Dylan Moore coveted the grind of being an everyday player. And he achieved that in this shortened 2020 season by hitting his way into the daily lineup, playing mostly outfield and filling in at infield positions when needed.
But he also got to experience the other aspect that comes with the grind of playing every day — injury.
The Mariners placed Moore on the 10-day injured list before Saturday’s game with a sprained right wrist. They filled his roster spot by recalling outfielder Jake Fraley from the alternate training site in Tacoma. Fraley was in the starting lineup for Saturday night’s game vs. the Rangers.
Moore suffered the sprain on a check swing during Thursday’s loss to the Dodgers. He was a late scratch from the lineup on Friday and underwent a MRI on the wrist.
“It’s not as serious as we were afraid it might be,” manager Scott Servais said in a pregame video conference. “Hopefully, he’ll only be down for 10 days. It’s too bad because he’s having some kind of season so far. He really grasped his opportunity as far as earning everyday playing time. He’s kind of the been the Swiss Army knife of players for me. You can put him anywhere on the field and he does a good job.”
In 21 games and 88 plate appearances, Moore has a .282/.364/.538 slash line with five doubles, five homers, 10 RBIs and three stolen bases.
Fraley was expected to make the team out of spring training and later summer camp, but he struggled at the plate and the Mariners decided to have him start the season in Tacoma. Given the roster set-up, it seemed likely that Fraley was going to get a call-up in the coming days before Seattle went out on the road again.
“The biggest thing for Jake is trying to give him consistent playing time here and get him going,” Servais said. “When he did get to the big leagues last year, it didn’t go that well for him. He certainly had some off-the-field issues that affected him and he didn’t really get going. Then he got injured and was shut down. Hopefully we see the best of Jake. We try to give him as much opportunity as we can. And if he takes it and runs with it, that would be great.”
After starting the season with only two true outfielders on their active roster — Kyle Lewis and Mallex Smith — the Mariners have Lewis, Fraley and Braden Bishop with Smith in Tacoma. That should allow Servais to play Lewis at designated hitter on occasion to give him a “rest day.” Both Bishop and Fraley are above average defenders and can handle center.
Meanwhile utility player Sam Haggerty and Tim Lopes along with Dee Gordon will play in the infield as needed.
First baseman Evan White returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with a deep knee contusion. White isn’t quite 100 percent, but he’s healthy enough to play if needed.
Right-hander Justin Dunn, who suffered a rib contusion after being struck by a linedrive, will make his scheduled start on Sunday.