Posted on May 22, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
The Seattle Mariners are currently suffering from a case of lifetime piling up. On Tuesday, the Mariners placed Dee Gordon on the 10-day DL with a broken toe. The move comes less than a week after the team decided to move Gordon back to second base following Robinson Cano’s 80-game suspension. The injury leaves the Mariners without their regular second baseman and center fielder, at least for the time being.
According to the Mariners, Gordon originally suffered the injury after hitting a foul ball off his toe on May 9. Gordon sat out the following day but was able to play after that. However, he aggravated the injury on Sunday when he dove in an effort to catch a bloop single. He remained in the game and actually scored the winning run in the 11th inning after hitting a single and stealing a base. But he did so with a noticeable limp, prompting the Mariners to put him on the DL.
At the moment, there’s no timetable for how long Gordon will be out. One would assume a broken bone would take at least four to six weeks to heal. But whether that timeline starts now or when the original injury occurred is unclear. Either way, it’ll be tough for Seattle to rush him back from the DL. A player like Gordon who relies on his speed needs his feet and legs to be completely healthy.
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Even if he only misses the minimum of 10 days, it’s a big loss for the Mariners. Seattle is currently in the middle of a tight race in the AL West, so any loss is important, especially with Cano unavailable. Gordon is currently hitting .304 with an OPS of .716. He’s also stolen 16 bases and had recently moved to second base to help fill the void for Cano.
Seattle has called up Dan Vogelbach to take Gordon’s spot on the roster. Vogelbach is a career .191 hitter in the big leagues, although he was hitting .301 with an OPS of 1.159 at triple-A. He figures to see some time at either first base or in the DH spot with Nelson Cruz battling an elbow injury. But unless the Mariners want to shuffle around their entire infield, adding Vogelbach won’t help them replace Gordon.
Instead, veteran utility men Gordon Beckham and Andrew Romine will see most of the time at second base. Beckham is hitting just .182 since coming up when Cano went on the DL prior to his suspension. Romine has been even worse, hitting .147 on the season. Unless the Mariners can swing a trade, they may be stuck with Beckham and Romine at the keystone until Gordon is ready to return.
The Mariners began Tuesday just two games back of the Astros in the AL West. But with both Cano and Gordon unavailable, they are without two of their most impactful players for the foreseeable future. If Gordon ends up missing a significant amount of time, keeping pace with the Astros and Angels in the AL West could prove to be a most difficult task for the Mariners.