Left field is for sure one of the easiest positions in baseball. Many people will tell you it is in fact the easiest. The ball doesn’t get on you as quickly as it does in the infield, you don’t have to cover as much ground as the center fielder, and you don’t have to make the long throw to third base like a right fielder does. As such, you get a lot of graceless galoots killing grass in left field while they practice their swing or wonder who they pissed off to get moved away from first base.
For the last 25 years, and really for most of their life, the Mariners have struggled to find anyone to hold down left field. The best one in team history was a marvelously talented hitter and impressively not marvelous fielder. In the early-to-mid 2010s they cycled through a lot of Opening Day starters who were much better suited for a DH role, or were moved to left after failing at their intended position. The back half of that decade ushered in a transition. Seattle ran out three straight speed-based contact hitters from 2016-2018 before going back to the familiar huge guy with no glove.
This quarter century of constant change includes 18 different players. The M’s have trotted out a different person at the position for each of the past seven season openers. There was a six year period where every Opening Day left fielder had a first name that began with the letter R. That was quickly followed by a four year run of guys with M names. Please run to the nearest business and tell everyone there about this.
After last night’s first stringer at the spot hilariously won the game with a walkoff walk, see where he fits in the hallowed annals of Mariner left fielders.