Dylan Moore will start the season on IL with an oblique injury

PEORIA, Ariz. — The Mariners suffered their first significant injury of the season after an MRI revealed Friday that Dylan Moore had a Grade 1 left oblique strain and would start the season on the 10-day IL.

Moore, who recently signed an $8.75 million three-year extension, was expected to play a more pronounced role in the midfield – supporting shortstop JP Crawford (whom the club plans to provide more rest) and second baseman Kolten Wong, who would have been in a regular squad with Moore.

Mariners athletic coaches estimated that Moore would be sidelined from baseball activity for two to four weeks, and because he had already been playing slow this spring due to surgery he underwent in December, he will once require a rehab assignment in the minor league. in good health.

So where are the Mariners with their inner depth?

If the Mariners fill Moore’s spot with a pure infielder, Mason McCoy is likely the frontrunner. Senior shortstop McCoy can also play second and third, and is coming off his most productive season at Triple-A Tacoma, where he hit .256/.332/.473 (.805 OPS) in 124 games. A flag was his 25.8% strikeout rate and he didn’t play in the Majors either.

“I don’t think it’s going to be flashy. I think it’s pretty stable,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said of McCoy’s play. “And that’s what you’re looking for in this place. … I think he had a good spring. He swung the bat pretty well. He had kind of an offensive breakthrough last year at the Triple-A level, and I think he’s very capable.

Servais also mentioned Jose Caballero, another candidate who has yet to reach the Majors. He and McCoy should be added to the 40-man roster.

Sam Haggerty has seen most of his Cactus League action this spring in the infield — mostly second and third base — after playing just four of his 83 games around the diamond last year. Haggerty looms most strongly in the outfield, but he’s also a spark plug that impacts games with athleticism and insight, Moore’s best attributes. Haggerty will be on the opening day roster, regardless.

“The fact that he can play third, he can play second — that gives you more options to move guys around,” Servais said. “So that’s the beauty of what Haggs brings. The only thing I will say about Haggs is the best he throws, the best he’s ever thrown before.

There are plenty, including a few that, on paper, look like solid trade matches — especially given the Mariners’ starting depth to potentially trade from.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa (NYY): The Yankees are no longer committed to him as a starting shortstop and they are in dire need of starting pitchers. He owes $6 million.

Nick Madrigal (CHC): He lost his starting gig after the Cubs signed Dansby Swanson, and they could also use the starting pitch. Madrigal hit .317/.358/.406 (.764 OPS) with a 109 OPS+ from 2020-21, but had a clip of .249/.305/.282 (.588 OPS) with a 68 OPS+ in ‘ 22.

Nicky Lopez (KC): Like Madrigal, Lopez was a .300 hitter in 2021, but saw a big drop in 22. His advantage is that he has one of the best field gloves in MLB. The Royals could still use him in a Moore-like role, but they would jump at the start of a trade.

Jon Berti (MIA): He led MLB with 41 stolen bases last year and ranked in the 85th percentile in chase rate, suggesting good discipline at home plate, which the Mariners appreciate. He would probably cost quite a bit, considering he’s under the club’s control until 2025.

It’s also possible that the Mariners will pursue smaller waiver requests, if substantiated.

The Mariners will stick with what they have – for now. It’s not trade deadline season, there’s no pressure of a pennant race, and Moore isn’t a senior producer.

Moore will continue to perform maintenance work and the Mariners will assemble their bench based on the best fit, rather than a direct replacement for Moore’s role.

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