With Nori Aoki running after fly balls like he’s trying to shake a tail, and Franklin Gutierrez, Seth Smith, and Nelson Cruz moving at various speeds of Dad, the Mariners outfield situation is a mess, again. Despite Jerry Dipoto’s stated desire to make Seattle’s roster "more athletic" the only way that has really taken root at the major league level is through Leonys Martin’s play in centerfield.
Now that is changing:
Heredia recalled from Tacoma. Rollins optioned out— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) July 29, 2016
Heredia instantly (do you get it) becomes the fastest player on the Mariners' roster, at least as long as Ketel Marte is out, and theoretically provides the team with a desperately needed plus glove in the outfield. His bat, which was his biggest question mark, has been a pleasant surprise, albeit in only eighty-four games in American professional baseball. Promoted to Tacoma after hitting .309 with a 43/41 BB/SO ratio, Heredia predictably saw his walk rate diminish in AAA. However he was able to compensate by hitting .340. Drawing enough walks to avoid the Marte/Zunino level of pain will be key, if Heredia's bat is going to play in MLB.
Heredia's slight frame (5' 10", "180" lbs) makes him hitting for anything more than the slightest of power unlikely, and for someone so fast his stolen base ability is hilariously bad, with a 5/3 CS/SB rate in the minor leagues, so he'll fit right in that respect.
Everything about Guillermo Heredia is small sample size. He has played only 84 games in our country. You could say this promotion represents rushing him, and you may be right. But unlike, say, Mike Zunino, Heredia's age (25) and track record in the minors have actually merited the promotions. He hasn't appreciably struggled so far as a pro. With the Mariners currently employing five outfielder that somehow add up to 1.5, now is as good a time as any to see how high on next offseason's shopping list outfielder is. It's an exciting time.