Mariners Valencia To Roam Freeing Up First For Vogelbach
By Adam Levi
When the Mariners acquired Danny Valencia from the Oakland Athletics this offseason, it seemed that the plan was to have him platoon at first with Daniel Vogelbach and fill in at other positions on an as-needed basis. As per the latest reports, it looks as though Valencia will spend plenty of time -maybe more than we expected- at various positions throughout the season, leaving the rookie, Vogelbach, with more of a chance to shine at first.
As Opening Day approaches, the Mariners lineup appears to be coming into focus. We here at Sodo Mojo have covered this developing situation at first in detail every step of the way. This is just the latest report as to who to expect at first base throughout the year.
Thanks to the reporting of MLB.com’s, Greg Johns, utilityman Valencia could fit in more frequently at more spots than just first. Johns wrote:
"Valencia figures to split time initially in a platoon with rookie Daniel Vogelbach at first base. But Valencia could also see time in right field, as well as backing up Kyle Seager at his natural third-base position."
And since Valencia has loved the city of Seattle for a long time, he’s open to playing at any part of the field necessary as John lays out:
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"He’s open to whatever defensive position is needed and is ready to put in the work at first base, where he started 15 games for the A’s last year."
15 games may not seem like a lot, but for Valencia, in his seven-year career he has only played a combined 43 games at first, only 10 complete games at the position and they were all scattered since 2014.
If we only see Valencia on first for that many games or even triple that (going back to the platoon idea) that wouldn’t be much of a platoon at all really.
Then again, with a usually reliable and durable Kyle Seager at Valencia’s primary position of third base, and the very capable Jarrod Dyson in left field, Valencia may most often be taking playing from Mitch Haniger in right field ahead of the Mariners young guns Ben Gamal and Guillermo Heredia, if they both make the final roster, leaving first at the only other spot to get some significant playing time.
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The Mariners recently just paid 5.5 million dollars for Valencia, so wherever they decide to put him, they will want to get their money’s worth. At the moment it’s looking like that platoon strategy is turning into a backup role at first behind Vogelbach