Mariners OF Jake Fraley placed on COVID-19 IL, in isolation
For the second time this season, a Seattle Mariners road trip has been impacted by a player testing positive for COVID-19.
The Mariners placed outfielder Jake Fraley on the COVID-19 injured list Sunday morning, with manager Scott Servais confirming that Fraley has tested positive for the virus.
Fraley, 26, was scratched due to illness from a scheduled start in Seattle’s lineup Friday, the team’s first game back from the All-Star break, and he remained out of action Saturday.
The Mariners recalled outfielder Dillon Thomas from Triple-A Tacoma to take Fraley’s spot on the active roster.
Servais said during his pregame media session Sunday that Fraley is experiencing symptoms and in isolation at the team’s hotel in Anaheim, where the Mariners are set to wrap up a three-game series against the Angels on Sunday afternoon. He also said Fraley initially tested negative for COVID-19 when the team reassembled ahead of Friday’s series opener but tested positive Saturday.
While Servais said the players Fraley was around on the team’s flight to Anaheim were all vaccinated, he is overall concerned due to Fraley’s diagnosis.
“Relatively high with what’s going on around the league,” Servais said when asked what his concern level is. “… I think we all see what’s going around in our country, there’s been a spike in the COVID cases and it is concerning. It’s something that we’re not out of the woods and it’s one of the reasons that it’s so important, certainly in my opinion, for people to get vaccinated.”
The Mariners had multiple relief pitchers land on the COVID-19 IL in May during a series in San Diego, and All-Star pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, who Servais said is vaccinated, went briefly on the list from July 10-11 but never tested positive for the virus.
Fraley has been enjoying a breakout season for the Mariners since returning from a hamstring strain early in the year. In 40 games, he has a .237/.409/.439 slash line for an .848 OPS with seven home runs, 23 RBIs and seven stolen bases in eight attempts. He has walked 33 times to just 38 strikeouts in 149 plate appearances.
Thomas, 28, is up for Seattle for the second time this season. He made his MLB debut on June 9 with the Mariners and went 1 for 8 before being optioned back to Tacoma on June 12. He has a .260/.376/.429 slash line in 51 games with the Rainiers with seven homers, nine doubles, 26 RBIs and six stolen bases in seven attempts.