Is the Clock Ticking on Sam Haggerty?
By Trevor Pedro
The 25th and 26th players on a Major League Baseball team only play a few times. As a result, they are usually niche, providing one element managers can use late in games to turn the tide. That attribute might be elite speed, above-average defense, or the ability to hit a tough left-handed reliever. Sam Haggerty, right? Or at least last year's version (sample size be damned).
Last season, Haggerty accumulated 1.5 WAR across 201 plate appearances. Manager Scott Servais did a great job maximizing the utilityman's value by starting him mostly against left-handed pitching and utilizing him late in games off the bench. This season, not so much. The roster construction of Kolten Wong, Jose Caballero, and Haggerty is a contributing factor, as those players offer many of the same attributes. However, with Wong getting a veteran's runway to pull out of an early season slump and Caballero's initial performance, Haggerty is the odd man out.
Additionally, the team carries five outfielders in Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, Teoscar Hernandez, A.J. Pollock, and Taylor Trammell. While Pollock and Trammell have struggled out the gate, they only play two to three days a week. The fallout is a need for more innings for Sam Haggerty to showcase his defensive versatility in the outfield grass. Unfortunately, the plate appearances just aren't there.
Dylan Moore will start a rehab assignment next week, meaning he should return in late May. Then, when he is ready, the fan-favorite Sam Haggerty should take his talents to Tacoma unless he runs into a few pitches before the end of the month.
I know what you're thinking. So, you're saying there's a chance.