BROCK AND SALK

Dipoto: When Mariners expect Andrés Muñoz, Dylan Moore back

Jun 1, 2023, 11:42 AM | Updated: 5:19 pm

Mariners Dylan Moore...

The Mariners' Dylan Moore rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run on July 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Seattle Mariners believe they are just a series away from getting two key contributors back on their roster.

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Thursday morning on Seattle Sports’ Jerry Dipoto Show, the team’s president of baseball operations gave a positive outlook on the returns of relief pitcher Andrés Muñoz and utility player Dylan Moore, who are both nearing the end of the comeback trail from injuries.

“Muni and Dylan should be back – fingers crossed, no further delays – when we get to San Diego,” Dipoto told Seattle Sports’ Mike Salk.

The Mariners are just three games away from that series in San Diego, which will be a short two-game set against the Padres beginning Tuesday at Petco Park. Until then, Seattle is off Thursday as the team travels to Texas for a three-game series that begins Friday against the AL West-leading Rangers, then will have another break Monday before the Padres’ series.

“If that holds, that will be a nice add for us,” Dipoto continued. “Obviously, they’re good players that make our team considerably better. And it’d be hard to imagine our bullpen getting a lot better than it’s been, but when you drop an Andrés Muñoz on it, it does – it gets a lot better and that’s a big boost.”

Muñoz, 24, appeared in four games for the Mariners early this season before landing on the injured list with a right deltoid strain. He also underwent foot surgery shortly after the end of the 2022 season, a breakout campaign in which he posted a 2.49 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 22 holds, four saves and 96 strikeouts over 64 appearances (65 innings). He additionally pitched 5 2/3 innings over five appearances in the playoffs.

The hard-throwing right-hander began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday, logging a perfect inning with two strikeouts on 19 pitches.

Moore, 30, is coming back from an oblique strain that he suffered while rehabbing from offseason core surgery. He has yet to appear in a big league game for Seattle this season but has played in eight games between Tacoma and Single-A Everett on two separate rehab assignments, the first of which lasted just one game with the AquaSox in April. He returned to Everett on May 18 and moved to the Rainiers on May 24.

Seattle signed Moore to a extension just prior to spring training that keeps him under contract through 2025. A right-handed hitter who posted a .224/.368/.385 slash line (.753 OPS) with 21 stolen bases and six home runs in 104 games last year, he was expected to platoon with the lefty-hitting Kolten Wong at second base for the Mariners in 2023 as well as back up shortstop J.P. Crawford. In Moore’s absence, however, rookie José Caballero has capably filled that role.

It will be interesting to see what the M’s do when Moore is ready to return to the active roster as Wong, 32, has struggled since coming to Seattle from Milwaukee in an offseason trade to the tune of a .157/.252/.185 slash (.437 OPS). Outfielder Taylor Trammell (.133/.278/.333) and utility player Sam Haggerty (.150/.261/.200) are candidates to be optioned back to the minors when Moore returns, as well, though Trammell is reportedly already on his way to Tacoma per Seattle Sports’ Shannon Drayer to make room for first baseman Mike Ford, who has had a big offensive season with the Rainiers.

The Jerry Dipoto Show airs live at 8:30 a.m. each Thursday during Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. Listen to this week’s edition in the podcast below.

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Dipoto: When Mariners expect Andrés Muñoz, Dylan Moore back