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Kyle Seager’s surgery successful, officially out 10-12 weeks

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Seager will miss April and May, meaning lots of Ryon Healy.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

The moment Kyle Seager rolled over on his hand while diving awkwardly for a ball last week, his franchise record six-year streak of Opening Day 3B starts was threatened. Once the diagnosis came through, it was clear he’d miss much more than the Japan trip. Now, Ryon Healy will be the first player to start begin the season on the hot corner since Chone Figgins in 2012 (pauses for boos). Now he’ll officially miss 10-12 weeks of play, putting him on the IL for at least April and May, and making him a 60-Day IL candidate.

Ryon Healy will be the team’s full-time 3B to begin the year, which might be a comparable offensive move but will certainly hurt the team’s defense. Perry Hill has drawn rave reviews for his skills coaching infielders, but he’ll have his work cut out for him with Ryon. The numbers are rough in all directions the last time Healy took over third.

2016 we hardly knew ye
Fangraphs

It’d be surprising to see the M’s go to free agency to fill the spot unless Healy is hurt as well, but even if they wanted to the options are slim. The unsigned free agents who spent significant time at third base are 38-year-old José Bautista, potentially washed Chase Headley, or former Mariners’ 1B Danny Valencia. Headley could be a bounce-back candidate, I suppose, but he failed to receive any interest after being DFA’d by the Padres in May of 2018, which is about as rough as it gets. It’s hard to know if any of the three would have interest in a minor league deal, knowing their role would be narrow at best, so more likely we’ll see Healy and Dylan Moore play the part. It’s possible Tim Beckham could slide over on occasion as well, particularly if J.P. Crawford starts strong in Tacoma and earns a quick call-up.

The depth beyond is untested. Kristopher Negrón and Tim Lopes await in Tacoma, as will Shed Long. There will be little need to rush Seager back, as hand injuries have a tendency to linger, so even the famously stoic and injury-resistant Seager will hopefully be given the time needed to get to 100%. The result is Healy essentially being saved a trip to Tacoma, as he looked like the man on the outside looking in for the 1B/DH logjam of Daniel Vogelbach, Jay Bruce, and Edwin Encarnación. Until Kyle returns, hopefully we’ll see less of this...

...or this...

...and more of this.