Fans have made a stink about replacing underperforming veterans AJ Pollock and Kolten Wong, and rightfully so. The two have combined for -1.8 WAR. The lack of veteran leadership and production from these roster spots are major factors in the Mariner’s up-and-down season.
The trade deadline is just five weeks away. While we can always dream about General Manager Justin Hollander swinging a trade for an impact, proven talent (Jonathan India, C.J. Cron et al.), they might decide to upgrade internally. Why would they forgo the trade market? MLB Insider J.P. Morosi joined Wyman and Bob (Seattle Sports 710) last week and offered his assessment.
" The way this season has started does not send me signals that say, ‘You better go for it all now.’ I don’t feel that way, and you know what? It’s OK. Because the positive side of this team right now is, what’s the rush? You’re not going to lose George Kirby to free agency this year. You’re not going to lose (Logan) Gilbert. You’re not going to lose (Bryce) Miller. You’re not going to lose (Luis) Castillo."- J.P. Morosi, MLB Insider
The team could change that sentiment with several series wins on this upcoming East Coast swing through New York and Baltimore. However, suppose they continue to float around the .500 mark. In that case, we might see an extended run from corner infielder Jake Scheiner, smooth fielding 20/20 threat Mason McCoy or a look at Top 15 prospects Cade Marlowe or Mariner's minor league hits leader Zach Deloach.
Deloach alone has some serious intrigue, as he could add a contact-oriented lefty bat to the bench. He has a 26-game on base streak (since May 11) and is batting .355 with a .464 OBP (18 BB) during the streak. There is nothing like calling up a hot bat to jumpstart a struggling offense.
They aren’t the sexy deadline moves we all wished for, but at some point, you have to find out if these players are contributing members to what is the second-youngest core in the American League.
Either way, both Pollock’s and Wong’s days seem numbered, as the team needs to infuse the lineup with some grit amid an uneven 2023 campaign.