2020 Seattle Mariners Utility Players Have Importance
Most seasons utility players are irrelevant on many teams including the Seattle Mariners. This season starting late because of the Coronavirus they will have more importance.
It seems likely with a short season teams might play a lot of doubleheaders. There is talk about having one a week. So the utility player may have more importance this year. Thankfully, the Mariners have some options.
Going into this season the rosters were going to increase from 25 players to 26 which meant each team probably having a second utility player. Looking back at last season Dylan Moore was the Mariners’ primary utility because he could play shortstop defensively. His bat wasn’t as important to the Mariner as his defense.
This season with the additional roster spot the second utility player could be someone who can hit the ball better than most players coming off the bench. It isn’t as though they ignore offense; they prefer defense for a utility player who can play multiple positions.
Tim Lopes, who came up last August much to do with injuries in the outfield had a very good two months for the Mariners also had an outstanding spring training hitting the ball so he looked to be the extra utility player.
This season though I mentioned two utility players the Mariners were probably going to go with three depending on the outfield situation. Mitch Haniger expected to miss the start of the season the Mariners likely were going to go with the three starting outfielders along with the three utility players.
Dee Gordon, Mariners starting second baseman last year was being shifted to the bench role as Shed Long was going to take over the second base spot. So we could see Gordon playing second base on occasion at the same time playing some shortstop, possibly third base and outfield as well.
Gordon who the Mariners acquired in 2018 from the Miami Marlins began his Mariner career in center field before Robinson Cano was suspended for half of the season failing major league baseball drug testing program then Gordon was sent back to second base until Cano returned.
Unless the Mariners can find a taker in a trade this should be the last season Dee Gordon will be in a Mariner uniform. Next year will be option season for Gordon, and likely the Mariners will decline it.
The three Mariner outfielders before Haniger’s return will likely be Jake Fraley, Mallex Smith, and Kyle Lewis. Against lefties, Dylan Moore might be in left while Lopes is designated hitter unless they decide one of the catchers will be. In that case, Lopes might be in left.
There is talk that spring training might start in early June while regular season begins July 1. Where the Mariners play in Seattle or in Arizona is still up in the air. Stay tuned go M’s.