Not too long ago, most fans were feeling really good about the Mariners catching situation. We had Cal Raleigh as our starter, and he has been a lot of fun to watch behind the plate. He's a decent/good defender, and is in the midst of his second straight season with an OPS+ over 110 (121 and 114, respectively), while breaking his own team record for catcher's home runs, going 27 in 2022 and 28 so far in 2023.
Tom Murphy was the backup, and after missing most of 2022, looked great in 2023. Good enough defense for a backup and had some impressive pop (.290/.335/.538) through 47 games. Then, injury struck crazy eyes again and he was out, and is likely to miss the season once again after a fracture was revealed after an initial sprain of his thumb. He may make it back, but it's unclear.
Brian O'Keefe was called up to take Murphy's place, and has struggled. He missed his first career homer in Tampa by inches, and is hitting just .105/.190/.211 through eight games. Small sample size, but a rough one nonetheless. He went on paternity leave, and was then optioned back to Tacoma.
IS THAT LUIS TORRENS MUSIC?!?!
Okay, so it's wrestling phrase, but it's fun to use. Luis Torrens ended up back on the Mariners, having spent the majority of 2023 on the Injured List. Torrens was on the team last year, but ultimately disapointed although he did have a decent finish amongst spotty playing time. In August and September of 2022, he played in 14 games posting a slash line of .290/.361/.581, hitting his only three homers of the year in that time frame.
We were definitely hoping for the 15 HR power he showed in 2021, and it was part of the reason he was let go. Yet, here we are looking at a familiar face getting playing time in the midst of a late-season playoff run. Torrens has played in just two games for the Mariners, and it's one of the smallest sample sizes you can have, but he's done all that can be asked of him so far. 2-5, 2 doubles, 1 RBI.
If we can get end of 2022 Torrens mixed in with what we've seen so far, that might be enough to shore up the occasional off day for Raleigh or provide a decent enough pinch-hitting option if need be, especially if he can be paired with a speedy pinch-runner. Luis Torrens... to the rescue?