Injury update, near-trade, and the bullpen shuffle
Mitch Haniger to the injured list again
June 7, 2019
A quick roundup of Mariner roster moves and almost-moves over the past few days:
- Outfielder Mitch Haniger has been placed on the 10-day inured list after fouling a pitch off of his, er, breadbasket in yesterday's 14-inning loss to Houston. Haniger has been diagnosed with a ruptured testicle and will be out of action for an indeterminate length of time. He underwent a surgical procedure today. In 2017, Haniger had another scary injury in the batter's box when he was hit in the mouth by a Jacob deGrom fastball and had to have a surgical repair to his face (this is why many Mariner players, including Haniger, started using the extended faceguard on their batting helmets).
- Tuesday night, outfielder Braden Bishop struck out in his first two at-bats then Mallex Smith went out to his position the next inning; sitting next to me in the upper deck at TMP, my friend Bill said, "maybe Bishop just walked straight over to the train station after that last strike to head back to Tacoma." Well, no—Bishop actually went to the hospital. He had been hit by a pitch days earlier in a Triple-A game but didn't recognize any injury; there was one, and Bishop aggravated it while playing defense Tuesday night. He also underwent surgery, in this case to repair a lacerated spleen, and remains hospitalized.
- With Haniger and Bishop on the IL, the Mariners are carrying only three outfielders—Mallex Smith, Domingo Santana, and newcomer Mac Williamson, who joined the M's as a free agent last Wednesday—and a total of two bench players. This is obviously dumb. The M's have carried a dumb bench complement all year, not particularly caring about the downside of few substitution options, but this seems especially egregious, especially given regular left/right fielder Santana's defensive shortcomings. Apparently, middle infielders Shed Long and Tim Beckham are considered options for outfield play in a pinch. If more than one player has to come out of tonight's game, will we see a pitcher try to play left field? Another attempt at using Omar Narváez or Edwin Encarnación at second base? Consider fate tempted.
- Gerson Bautista has been activated off the injured list and made his AL debut yesterday, pitching one inning and allowing one earned run. The hard-throwing righty came to Seattle from the Mets in the Robinon Canó/Edwin Díaz trade last fall. Bautista takes the roster spot of Andrew Moore, who has been sent back to Double-A Arkansas after his one start last Tuesday.
- The M's have promoted South African reliever Tayler Scott to the big leagues. The 27-year-old right-hander has not been particularly effective for Triple-A Tacoma, going 3-2 with a 5.88 ERA and a WHIP of nearly 1.5 in 332⁄3 innings. Scott's addition brings the Seattle bullpen complement to a ridiculous nine members.
- Seattle now has an Angels-like eleven players on the injured list. Infielders Dee Gordon (wrist injury), Ryon Healy (back), and J.P. Crawford (ankle) appear to be closest to returning, perhaps during next week's series in Oakland.
- Seattle General Manager Jerry Dipoto had reportedly been this close to trading pitcher Mike Leake to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday. The two teams had been working out the details and nearly finalized a deal late Tuesday evening, but ultimately failed to reach an agreement. Leake has a full no-trade clause in his contract and would have to sign off on any deal, but things never got to the point of requesting his approval. Leake pitched an outstanding complete-game victory against the Astros on Wednesday night. This is the second time Leake has reportedly been the centerpiece of a near-trade since the end of last season; in November it was reported that the M's and San Diego Padres were close to a deal involving the veteran right-hander.