What the Mariners outfield will look like in 2020 and what should it?
The Mariners were expected to go with three outfielders coming out spring training with Mallex Smith in center field, along with Kyle Lewis and Jake Fraley in left and right.
They would go with three utility players in Dee Gordon, Dylan Moore, and Tim Lopes, who was having an excellent spring when the season was postponed. Lopes would probably be the extra outfielder for the most part, although Dee Gordon and Dylan Moore may see time in the outfield as well.
Mitch Haniger was going to start the season on the injured list in March; however, now he could be on the active roster. No word has come out regarding when he will be ready when baseball resumes. I checked his Instagram page, but there is no indication by him that he is ready to go either. The Athletic Training Center in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he has trained the last three off-seasons may close its doors permanently because of COVID-19.
If Haniger is ready to go when play does resume, the Mariners likely will go with four outfielders with one less utility player either Lopes or Moore. This all depends on the number of players they will have on the roster.
Depending on Haniger’s health, we could see him playing DH against left-handed pitching. This means either Lopes or Moore, both right-handed hitters, could be in the lineup as well in the outfield. Both Smith and Fraley are left-handed hitters so it could depend on how they are both performing against lefties.
If the major leagues decide to go with a 30-man roster, we could see top prospect Jarred Kelenic on the roster as well depending on whether they decide the minor leagues will have a season or not.
One thing we do know the Mariner’s outfield is going to have an improvement over the next several years. With Kelenic and number two prospect Julio Rodriguez both should be on the team over the next couple years they will have an overabundance of talent where they will likely have to trade one or two players.
There is thought Haniger could be one of those traded, however, he has to stay healthy for the Mariners to get what they would want in a trade. Go M’s.