks near the top of the American League for first base offensive production. These numbers strengthen the case for Servais to remain faithful to his current setup.

There may come a time when making a change at first base will make sense. If Lind can’t sustain his recent upsurge in production, the team may opt to go in another direction. Especially, if they remain in contention. For now though, the first base platoon is working and the Mariners would be best served to stick with mixing and matching Lee and Lind — a job that Servais has done masterfully.

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Luke Arkins

Luke is a native New Yorker, who grew up a Mets fan. After the US Navy moved him to the Pacific Northwest in 2009, he decided to make Seattle his home. During the baseball season, he can be seen often observing the local team at Safeco Field. You can follow Luke on Twitter @luke_arkins
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