STACY ROST

Don’t You Forget About Me: The most slept on Mariners and Seahawks

Jun 24, 2022, 9:40 AM | Updated: 9:46 am

Seattle Seahawks Dee Eskridge...

Dee Eskridge runs the ball after a catch against the 49ers. (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Cue up the Breakfast Club soundtrack. On Thursday’s Bump and Stacy we covered some of the most overlooked Seahawks and Mariners this year, many of whom have taken a backseat to a top performer or rising star on their team.

But don’t forget about the potential either of these two players have to make an impact in 2022:

Mariners

Everyone’s watching: Ty France

And why wouldn’t they? France is seventh in the American League in average (.316), second in hits (87), and sixth in RBI (45). He’s just outside the top 10 league-wide in WRC+ (158). His 10 home runs are second only to third baseman Eugenio Suárez, and even with all of that production he has one of the lowest strikeout percentages on the team (13.9%), bested only by fellow infielder Adam Frazier.

Mariners Notes: Dipoto on Winker, hitting with runners on

In case you needed a more somber reminder of his importance to this team, consider the weight a potential absence by France could have; France, who suffered an arm injury that forced him out of the game in Seattle’s finale against Oakland Thursday, is awaiting results from an MRI Friday to determine whether he’ll see a stint on the IL.

But don’t you forget about: Taylor Trammell

Trammell was the highlight of the Padres’ trade package to Seattle back in Aug 2020. A top prospect, Trammell was selected 35th overall by the Cincinnati Reds in 2016. France, who was also part of the 2020 trade, was a promising bench player whom San Diego had drafted in the 34th round in 2015, but he didn’t command quite as much attention when he came to Seattle (weeks before the trade, he’d been optioned to San Diego’s alternative training site). A year later France had stolen the spotlight as one of Seattle’s best hitters, while Trammell, who didn’t make his big league debut until 2021, was still fine-tuning his approach after being sent back down to Triple-A Tacoma.

Make no mistake: this isn’t a call for Trammell to replace France’s production, nor a prediction that he’ll be able to. Rather, it’s recognition of his more successful 2022 stint with the Mariners — something that’s been easy to overlook given the M’s slump (which is bad news) and the debut of top prospect Julio Rodriguez (which has been great news). Since being promoted, Trammell is slashing .254/.522/.354 with an OPS of .876, all of which are career highs.

Seahawks

Everyone’s watching: DK Metcalf

The biggest story out of Seattle right now isn’t which quarterback will replace Russell Wilson — though that’s a conversation that will be focus through training camp — but instead one concerning a potential contract extension for star receiver DK Metcalf. The quarterback battle might’ve captured more headlines were it not for an exploding receiver market that has the Seahawks staring at a potential deal of more than $25 million per year.

But don’t you forget about: Dee Eskridge

This one was suggested by my Bump and Stacy co-host Michael Bumpus. Like the aforementioned Trammell-France comparison, this isn’t a debate about whether Eskridge could unseat Metcalf as a top pass catcher. Instead, it’s a reminder that the Seahawks second-year pro has plenty of untapped potential, much of which was limited due to a concussion Eskridge suffered last season.

“I’ve been yelling this name from the top of Mt Rainier for the last couple years,” Bumpus said, “I really think he can help this team if he’s healthy. How’s he gonna help this team? Jet sweeps, screens, and I think early they should get him involved in the kick return game. That’s how you get a big play type of player going. Just like a shooter in the NBA, if they’re missing their jump shots, their 18-footers, their 3-pointers, what do you do? You get to the free throw line and you see the ball go in the net a couple times. For Dee Eskridge, number one you have to make sure he’s healthy, he’s been banged up even this offseason. And two, you’ve got to get him going. Preseason, early in the season, get him in the return game and let him show Shane Waldron and this offense, ‘I can be a big play type of dude.’”

Bump & Stacy: Which Hawks coach is under most pressure?

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