BOSTON — Two days ago, Taylor Trammell was facing random minor-league pitchers, most of them not ready to report to a minor-league affiliate, in the Arizona heat of extended spring training.
On Sunday, he was starting in right field at Fenway Park for the Mariners and trying to hit the 100-mph fastball of Nathan Eovaldi.
Life and baseballs can come at you fast for the Mariners.
In a bit of a surprising but necessary roster move before the series finale vs. the Red Sox, the Mariners recalled Trammell, who was officially on the minor-league injured list with Class AAA Tacoma.
It was one of four roster moves. They also placed infielder Abraham Toro on the 10-day injured list with a left shoulder strain.
The Mariners selected the minor-league contract of utility player Sam Haggerty and added him to the active roster. To make room for Haggerty on the 40-man roster, outfielder Steven Souza Jr. was designated for assignment.
Toro suffered the shoulder sprain in Saturday’s 6-5 loss when he collided with Adam Frazier in shallow right field.
“I don’t know if it jammed when he ran into Frazier when they collided or on the ground,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I don’t think it’s going to be like a long-term thing. With position players, I believe it’s a 10-day IL. I would hope by the time that 10 days are up, he’s back ready to go. But it’s going to be at least four or five days for him to get full range of motion back and feel good about it.”
After arriving early to Fenway and going over the unique dimensions of right field with outfield coach Kristopher Negron, Trammell was greeted warmly by teammates in the clubhouse.
“Everybody loves Taylor and the smile on his face and how he goes about things,” Servais said. “One thing about Tay is he will play hard and he will get after it. We’ll see how it goes.”
After suffering a serious right hamstring strain in his third game of the season with Tacoma, Trammell has been rehabbing at the complex in Arizona. He said he’s been playing in live games at extended spring training for two weeks.
“I’ve just been getting my work in Arizona,” he said. “During that time I really took it upon myself like to look at it as the cup is half full and really understand that this is just a little bump in the road, but it’s nothing too bad. I’m just ready to get after it.”
Trammell suffered the hamstring injury while sprinting to first base in a game April 7. The strain actually occurred near the “insertion” point and he felt the pain in the front of his knee. He thought he’d blown a ligament in his knee.
“Probably one of the scariest moments of my life,” he said. “When it happened, I felt a pop. That was the first thing that I thought. I got emotional. I was pretty upset. But I talked to my mentors and they told me I could be mad for two to three days and then once I headed to Arizona the focus was all work.”
Trammell was shut down from all activity immediately.
“That’s probably been the most difficult part of the whole rehab processes is where it actually is [injured],” he said. “The first week I felt kind of useless to be honest. I couldn’t really bend my knee or anything like that. It really felt like somebody was stabbing something into my knee. But it’s good now.”
While Haggerty has plenty of experience playing outfield, the Mariners don’t plan to use him there. Last season, he dealt with issues in his throwing shoulder, which eventually required surgery. The Mariners don’t want him throwing from the outfield until he builds more strength.
Adam Frazier and Dylan Moore will handle any outfield duties should they arise.
Plan for Upton
Servais provided a little more clarity on the plan for veteran outfielder Justin Upton, who signed an MLB contract Saturday night.
Upton, 34, hasn’t played in a game since March 31 before he was designated for assignment by the Angels.
“He hasn’t been doing much recently,” Servais said. “He’ll report to Arizona. We’ll get him in at extended [spring training] and get him up and going there. He could be there four or five or seven days and then he will go to Tacoma and work his way back toward here.”
In 2021, he played in 89 games, posting a .211/.296/.409 with 12 doubles, 17 homers, 41 RBI, 39 walks and 107 strikeouts. Over the past four seasons, he has a .231/.319/.436 slash line with 68 homers and 188 RBI while playing in 339 games.
“Certainly, he’s got a great track record,” Servais said. “He’s been in the league a long time. He has a history of hitting left-handed pitching very well throughout his career. He’s handled right-handed pitching as well. He’s a veteran bat.”
Servais said they won’t rush Upton’s return despite the need for some right-handed hitting help.
“We’ll give him an opportunity when he’s ready,” Servais said. “We don’t have a set date or timeline. It’s communication with him where he’s at. He’s a veteran. He’s knows when it is, ‘OK, I’m good to go.’ But we’ve got give him time to get up and running.”