Early Season Mariners Musings: Three Quick Fixes
By Trevor Pedro
Move #2: Send Sam Haggerty to Tacoma
Everyone loves Sam Haggerty, and I understand. But Servais isn’t using him against left-handed pitching, and he isn’t utilizing his speed late in games. Additionally, the second base platoon of Kolten Wong and Jose Caballero is starting to find solid ground. Caballero, an unphased rookie, has shown versatility to play second, short, and third base in his short stint with the team. Wong’s last ten games include a .303/.361/.421 slash line with a big knock against the Astros this past weekend.
It pains me to say this, but Haggerty doesn’t have a role on this team right now. So the corresponding move is calling up veteran first baseman and designated hitter Mike Ford. The lefty-swinging slugger is leading all minor league baseball in runs batted in (45) and is more than capable of anchoring the bottom third of the lineup.
Move #3: More “Then” in the Pen
If it seems like Juan Then has been a Mariner forever, it’s true. The team signed the slender Dominican to an international free-agent contract at the tender age of sixteen. The now 23-year-old has overcome injuries, the COVID-19 year, a switch from starter to reliever, and poor command to develop into a possible dynamic weapon out of the pen. The sample size is small, but in his first two innings of work, Then has induced a 44% whiff rate utilizing a 99 mph fastball, a slider, and a devasting changeup (a la Luis Castillo) to generate weak contact.
With Andres Munoz still on the shelf, this team needed another high-leverage arm to bridge the gap to closer Paul Sewald. Then might be the guy to help lock down the middle of games for Servais.