Scott Servais and the Mariners will have a fine line to walk with rest management

Garver at DH means Servais will need to find a new way to rest his elder statesmen. How does he keep the lineup potent while giving guys days off their cleats?
Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Indians
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Julio Rodriguez, J.P. Crawford
Wild Card Series - Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Two / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

All Day & Tomorrow (150+ games)

Only two guys on this list. Good thing they play the most important defensive positions on the field that aren’t part of the battery. JP and Julio will be manning Short and Center respectively just about every game and will be one two in the lineup if Crawford is the stalwart lead off guy he wound up being last season.

The dependability of these two guys is maybe the best thing about this Seattle lineup. 145 games in back-to-back years from your Shortstop and emotional leader is something most teams would club baby seals for. In his Sophomore season, Julio laced it up 155 times, something the best hitter and player on this (maybe any) team must be able to do if a pennant is the goal. The few times they sit expect Josh Rojas to see most of the backup reps at SS with Luke Raley sliding into Center. If a major injury occurs we likely see Bliss/Marlowe get the call.

Regular Forcible Rest (125+ games)

Another two man group here, which bodes terribly for the rest of the list. Newly acquired Jorge Polanco and old best buddy Ty France love ball. They love ball so much that they play through injuries even when they shouldn’t. The anxiety surrounding the right side of the infield should be at an all-time high. The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that when these two guys are going right they are ‘best hitter on the team’ caliber guys.

France was a revelation in ‘21 hitting .291 with an OPS+ of 128 playing in 152 games. The fact that he rode 18 balls out was just an awesome perk. That same year Polanco hit .269 with 33 jacks and 98 RBI over the exact same 152 games. If those two guys show up for the M’s this year it’s going to get wild and there will most likely be a parade. Polanco has a much longer track record in the bigs than Ty but after the 2021 season injuries have started to dominate the narrative for both.

Ty played in 158 games last year and 140 the year before that. Forearm injuries have plagued him for a while now and it might be time to consider a more measured approach. Polanco is of a similar ilk, ten times since the ‘21 season he’s posted an injury and nine of those were beneath the waist. He only managed to get in 80 games last year.

This has to be a bounce-back year health-wise. I think it’s reasonable to expect 125+ games from these two, much more than that and some Tacoma guys might be getting more playing time than anybody is comfortable with. Expect around 35 games featuring a combination of Rojas, Moore, Taylor, and Bliss at second. Raley stands to fill in capably at first but as he’s also involved in an outfield platoon there will have to be other guys like Moore and possibly a Garver sighting at first.