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healy
Photo: MLB

#27

1B/3B

Ryon Healy

Ryon Christopher Healy

Height: 6'4"    Weight: 232

Bats/Throws: Right / Right

Born: 01/10/1992 in West Hills, California

Offseason home: West Hills, California

College: University of Oregon

Acquired: In trade from the Oakland Athletics, for Emilio Pagan and Alexander Campos (11/15/2017)

MLB Debut: 07/15/2016

Free Agent after: 2022 season

Twitter handle: @rchealy25

GM Jerry Dipoto liked Healy well enough to trade one of his favorite relievers for him before last year. Dipoto seemed to think he'd found a young power hitter that could finally plug the Mariners' perpetual hole at first base for years to come. Instead, Healy delivered a remarkably poor season in his first year as a Mariner—his .277 on-base percentage was fourth-worst in the Majors among qualified batters and his platoon splits were astoundingly bad, with a .213/.269/.361 line vs. left-handers. The only aspect of his game that was a positive surprise was his defense. When with the Athletics, he was a brutal liability in the field as a third baseman, but across the diamond with the M's he showed real chops.

This year it looks like he's going to see more time at third base than first, so that lead glove from Oakland may reappear. With Kyle Seager spending at least the first two months of the season on the injured list, that's Healy's way into the lineup, though, and when Seager returns it seems likely Healy will be optioned down to Triple-A unless something changes—something like Healy suddenly learning plate discipline or maybe getting Lasik done.

Why Lasik? Just a theory, but there's an interesting element of Healy's splits that suggests either a vision or a circadian issue: he's better in day games. Far better. .216/.254/.358 at night, .277/.325/.529 in the afternoon last year (.249/.283/.403 vs. .295/.333/.544 career). Moreover, over all games he does well in his first at-bat, .308/.344/.558, and in a typical 7:10 start-time game, it's still light out by the first AB. Why such a discrepancy? Is he an early riser that fades at night, or does he need direct sunlight to see the pitch? It might be strictly coincidental, but it seems to warrant investigation.

Healy also has a temper—manager Scott Servais calls him "combustive"—and you can see it on the field when something doesn't go his way. If he has a couple of bad at-bats, Servais says, things in the dugout or clubhouse can get loud. "He’s yelling at himself or taking it out on his equipment."

TH, 3/18/19