An apparent serious injury to Dee Gordon may leave a massive hole in the Mariners’ middle infield.
In the third inning of tonight’s series finale between the Mariners and Yankees, second baseman Dee Gordon exited after taking a 90 mile-per-hour fastball from J.A. Happ off of his right wrist. Gordon appeared to be in excruciating pain, coming off the field swearing in frustration.
While the specifics and severity of the injury are unknown, the shared initial reaction from Gordon, Scott Servais, and Rob Nodine suggest that it’s nothing good. If the injury is indeed as serious as it appeared, Gordon will be headed to an extended trip to the Injured List and the Mariners will have to call up a middle infielder in his absence.
Crawford may be the most likely of the two, given his past—but limited—experience at the MLB level. This year in Triple-A Tacoma, Crawford has slashed .319/.420/.457 and carried a 15-game hitting streak through the middle of April.
In the event Crawford is called up, he would likely assume shortstop duties while Tim Beckham slides over to second base. Crawford has just nine games worth of experience in professional baseball at second, including five in the MLB. Beckham, on the other hand, has seen a bit more time at the position with 58 career starts.
Converted catcher Shed Long has significantly more experience at second base, but has just 31 career games of experience in Triple-A. Long is also swinging a hot bat in Tacoma right now, slashing .277/.353/.487 with four home runs, including a go-ahead grand slam in the Rainiers’ 6-5 win over Reno last night.
While Long has predominantly played at second base since 2015, he’s seen only nine starts at the position in Tacoma thus far, with 15 starts at third base and six more in left field. Long’s addition to the 25-man roster would give the Mariners more defensive flexibility than Crawford.
Long was the seventh overall prospect in our pre-season organizational rankings back in March.
The Mariners will likely make their decision on who gets the nod tonight so the player can join them in time for tomorrow’s series opener against the Red Sox in Boston.