It’s officially official—Jake Fraley is a member of the Seattle Mariners. Rumors began to spread last night after Fraley was seen leaving Cheney Stadium prior to Tacoma’s 8-3 victory over Salt Lake, but now we have word from the Mariners themselves that Fraley has made their 25-man Major League roster.
This comes as no surprise, and some may even lead you to believe that this promotion is long overdue, as Fraley set the minor leagues ablaze in his first year within the Mariners’ organization. After torching Double-A for two-and-a-half months, Fraley made his way to Tacoma, where he started out slow but eventually caught up to speed.
Fraley may have been called up earlier if not for a quad injury that landed him on the Injured List for a week and change. Upon his return, Fraley came back better than ever, slugging two home runs, three doubles, and four RBIs in his final six games with the Rainiers.
In 99 games between Double-A and Triple-A this year, Fraley slashed .298/.365/.545 with 19 homers, 80 RBIs, and 22 stolen bases. His early season domination, in particular, didn’t go unrecognized, as Fraley earned Texas League Player of the Month honors back in May.
When the Mariners acquired Fraley in the Mike Zunino/Mallex Smith deal with the Rays back in November, he was widely looked at as no more than a simple throw-in despite obliterating the High-A level to the tune of a .347/.415/.547 slash line in 2018. Now, some nine months later, Fraley is making his Major League debut against the team that traded him.
Baseball works in mysterious ways.
To make room for Fraley on the roster, the Mariners had to make a significant move in placing Domingo Santana on the Injured List with right elbow inflammation. Santana has been dealing with the elbow for a while now, playing strictly out of the designated hitter’s position since suffering the injury.
It clearly had a great effect on Santana’s game as a whole, not just defensively. Since the injury, Santana posted a line of .122/.259/.265 with two home runs and four RBIs. Most notably, he struck out a whopping 27 times in just 15 games and looked completely and utterly lost at the plate.
There’s been no official word from the Mariners on what they plan to do with Santana from here on out, but the likeliest scenario is that they’ll shut him down for the rest of the season. There’s no point in continuing to push the envelope, especially with Fraley being called up, Mitch Haniger and Braden Bishop both close to returning, and Kyle Lewis likely on his way in September.
Not like Santana was going to man the outfield for the rest of the season anyway, but his designated hitter limitations significantly restricted Scott Servais’ lineup construction and forced him to play the likes of Dylan Moore and Tim Lopes in the corners. Now the Mariners will have a respectable defensive outfield for the first time in what feels like an eternity, with Fraley joining Mallex Smith and Keon Broxton.
Fraley will don the number 8 on his jersey and should be in the lineup for tonight’s action against the Rays. ROOT Sports will have first pitch at 4:10 PM PT.