A big part of the Mariners 2018 plan was that they would be healthier than they were in 2017. It isn’t a terrible thought. After all, the Mariners used 40 pitchers last season. Can’t get any worse right?
Well, no it is unlikely the Mariners will go through worse injury woes than the 2017 club. Every player of consequence went through a chunk of the season on the DL or playing through injuries. Kyle Seager’s hip, Robinson Cano’s hamstring, Mitch Haniger’s face and quad, Jean Segura’s ankle, Drew Smyly elbow, Felix Hernandez shoulder, James Paxton (fill in the blank), are just a handful of injuries the Mariners dealt with in 2017.
It couldn’t possibly be any worse than that in 2018 right? Well, it is not off to a promising start. First, news broke that Ryon Healy would miss 4-6 weeks after surgery to remove bone spurs from his hand.
The injury cropped up in December, when Healy felt pain during his first round of batting practice. Seattle examined Healy, and found nothing, shutting down Healy for the off-season. The presumed Mariners starting first baseman, Healy will now miss most, if not all of spring training.
Manager Scott Servais was optimistic on Healy, believing he might be ready by Opening Day. But consider the logistics for a moment. Ryon Healy was unable to swing a bat all off-season. Now, he won’t get more than a handful of AB’s in spring training.
If he is ready for Opening Day, the Mariners starting first baseman will be playing Major League Baseball with, at max, 2 weeks of off-season work. Less than ideal.
A few days later, Seattle announced it would be shutting down incumbent #4 starter Erasmo Ramirez for 2 weeks with a lat strain. The Mariners, who already had a desperate need for starting pitching, could, theoretically, enter the 2018 season with both Ariel Miranda and Marco Gonzales in their starting rotation.
While it is possible Erasmo is fine before the regular season, lat strains have a tendency to linger. Remember, the Mariners are not saying he will be fine in 2 weeks, just that he will be reevaluated in 2 weeks.
The Mariners are currently in a situation where both their #4 starter and starting first baseman are in serious doubt for Opening Day. Despite this, either ownership or Jerry Dipoto have been unwilling to add veterans to the mix.
This lack of interest in improving a fringe playoff team is annoying enough. But now, when there are real questions as to who will replace already injured players, the Mariners inactivity is simply unacceptable.
All could work out fine for Seattle. Both Ramirez and Healy could be at 100% by Opening Day. However, whether they are or not, Seattle’s unwillingness to accept they need to get better is a bitter pill to swallow.