Who on Mariners must step up with injuries and suspensions piling up?

Jul 1, 2022, 10:19 AM
Mariners Adam Frazier...
Adam Frazier bats against the Los Angeles Angels at T-Mobile Park on June 18, 2022. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The Mariners are – and will remain – shorthanded in the hitting department due to a number of suspensions and injuries to key players.

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Star hitters like Ty France, Mitch Haniger and Kyle Lewis are on the injured list, as are Taylor Trammell and Tom Murphy. Additionally, J.P. Crawford is one game into his four-game suspension from Sunday’s scrum in Anaheim while Jesse Winker’s suspension, which may or not be reduced from seven games, is set to begin Monday. Julio Rodriguez was also tagged with a two-game suspension, which is being appealed and could be reduced or outright dismissed.

So yeah, the Mariners are at less than full strength when it comes to their lineup.

With all that being said, who needs to step up at the plate for the Mariners going forward? That’s the question Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Wyman and Bob tackled on Thursday.

“Just looking at the absence of these guys, who do you look at first to step up?” Bob Stelton asked. “For me, it’s (Adam) Frazier.”

Frazier, a 2021 All-Star second baseman, has struggled this year for the Mariners to the tune of a .223/.293/.293 slash line in 77 games played.

“Not that he’s a power guy, not that I expect him to go out there and start hitting home runs and driving and all these runs, you just need him to be a consistent threat up there at the plate,” Stelton said. “And he has been anything but that this year so far.”

Frazier’s on-base percentage being sub-.300 is really alarming to Stelton.

“That’s bad. We just need him to get on base and be, again, something of a threat at the plate to where he’s not killing rallies if you’ve got runners in scoring position,” Stelton said. “You’re counting on the fact that he’s going to make contact and put the ball in play … He’s just he’s got to be able to be a threat up there to get on base, whether it’s at the top of the order or when there are runners in scoring position. Do something. Move them along at the very minimum.”

The other player Stelton brought up is young catcher Cal Raleigh, who has been much better of late and just wrapped up a stellar month of June. Stelton said he wouldn’t want to point to Raleigh because of inexperience, but that he can certainly help the team with so many players out.

“He’s another guy I attach hope to and say, ‘Alright, he looks like he’s starting to find some confidence and he’s had many more moments of success,'” Stelton said. “But he’s still another guy you look at (and notice he’s hitting under .200), he’s not crushing it, but he does have power. He’s (over) 10 home runs. He’s much more consistent offensively than he was previously.”

Dave Wyman thinks Raleigh’s career arc kind of matches his personality.

“He’s starting to slow it down,” Wyman said. “The thing I like about it has not been fast. It hasn’t happened quickly. But it’s been pretty steady for Cal Raleigh and that’s kind of the personality he has,” Wyman said. “It seems like he’s just a steady guy. You don’t hear a lot from him, and he just seems like a solid dude.”

Listen to the full third hour of Thursday’s Wyman and Bob at this link or in the player below.

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