Dipoto: What Mariners are getting in Matthew Boyd, Taylor Trammell
Sep 1, 2022, 10:07 AM | Updated: 8:56 pm
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
As the Mariners turn the page on a very successful 17-10 month of August, they get some reinforcements as September begins.
Rosters have officially expanded from 26 players to 28 as of Sept. 1, and for the Mariners, that means the addition of one trade deadline acquisition and the promotion of a talented young hitter.
Early Thursday morning before Seattle’s series finale in Detroit against the Tigers, the Mariners officially added veteran left-handed pitcher Matthew Boyd and outfielder Taylor Trammell to the MLB roster. Trammell played very well for the Mariners earlier this year before being sidelined with a hamstring injury, while the team acquired Boyd from the San Francisco Giants at the trade deadline as the veteran southpaw worked his way back from forearm surgery. Boyd has yet to play in the big leagues this year.
So why did the Mariners tab Boyd and Trammell as their two roster expansion additions? Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto broke it down during the weekly Jerry Dipoto Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM.
Boyd has pitched in parts of seven MLB seasons, with nearly all of that time coming in Detroit with the Tigers.
While Boyd has worked as a starter in all but four of his 149 big league appearances, he will be a reliever for the Mariners over the final month of the season.
Dipoto said the Mariners had insight into Boyd’s timeline working back from his forearm injury and knew that he was nearing a return to game action, and he added that the Giants provided promising data from Boyd’s bullpen sessions that helped Seattle pull the trigger on trading for him.
“We were pretty confident that he was in a place where it wouldn’t take more than four or five weeks to get him back to a major league mound,” Dipoto said. “And we intended to build him into a multi-inning bullpen role, and we feel like that’s what he brings to the table for our team coming down the stretch here.”
Having both Boyd and Chris Flexen in the bullpen gives the Mariners two multi-inning options from established MLB starting pitchers, and it gives the team options from both the left and right side.
“It really gives us a tremendous boost in that it allows the other guys (in the bullpen) the freedom to do their job in the shorter-leverage stints and and it allows Matt Boyd to affect what might be the most fun he’s ever had in baseball as a Mariners fan to enjoy what’s going to happen here over the next 30-40 days,” Dipoto said.
Boyd is a Seattle-area native, attending Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish before playing college ball at Oregon State. Dipoto is excited about the prospect of Boyd helping his hometown organization end its lengthy playoff drought.
“It’s fun to think about growing up in the Seattle area rooting for the Mariners all your life – it’s a dream come true for him just to put the uniform on,” he said. “And then getting the thrill of playing in a pennant race and perhaps taking care of a 21-year-old hole in the organization’s history and being part of something special. So I’m thrilled for him and for us.”
Trammell broke camp in 2021 as the Mariners’ starting center fielder, but the former first-round pick’s rookie season didn’t go well as he slashed just .160/.256/.359 in 51 games while striking out nearly 40% of the time.
But after suffering a hamstring injury early this year with Triple-A Tacoma, Trammell made the most of his opportunity when one camp up with the Mariners in 2022, slashing .235/.323/.457 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 32 games before hurting his hamstring once again.
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The lefty-hitting outfielder recently completed his rehab assignment before being fully assigned to Triple-A Tacoma, and he’s now ready to help the MLB club in its playoff push.
Dipoto said Trammell is fully healthy and ready to go.
“We feel like Tram is in a good place. He’s played incredibly well during his rehab, and frankly, he’s been a great contributor for us at the big league level when he’s been healthy,” Dipoto said.
Trammell’s skill set is huge for the Mariners, especially offensively, Dipoto said.
“When he’s out there on the field for us, he can play any of the three outfield spots, he’s a plus runner, he’s a great teammate, and it gives us some left-handed power and a willingness to take a walk, which that’s how we score our runs,” Dipoto said. “We piece together a couple of runners – we’re not likely to throw up a dozen hits like we did the first game of this series – but we do hit the ball out of the ballpark and we do get on base, and that’s what Tram brings to the table.”