The Mariners placed the outfielder Julio Rodriguez (contusion of the right wrist) and utilitarian Dylan Moore (back spasms) on the 10-day injured list. Jarred Kelenic was recalled from Triple-A and first baseman/outfielder Jack LarsenThe contract of was selected from Double-A. To make room for Larsen on the 40-man roster, left-handed Anthony Misiewicz has been designated for assignment.
Last night’s 5-4 win over the Astros was a costly victory for the Mariners, as Rodriguez, Moore and Sam Haggerty (due to a cut in the forehead) all had to leave the game, making Seattle’s late-inning triumph all the more unlikely. If that wasn’t enough, France is also set to undergo an MRI as his troublesome left wrist injury erupted again late in the game.
Rodriguez’s injury caused the most immediate concern after the star rookie was hit in the right hand while swinging, despite X-rays coming back negative. Rodriguez is still sore enough that he won’t be able to swing for the next 4-5 days, manager Scott Servais says Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times and other reporters, and so the move to IL was necessary both to keep the Mariners from being understaffed and to give Rodriguez time to recover.
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 overwhelming favorite to earn AL Rookie Of The Year honors unless this stint in IL persists or impacts Rodriguez’s production once he returns. Likewise, France was also on the AL All-Star team this year and has done little but hitting since the Ms 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 potentially both to injury just before the trade deadline leaves Seattle’s front office in a tough spot. President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto hinted that after the castle louis trade, M’s could be made with any huge move and relied on Mitch Hanigeris back to boost attack rather than relying on outside pieces. The Mariners still have more than 52 hours to monitor and assess Rodriguez and France before the 5 p.m. CT deadline on Aug. 2, but if there’s any uncertainty, the aggressive Dipoto could opt to swing at least one trade in depth for training just in case.
Moore has been a valuable player in his own right, posting a 116 wRC+ (on five home runs and a .197/.350/.367 slant line in 185 PA) and playing at least one game in seven different positions around the diamond this season . Abraham Torro will have to fill some of the slack in the interim, though Toro has mostly played only second and third base in his two seasons with the Mariners. Back spasms might not sideline Moore much past the 10-day minimum, but Dipoto could also consider adding a multi-position player to help fill Moore’s shoes in the near term.
Kelenic will have another opportunity to establish himself in the majors after struggling a lot in the first 473 on-set appearances on the Show. Kelenic hit 0.173/0.256/0.338 as a big leaguer, with an unsightly 30% strikeout rate. That swing-and-miss has crept into Kelenic’s work in the minors, like he hits well at Triple-A, his strikeout rate on 252 AP for Tacoma this season is 23.8%, up considerable compared to 15.4% in 143 Triple-A PA in 2021.
Larsen went undrafted in 2017, but after signing a deal with the Mariners shortly after the amateur draft, the UC San Diego product is now set to make his Major League debut without even a cup of coffee at the Triple-A level. The 27-year-old has played all three outfield positions and a handful of games as a first baseman, although Larsen hasn’t played center field this year. At plate, Larsen hit .266/.371/.444 in 564 career AP in Double-A ball. Neither Baseball America nor MLB Pipeline ranks Larsen among the top 30 prospects in Seattle’s farm system.
Misiewicz has been a regular in the Mariners bullpen for the past three seasons, but was moved to Triple-A in June after posting a 4.61 ERA and just a 14% strikeout rate in 13 2/3 innings this season. The M’s are notorious for seeking help in the bullpen ahead of the deadline, and left-handed relief might be in particular need as Misiewicz’s struggles have further dampened an already thin bullpen on lefties. It cannot be ruled out that Misiewicz could be claimed on DFA waivers, given that other clubs are constantly looking for left-handed relief.