All baseball fans understand that injuries are just a part of the game. During the course of a 162-game in a season, attrition will tend to take a toll. This is why building a good talent pool is so important. The last 10+ years of the Seattle Mariners history has seen the steady destruction of the minor leagues, and it has shown at the MLB level. This was a primary reason for the hiring of Jerry DiPoto, to build a winner from the ground up.
Seattle Mariners Injuries Run Rampant
Overall, he has been somewhat successful, in a short period, at bringing in talent. Without much to work with, he has navigated the trade market to find good fits, and he’s done this with a severely depleted farm system. He has only had one draft, and hasn’t been able to see the fruits of his labor. But all that trading has had one downside: it has created a bit of a lack of depth at key positions.
Drew Smyly didn’t even make it to the start of the season before he went down with an arm injury. He was brought in to hold the key five spot in the rotation. Instead, toward the end of the spring training, he went down with a left flexor strain and was moved to the 60-day DL. He’s not expected to be back until June or July. Luckily, Ariel Miranda was in position to take the spot, as he had already been stretched out during spring training.
The next to go down was Mitch Haniger and his .342/.447/.608 slash line, which took everyone by surprise to begin the year. He was seen as the secondary piece of the trade that brought Jean Segura, but his start more than made up for the loss of Taijuan Walker. Losing that depth at pitching hurt, but gaining an everyday right fielder on top of a starting shortstop helped mitigate that. The Mariners hace players like Boog Powell and Ben Gamel to hold down the fort until he gets back, so while that is a tough blow, there is one that is worse.
Felix Hernandez went down with right shoulder inflammation on April 28, and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks. Losing a pitcher who gave 10 years of 200+ innings, and who is supposed to be the ace of the staff, hurts. All the trades Dipoto made depleted the depth of the team, a team already depleted to begin with. There are young, talented players in the minors, but none are ready to take the mound for the big league squad.
Any MLB team will definitely go through ups and down during a full season. Injuries will definitely serve as what could be considered a down. The Mariners stumbled out of the gate during April, with a 11-15 record. They have been beat up by division foes, and spent a lot of time on the road. May will be an important month; it will show if they can turn their season around. The time is now for this team, but they have to show it.