An additional two players who will not be in the Seattle lineup in 2024 are José Caballero and Teóscar Hernández. Seattle did a player exchange with the Tampa Bay Rays: Luke Raley is coming to Seattle while Caballero joins the Rays. Teóscar Hernández signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency.
The Rays have Caballero in mind for shortstop. With Wander Franco’s future uncertain, it would be good for the team to have an additional shortstop on the roster.
José Caballero appeared in the Big Leagues in mid-April 2023 and fit right in. He was playing with the Tacoma Rainiers and debuted in MLB on April 15. The Mariners had invited Caballero to Spring Training as a non-roster shortstop. (I remember that Scott Servais indicated that he wanted J.P. Crawford to have more rest.) José was busy in the Spring of 2023, playing additionally for the Panamanian national team in the World Baseball Classic. Although his first assignment was to relieve J.P. Crawford, he spent more of his time with the Mariners at second base.
Batting-wise, Caballero seemed to get runs when it counted! Caballero had runs in games against Philadelphia, Boston, and Atlanta; two against the Yankees; four against Kansas City, and six against Oakland over the season. Four of the runs he made were home runs. His season batting average was .221.
Fans could tell that Caballero had mastered the pitch clock which frustrated at least one umpire, one catcher, and one pitcher. José Caballero ran quickly. Mariner fans will likely remember him for his talented base stealing: he stole 26 bases this past season. We will also remember his doubles, diving catches, and double plays!
José, enjoy your time in a sunny climate, much closer to home.
When I heard the news that Teóscar Hernández was coming to Seattle, I was excited. I remembered his hard hits from our games against Toronto.
Hernández played in almost every game this year: 160 out of 162, primarily in right field. Teóscar was responsible for 93 RBIs, the third most on the team. He was also in an elite class for striking out. He had a .258 batting average and hit 29 doubles, two triples, and 26 home runs. He stole five bases.
Hernández had two games with two home runs: April 4 against the Angels and August 25 versus the Royals. He homered two days in a row when Seattle played St. Louis, hit one against his former team, one against the Yankees, another against Baltimore, one against the Mets, and one against Texas.
I am not sure if Teóscar ’s nickname, Mr. Seeds, originated from consuming many seeds. I do know that his Seattle teammates threw quite a few of them at him, especially after home runs.
Teóscar, best wishes for a great season with the Dodgers! He looks forward to playing with some of the top names in baseball.
I find it interesting that a number of our former players will have games against each other regularly in the NL West: Sewald and Suárez on the Diamondbacks, Teóscar on the Dodgers, and Murphy and Ray on the Giants.