Since his return to the Mariners active roster, Evan White has drawn the initials of his grandfather, Richard Sharrock, on the edge of the dirt circle around home plate. It’s just a little reminder of the man he recently lost to cancer.
“It was definitely hard, especially finding out the day before our birthday,” White said. “We shared the same birthday on April 26 and I found out he passed on April 25. It was definitely a pretty tough day.”
With the Mariners on a road trip in Boston and Houston, and the services still being planned, White remained with the team. He played April 25 and played three more games before being placed on the bereavement list and returning to Ohio to be with his family.
Admittedly, his heart was heavy and it was tough to focus on baseball knowing his mother, who battled cancer last year, was grieving the loss of her father to the same disease.
“It was a tough week until I got to go home,” White said. “Now that I’m back and now that I got to mourn with my family and celebrate his life and celebrate with where he’s at now, I’ve been able to separate the two a little more. There’s still days and moments where I feel it, especially when I talk to my grandma. You obviously feel bad for her and my mom and my uncle.”
Being distracted and emotionally drained on the field usually doesn’t lead to success. And White already was struggling before the passing of his grandfather. But Saturday, he crushed a two-run homer in his first at-bat, snapping an 0-for-27 streak. He followed it up with a run-scoring double to left.
After struggling all of last season, White hasn’t found the success he had expected in 2021. After going 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored in a defeat Sunday, White has a .157/.219/.258 slash line with three doubles, two homers, nine RBI, six walks and 28 strikeouts in 27 games.
With Class AAA Tacoma finally starting its season last week, there was some outcry for White to be sent down for a reset of his confidence and a break from the MLB grind.
White said he feels like he’s close to consistently getting the results of the past two games.
“It’s felt like it’s close for a lot longer than it’s ever felt close before it turns,” he said. “That’s been a grind. But I’m going to keep working. It’s all you can do and just stick with that. But it’s so nice to see some results and to just feel more comfortable.”
The Mariners added to their growing list of pitchers on the injured list, placing right-hander Ljay Newsome on the 10-day list with elbow inflammation. Newsome met with the Rangers’ team doctors after being removed from the game Saturday while working in a relief appearance. He will undergo a MRI on Sunday in Texas or Monday in Los Angeles.
“Sometimes it can be difficult to get a MRI on a Sunday,” Servais said.
Seattle selected the minor-league contract of right-hander J.T. Chargois from the alternate training site to take Newsome’s spot on the roster. The Mariners had to add Chargois, who was traveling with the team as a member of the taxi squad, to their open spot on their 40-man roster as well.
Chargois pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings Sunday, striking out two batters without allowing a hit.
He does have MLB experience, appearing in 85 games over parts three seasons with the Twins and Dodgers. He posted a career 4.58 ERA (39 ER, 76.2 IP) with 32 walks and 85 strikeouts.
Newsome joins lefties Marco Gonzales (forearm strain), Nick Margevicius (shoulder inflammation) and James Paxton (Tommy John surgery) and right-handers Casey Sadler (shoulder inflammation) and Keynan Middleton (biceps strain) on the injured list.
The Mariners decided to make an adjustment to their beat-up starting rotation, swapping starters for their upcoming two-game series against the Dodgers, starting Tuesday in Los Angeles. Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi will start Tuesday on normal rest, while right-hander Justin Dunn will get an extra day of rest and start Wednesday.