Your 2024 Mariners Bench is…
John: Jose Marmolejos/Taylor Trammell/Luis Torrens/Jake Fraley – Jose Marmolejos struggled when he was first called up to the majors in 2021, earning a trip back down to Tacoma. He’s currently demonstrating that he’s a capable offensive weapon for the Mariners, as he’s shredding the ball in Triple-A. He’s a versatile player who can slot into either OF or 1B, bringing some good depth to the team. Taylor Trammell became a Mariners sensation with his celebrations and dugout presence. His passion and love for the team make him one of my bench picks.
We’re currently seeing what a team with little mojo looks like, so positive locker room presence and charisma are two things required of any team looking to go deep into the playoffs. Enter Taylor Trammell and his stellar dugout dance moves. Torrens is another depth piece for the Mariners, considering the Yankees drafted him as a SS and he’s capable of playing 1B, and 3B in addition to catcher. Having deep, versatile players is critical to weather any potential injury streaks that can plague a team and often derail playoff runs.
Ideally, he can pick up a few points on his BA and OBP, but the defensive competency and willingness to do what’s needed of him make him a critical bench player. Fraley offers outfield depth and is strong enough offensively to slot in at DH if lineup shuffling is required for health/injury concerns. He’s a good defensive outfielder and an above-average batter. He’s important because subbing him into the lineup doesn’t mean an offensive downgrade from a Kelenic or Lewis.
Chris: Kaden Polcovich/Evan White/Zach DeLoach/Tyler Keenan – If it was 2025, Harry Ford and Starlin Aguliar would be in here somewhere. Unfortunately, we likely won’t see them until then. Possibly at the end of 2024 for a short period during September call-ups. White never figures it out, and rides the bench with that contract, although he is a decent hitter. Polcovich is a great utility, and Keenan can play the corners. Deloach spells the outfield when needed, and pinch runs occasionally.
Connor: Harry Ford/Taylor Trammell/Alberto Rodriguez/Dylan Moore – I think Ford, the Mariners’ most recent first-round draft selection, will serve as an ultimate utility man in his career, including at catcher. It looks like Trammell’s biggest strength is his power, which is a valuable asset as a left-handed hitter coming off the bench. “The Other A-Rod” was the return from the Taijuan Walker trade to the Blue Jays in 2020.
With Walker pitching well that year and the Mariners on the brink of playoff contention in the shortened season, Jerry Dipoto wouldn’t have made that trade unless he thought Rodriguez had the ability to be a contributor in the long-term. I think D-Mo will still be here in 2024. He checks pretty much all the boxes that Mariners management likes, including occasional power, positional flexibility, and speed on the base paths. He will be 31 in 2024, but I don’t think his athleticism will miss a step.
Jamey: Abraham Toro/Jake Fraley/Andy Thomas/Evan White – Toro will basically become a rich man’s version of Dylan Moore, where the Mariners can play him everywhere, but he can also come off the bench and hit effectively. Fraley is fairly interchangeable, but he’s a good defender that has shown some pop and the ability to get on base exceptionally well.
Thomas might be a bit of a long-shot, but I don’t really see another catcher in the system right now, with Luis Torrens moving to first and Harry Ford not ready quite yet. I don’t see White’s bat ever getting to an everyday player type of role, but I do think the glove and potential power makes him valuable enough to keep around.