Sunday is a day of rest for many, but it’s just another chance for shaking things up for Jerry Dipoto. Let’s put everything out and then sort through piece-by-piece:
Wowza. We’ll begin with the expected moves. Álex Colomé is officially ready for his Mariners debut, and seems likely to get work today following Seattle’s latest extra-inning adventure last night. The Mariners had been rocking a seven-man bullpen for a few days following the litany of major and minor injuries to Mitch Haniger, Jean Segura, and Nelson Cruz, but with two of the three able to go today, Daniel Vogelbach was the likeliest choice to return to Tacoma. Keep obliterating the Reno Aces, big guy. One day.
Additionally, after Nick Vincent’s groin strain last night, Dan Altavilla was immediately pulled from his appearance in Reno prior to throwing a single pitch. That led to some confusion as to whether he too was injured, but fortunately Alt is back. Vincent will be missed, but Colomé’s arrival (and Juan Nicasio’s apparent rediscovery of his mechanics) may soften that blow if Vincent is able to return sooner rather than later. Altavilla has been inconsistent this year, but has at times shown dominant stuff.
The rest of this is where things get spicy. David Freitas has been a serviceable backup this season, so it’s somewhat surprising to see the Mariners replace him, particularly with someone who previously was without a 40-man roster spot. Chris Herrmann is a unique player, however, even if unique doesn’t always equate excellent. In addition to 145 games at catcher between the Twins and Diamondbacks organizations, Herrmann has 85 games in the outfield under his MLB belt - mostly reserved to corner OF spots, along with some work at 1B and minor league experience at 3B.
Herrmann is scrambling around to find uniform pieces, scouting reports, his starting pitching. Asked when he found out he was starting today he answered w/smile "Twenty minutes ago!"— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) May 27, 2018
Servais said left-handed bat, positional flexibility a reason for the move.
His bat hasn’t quite translated to the big leagues outside of a BABIP fueled breakout in 2016, but the 30-year-old hits left-handed and can offer some versatility, which the injury-plagued M’s position players can certainly use. With RHP José Berrios on the mound, Herrmann is entering right into the starting lineup.
Mariners lineup— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) May 27, 2018
“But John,” you say, “isn’t versatility literally Taylor Motter’s job?” Yes it is, which made the former Flow Bro’s DFA all the more indicting. The writing may have been on the wall for Motter when Seattle claimed Andrew Romine this offseason, despite Romine’s utter lack of offensive ability. It was further entrenched when Seattle recalled Gordon Beckham over Motter recently, and continued with the two of them despite injuries at 2B, SS, and OF. Motter’s production has cratered this year. That, combined with multiple ill-advised reaction tweets and, from numerous sources we’ve spoken with, a summarily abysmal reputation interpersonally throughout the organization seemingly made Motter expendable. INF Adam Law has been promoted to Tacoma to fill his role, and Zach Vincej will take over as Tacoma’s full-time SS. It will be interesting to see if Seattle retains Motter should he clear waivers, but hopefully this can be a galvanizing moment for the still-talented utility man.
Also of note:
Even if Segura passes concussion protocol today, Servais will keep him out of the lineup. Zach Vincej is here on the taxi squad if they decide to DL Segura— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 27, 2018