TACOMA — After having his expected MLB debut delayed due to injury, outfielder Jake Fraley will finally achieve every player’s ultimate goal about two weeks later than planned.
Sources indicated Monday night that Fraley, the team’s No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline, would be promoted to the Mariners and will join the team for the series in Tampa. He will have his minor-league contract selected and be added to the 40-man and active roster.
The team officially announced the move Tuesday morning while placing outfielder Domingo Santana on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation. Santana strained the elbow while playing defense and has been limited to a designated hitter role. He had begun a throwing program recently, but appears to have had setback.
Fraley will be the 63rd player used by the Mariners this season — one away of the record of 64 players used by the 2014 Rangers. He will be the 17th player to make his MLB debut for Seattle this season.
Fraley was not in the starting lineup for Class AAA Tacoma for Monday night’s game at Cheney Stadium but was on the team’s lineup card. He was spotted leaving the stadium before batting practice with his gear and didn’t return for the pregame workout.
Rainiers manager Daren Brown wouldn’t confirm the situation with Fraley, saying only that he was not in the lineup but on the lineup card.
Fraley was expected to be called up just for the previous homestand that started on Aug. 4 vs. the Padres, but tightness in his quadriceps landed him on the injured list, postponing the move.
He returned on Aug. 12 and has nine hits in his last six games, including three doubles and two homers. In 38 games with the Rainiers, Fraley had a .276/.333/.553 slash line (batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage) with 12 doubles, three triples, eight homers and 33 RBI.
With Mitch Haniger and Braden Bishop still on the injured list, Santana still unable to play in the field and Mallex Smith finding the ire of manager Scott Servais for repeated mental mistakes, the Mariners have been using infielders in two of the outfield spots often in games.
Fraley, 24, was acquired in the offseason along with Smith from the Rays in exchange for Mike Zunino, Guillermo Heredia and Michael Plassmeyer. A former second-round pick from the 2016 draft by the Rays, Fraley dealt with injuries early in his career. He impressed the Mariners with a solid showing in spring training. He got off to a torrid start with Class AA Arkansas, slashing .313/.386/.539 with 15 doubles, two triples, 11 homers and 47 RBI before being promoted to Tacoma.