long
Photo: MLB

#4

2B/IF

Shed Long

Shedric Bernard Long Jr.

Height: 5'8"    Weight: 184

Bats/Throws: Left / Right

Born: 08/22/1995 in Birmingham, Alabama

Offseason home: Oxford, Alabama

Acquired: In trade from the New York Yankees, for Josh Stowers (01/21/2019)

Salary: Not available

MLB Debut: 05/11/2019

Free Agent after: 2025 season

Twitter handle: @SLONG895

The Mariners handed Long the everyday second base job going into last year's mini-season. Why? We don't know. Manager Scott Servais seemed to want him to play even though his defense was iffy and his offensive strength as a minor-leaguer in the Reds' system—getting on base (.356 minor-league OBP pre-trade)—was nowhere to be seen as a Mariner asset, Major or minor leagues. Predictably, he put up terrible numbers in 2020, though it was revealed later in the campaign that he'd been playing through pain and had a shin issue that eventually became a fracture that mercifully put him on the injured list. Long had surgery to correct the underlying problem over the winter and his recovery has been slow; at this writing he had not played at all in spring training and will undoubtedly begin the season once more on the IL and/or remanded to extended spring training in Arizona.

When he's ready to play again, the best move would be to send him back to Triple-A and see if his former plate discipline and on-base skills can be coaxed back to the surface. Where to play him on the field is an open question; originally a catcher, Long was converted to the infield at the Class-A level and has experience at third and short as well as second base, plus the M's have tried him in left field. Though he's got issues at all of them, he's not terrible at any of those spots, and his best path back to the Majors is probably as a utility guy off the bench.

TH, 3/18/21