After 18 tense innings, the Seattle Mariners finally fell to the Houston Astros yesterday in the American League Division Series, after returning to the baseball playoffs for the first time since the 2001 season. The Mariners, which were designed by ESPN to finish the game. 2022 season a hair above .500 with a record of 82-80, proved that 2021 was no fluke, following their 90-win campaign in 2021 by winning another 90 games en route to a wild card.
After the game, backstop Cal Raleigh announced to reports that he played with a broken thumb and torn ligament in his left hand, however Adam Jude of the Seattle Times. Raleigh had played with a thumb injury since early September, but had not disclosed the extent of the injury before Saturday’s game. Raleigh told reporters that he would see a specialist in the next few days to determine a course of action for recovery, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
The second-year receiver had followed his rookie campaign with a strong slash line of .211 / .284 / .489 in 2022, scoring 27 home runs in 370 at-bats and finishing the season eighth-highest in wRC + among all catchers (121), nestled between Sean Murphy And Travis d’Arnaud. An integral cog for the Mariners offense, Raleigh was one of four players (minimum 350 at-bats) who had an OPS of more than .700. Raleigh followed his impressive regular season with a strong Wild Card he showed up against the Blue Jays, going 4 for 8 with a homer and a double, but was calmed down by the Astros pitch, only picking up 1 hit out of 14 at-bats. while eliminating 5 times.
In the wake of yesterday’s defeat, the Mariners front office will turn its head towards the 2023 season and free will. Long-time sailor Mitch Hanigeradding the commercial deadline Carlos SantanaAnd Adam Frazier they will all be free agents after the World Series.
Haniger entered the 2022 season looking to follow up on his successful 2021 campaign, .253 / .318 / .486 in 157 games, and reestablish himself as an everyday player before joining free agency after missing part of the season. 2019 and the entire 2020 season with various surgeries. The outsider and the Mariners avoided arbitration by accepting a one-year $ 7.75 million contract in early April.
However, Haniger only appeared in nine games before suffering a sprained upper right ankle that kept him on the injury list from late April to early August. Upon his return, Haniger scored a solid .254 / .322 / .418 in the last 48 games of the regular season (100 at-bats).
The Mariners’ decision on Haniger, who turns 32 in December, is going to be pretty complicated. The Mariners boast a crowded outfield with the title of favorite AL Rookie of the Year Giulio Rodriguezwith former top prospect Jarred Kelenic, Dylan Mooreex AL Rookie of the Year Kyle LewisAnd Taylor Trammell. However, Lewis has struggled to produce at a high level since he sustained a right meniscus tear in 2021, and Kelenic and Trammell have both struggled to adjust to the Major League launch.
For his part, Haniger indicated that he would prefer to stay in Seattle. Going on by saying that he hopes “to return with the uniform of the sailors for sure“, for Daniel Kramer of MLB.com.
Santana, who joined the Mariners from the Royals when the trade expired, continued to fight in Seattle, cutting a total of .202 / .316 / .376 in 131 games. The 36-year-old split his time between DH and first baseman, racking up 3 outs above average for his early work. It remains to be seen whether the Mariners will opt for an “old school” single player approach to the DH position, or whether they will cycle players through the role throughout the season.
Frazier followed his 2021 All-Star campaign with a weaker cut line of .238 / .301 / .311 in 156 games in the 2022 season. The veteran, who was traded to the Padres during the 2021 season, was traded to the Mariners in exchange for rescuer Raymond Kerr and the winger Corey Rosier prior to the start of the 2022 season. Moore, who was previously mentioned as outfield depth, also garrisoned all four inside positions and could see an increase in inside work if Frazier doesn’t step down.
Transition to the bump, with five quality holders under contract, holder transformed into relief Chris FlexenThe company’s position with the Mariners will be an interesting story to watch unfold. Flexen started the 2022 season as a starter, pitching to a solid 4.02 ERA in 121 innings before being slammed into the bullpen where he worked at a 1.62 ERA in 16 2/3 innings.
Whether the Mariners will choose to keep Flexen in the bullpen, use a 6-man rotation, or potentially swap Flexen to improve their attack remains to be seen.
As previously mentioned, the Mariners only had 4 players ending with an OPS north of .700 (350 at-bat minimum). As a team, the Mariners finished with the third lowest batting average (.230), average base rate (.315) and average hit rate (.390).
Plus, if they choose to mistake Flexen for offense, the Mariners boast three No. 2 Emerson Hancockn. 5 Bryce Millerand n. 7 Taylor Dollardwho have all had great seasons in Double-A Arkansas.