Posted on May 21, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine
After a promising start to the 2019 season, the Seattle Mariners have plummeted to last place in the AL West. Unfortunately, things keep going wrong. On Tuesday, the Mariners placed both second baseman Dee Gordon and third baseman Ryon Healy on the 10-day Injured List. Neither injury is considered particularly serious. But with a 5-13 record in the month of May, the Mariners can hardly afford to lose two of their regulars right now.
Gordon has gone to the IL with a wrist contusion. The injury stems from when he was hit by Yankees pitcher JA Happ on May 9. After sitting out a few days, Gordon returned to the lineup last week and has tried to play through some discomfort. However, he’s just 3 for 22 (.136) since getting hit, so his performance has clearly been hindered by the injury.
Despite struggling over the past week, Gordon is still hitting .281 on the season. He’s also hit three home runs early in the season, nearly matching his career-high of four long balls. Gordon has also helped the Mariners with 12 stolen bases, so his presence in Seattle’s lineup will be missed, especially since there’s no timeline on how long it will take for Gordon to recover and return to action.
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Taking over for Gordon at second base will likely be rookie Shed Long and utility man Dylan Moore. Long is the team’s no. 8 prospect, according to MLB.com. But he was 0 for 9 in his only taste of the big leagues earlier this season. Moore, meanwhile, is coming back from a wrist injury and was only hitting .229 before going on the IL earlier this month. Either option figures to be a considerable downgrade from Gordon.
As for Healy, he’s been forced to the IL after leaving Monday’s game with inflammation in his lower back. He’s seen some time at first base this season but has become the team’s primary third baseman. Healy is currently hitting .237 with seven home runs, helping him produce an OPS of .744.
The Mariners will look to Tim Beckham to take Healy’s place at the hot corner. Beckham recently lost his job as the team’s primary shortstop to youngster J.P. Crawford. He’s provided a surprising amount of power this season, hitting nine home runs and 12 doubles. The injury to Healy will get Beckham’s bat back in the lineup, but it will also expose him to a largely unfamiliar position.
Meanwhile, the Mariners are ready to welcome back Kyle Seager from the IL this weekend. Seager suffered a hand injury during spring training that has kept him sidelined all season. His return will give the Seattle lineup another power bat and a way to move Beckham to second base if Long and Moore fail to produce. Of course, Seager is also coming off the worst season of his career, hitting just .221 with an OPS of .673 last year. There’s no guarantee he’ll hit the ground running.
If nothing else, the simultaneous loss of Gordon to Healy to the IL will force the Mariners to move some pieces around for the next couple of weeks. The Gordon injury is particularly troubling because he was having a good season before the injury. There’s also no telling how long until he’s back. If the Mariners are going to salvage their season, they need all hands on deck. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case for the immediate future.