The Mariners placed outfielders Julio Rodriguez (Right wrist bruised) and Utilityman Dylan Moore (back spasms) on the 10-day injured list. Jarred Kelenic was called up by Triple-A and First Baseman/Outfielder Jack LarsenThe contract of was selected by Double-A. To make room for Larsen in the 40-man squad, left-handed Anton Misiewicz was determined to be assigned.
Last night’s 5-4 win over the Astros was a costly win for the Mariners as Rodriguez, Moore and Sam Haggerty (due to a laceration to the forehead) all had to leave the game, making Seattle’s late-inning triumph all the more unlikely. If that wasn’t enough Ty France also undergoes an MRI as his troublesome left wrist injury flared up again late in the game.
Rodriguez’s injury sparked the biggest concern after the star rookie was hit in the right hand while swinging, although X-rays were negative. Rodriguez is still so sore he won’t be able to swing for the next 4-5 days, manager Scott Servais said Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times and other reporters, and thus the IL stay was necessary to prevent the Mariners from being understaffed and to give Rodriguez time to heal.
There’s no easy way to replace Rodriguez, who has quickly established himself as the present and future of Seattle baseball. The outfielder is the big favorite for AL Rookie Of The Year honors unless that IL stint lasts or impacts Rodriguez’s performance once he returns. Likewise, France also fielded the AL All-Star team this year and have basically done nothing but score since the M’s acquired him from the Padres at the 2020 trade deadline.
Rodriguez and France are the Mariners’ two team leaders in fWAR, so losing at least one, and possibly both, to injury just before the close puts the Seattle front office in a difficult position. President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto implied that after that Luis Castillo Handel, the M’s could not cope with large movements and depended on them Mitch Haniger‘s return to bolster offense rather than relying on outsiders. The Mariners still have over 52 hours to monitor and assess Rodriguez and France ahead of the 5pm CT deadline on August 2, but if there are any uncertainties the aggressive Dipoto could opt-in, just in case to conduct a depth swap for the lineup.
A valuable player in his own right, Moore hit a 116 wRC+ (from five home runs and a .197/.350/.367 slash in 185 PA) and played at least one game in seven different positions around the diamond this season. Abraham Toro has to make up some of the supply gap in the meantime, although Toro has mostly played second and third base during his two seasons with the Mariners. Back spasms might not keep Moore sidelined much longer than the 10-day minimum, but Dipoto might also consider adding a multi-position player at short notice to fill in Moore’s footsteps.
Kelenic will get another opportunity to establish himself in the majors after struggling badly in the show’s first 473 record appearances. Kelenic has scored .173/.256/.338 as a big league with an awkward strikeout rate of 30%. That swing-and-miss wormed its way into Kelenic’s work with the Minors, as if he’s hitting well at Triple-A, his strikeout rate over 252 PA for Tacoma this season is 23.8%, significantly higher than 15.4 % in 143 triple-A PA in 2021.
Larsen wasn’t drafted in 2017, but after signing with the Mariners shortly after the amateur draft, the UC San Diego product is now poised to make its major league debut without a cup of coffee at Triple-A level . The 27-year-old has played all three outfield positions and a handful of games as a first baseman, although Larsen has yet to play midfield this year. At the plate, Larsen has hit .266/.371/.444 in 564 career PA in double-A ball. Neither Baseball America nor MLB Pipeline rank Larsen as one of the top 30 prospects in the Seattle farm system.
Misiewicz has been a regular in the Mariners’ bullpen for the past three seasons, but he was nominated for Triple-A in June after posting a 4.61 ERA in 13 2/3 innings this season and just a 14% strikeout rate had scored. The Ms are known to be looking for bullpen help before the deadline and a left-hander relief could be a particular need as Misiewicz’s struggles further diminished an already thin pen on the southpaws. It’s not out of the question that Misiewicz could be claimed on DFA waivers as other clubs constantly seek left-handed relief.