We knew it was coming:
A handier version of the Mariners roster moves. pic.twitter.com/isEj1gB0qf— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) June 2, 2017
Okay, let’s break this down in terms of the pain scale.
Jean Segura to 10-day DL with high ankle sprain: This one is an 8, possibly a 9. 10 would be “broken ankle” or “ACL tear” or whatever dark dreams coursed through your mind last night in your blackest hour. High ankle sprain is no joke, though—it could have been a low ankle sprain, with just a two-week recovery, but of course it had to be a high ankle sprain, which runs four-to-six weeks. I might even push this to a 9 because Taylor Motter’s bat has fallen asleep, and he’s not a great defensive shortstop. Losing Mike Freeman on waivers really hurts here. Tyler Smith will be fine defensively and might actually be an upgrade from Freeman, but his bat is entirely untested at the MLB level. If you recognize his name, it’s probably because you’re an OSU fan or followed him during spring training this year, when he shined in the absence of Jean Segura. Our friends over at Building the Dam wrote a profile on him for us:
During Smith’s OSU career the Beaver roster featured a pitching staff that included future pros Andrew Moore, Matt Boyd, Ben Wetzler, Sam Gaviglio and Jace Fry, and a lineup that featured fan favorites Michael Conforto, Dylan Davis, Andrew Susac, Stefen Romero and Danny Hayes. Meanwhile, Smith quietly sat atop the batting lineup with an OBP hovering around .400 while playing above-average defense up the middle and garnering All-Pac-10/12 honors in each of his final three seasons.
Taylor Motter is likely to get the bulk of the playing time, with Smith subbing in as a defensive replacement. He’s always been a consistent hitter with good plate discipline in the minors, though (currently in AAA runs about a 10% BB vs 20% K), so he shouldn’t be Tuffy-esque at the plate, and it’s possible he plays well enough that we forget all about Mike Freeman. Unfortunately, it’s not at all possible that he plays well enough that we forget about Jean Segura. A sucky, injury-riddled season just got a lot suckier, and there’s no way to cushion that blow.
A piece of good news: Nelson Cruz’s hand is not broken, and he is in the lineup tonight. Onward, Cruz-tian soldier. That’s a nice green happy 1 on the pain scale, or as I like to think of it, “face at a child’s school concert.”
Swapping Tyler Cloyd for Casey Lawrence: As much as yesterday was a deep-fried ball of suck, Casey Lawrence emerged as the day’s lone bright spot, setting a career high in strikeouts (9) and recording the longest outing by a Mariner reliever since 2012. Unfortunately, since he essentially pitched an entire start, he won’t be available for several days. To take his place, the Mariners have promoted Tyler Cloyd from Tacoma, who was one of their indy-ball signees from a rash of them a few weeks ago. Cloyd has been solid at Tacoma, but is recovering from TJ surgery and is on a strict pitch count, so he won’t be able to step into Lawrence’s ultra-long-reliever role, but should be good for a few innings or 60-ish pitches. In 16 innings at Tacoma this year he’s struck out 14 batters and issued no walks, and his ERA is just 1.10. Cloyd is an MLB veteran who was with the Phillies for two largely unimpressive seasons in 2015 and 2016, so don’t get too excited. This pain is still moderate, say a 5 or so. If Cloyd falls on his face, look for Ryne Harper to get another shot after his ten days are up, mostly because I will have loaded Ryne Harper into a catapult and fired him into the Safeco bullpen.
Ryan Weber to the 60-day: This one was kind of expected. Kid Pitcher just doesn’t seem to be getting any better. This is more of a Tacoma Problem, now that some of Seattle’s rotation seems to be on the mend and Christian Bergman and Sam Gaviglio have acquitted themselves well, but it still sucks for Tacoma to have a rotation that’s basically Andrew Moore and Dial-a-Pitcher (literally, they are dialing the phone to get pitchers flown in during games). Mild pain for the Mariners, severe for the Rainiers.
Andrew Aplin DFA’d: I generally believe there’s a method to Jerry’s mad transactioning, but I and several people I spoke to just did not get the Aplin move at all. The organization is already lousy with athletic, speedy outfielders, and putting Aplin in Triple-A seemingly blocked AA’s Chuck Taylor and Ian Miller from being promoted, both of whom are having strong seasons for Arkansas. Dario Pizzano was sent down to make space for Aplin in the already-crowded Tacoma outfield. Worse, space was made for Aplin on the 40-man by DFA’ing Chris Heston. Thinking they could sneak Heston through waivers was a wild miscalculation, as pitcher injuries are popping up across the league like weeds, and the injury-ravaged Dodgers snapped him right up. This move was a total fail and while it might not have drastic echoes at the MLB level, it certainly messed things up in the minors, and shorted the Rainiers a useful pitcher. What’s more concerning than the move itself is how misjudged it felt, which makes me very red sad face.