Dipoto: The importance of Cal Raleigh and Dylan Moore to the Mariners
The Mariners have a number of players who get plenty of attention, such as rookie All-Star Julio Rodríguez, All-Star first baseman Ty France, slugger Mitch Haniger and frontline starters Luis Castillo and Robbie Ray.
But who doesn’t get enough credit? That’s one of many questions Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto tackled during his weekly visit with The Mike Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM.
Dipoto said it was tough to make a pick.
“They all contribute in so many ways. This is the most complete 26-man, new hero everyday-type roster I’ve ever been associated with,” he told Mike Salk.
But if Dipoto had to pick one player who has quietly been key to the Mariners’ success over the last few months, it’s young catcher Cal Raleigh.
“The weight that he has carried behind the plate, the way he has handled our pitching staff so adeptly (while) doing it at such a young age and the power that he brought to our lineup — and in a time where we really needed someone to step up,” Dipoto said. “We’ve talked about it, we’ve praised Cal for the adjustments that he’s made, and people have obviously noticed.”
Raleigh cracked the opening day roster but struggled mightily at the plate to start the season and was ultimately demoted to Triple-A. He was recalled shortly thereafter and was thrust into a starting role not necessarily because of his play in Tacoma, but because Tom Murphy’s season ended due to a serious shoulder injury.
Since May 15, Raleigh is slashing .227/.288/.500 with 15 home runs and 38 RBIs while playing very well behind the plate and managing a starting rotation and bullpen that are each among the game’s very best.
That's a dozen for Cal 💣 pic.twitter.com/b8qfLI4Ky0
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 13, 2022
“On that team of guys that have all stepped up, Cal is probably the one that hasn’t gotten enough credit because of the burden he carries and the workload and what he’s doing behind the plate, and the two-way player that he’s become,” Dipoto said.
Salk threw out another option for an under-the-radar player, and that’s utility man Dylan Moore.
Moore is hitting just .193 this year, but as Salk pointed out, he’s getting on base at a .344 clip by taking his walks and putting together quality at-bats.
“D-Mo has really made that a part of his skillset,” Dipoto said.
Dipoto also made it clear how highly the Mariners viewed Moore when they signed him ahead of the 2019 season as he’d never played a single game at the MLB level before then.
“He had never had a day of major league experience and we signed him to a major league contract as a free agent, and then brought him into spring training with the idea that he was going to be our utility guy,” Dipoto said.
DMo ties it up 👔 pic.twitter.com/kTNffTTtiG
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 9, 2022
Moore is one of the Mariners’ better baserunners and he’s played all across the diamond for Seattle once again this year.
“We saw the defensive versatility and the baserunning. What we didn’t see was the fact that he really embraces that versatility to be good at the job that Dylan does on our team where he plays every position on the field at a moment’s notice, and he’s good at every one of those positions,” Dipoto said. “As I’ve said before in the past, if he’s not our best baserunner, he’s our next-best baserunner. He’s excellent on the bases. He can run and he doesn’t care what position you play him, he just wants to impact the game that day.”
Dipoto had some very high praise for Moore as it relates to fielding winning rosters.
“I’ve said it about Adam Frazier, I’ve said it about Sam Haggerty and I’ll say it about Dylan Moore — winning teams have those guys,” he said. “And D-Mo has been a huge value to our team and will continue to. He is that guy that makes everybody else better, truly better, because they won’t be required to do as much on a given day because Dylan’s there.”
Listen to the full Jerry Dipoto Show at this link or in the player below.