SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners Notebook: Reaction to player comments, injury updates

Oct 4, 2023, 11:09 AM | Updated: 11:10 am

Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh Dominic Canzone...

Cal Raleigh of the Seattle Mariners celebrates a home run with Dominic Canzone on Aug. 21, 2023. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

We’ve already broken down the big topics from the Seattle Mariners’ end-of-season press conference on Tuesday. Read that in the link below.

Drayer: What’s the Mariners’ plan to step forward after early end to ’23?

Here are some other notes from the president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais and general manager Justin Hollander speaking to the media.

Front office reacts to what Raleigh said

For Dipoto, it was no harm, no foul on catcher Cal Raleigh’s comments Saturday after the Mariners were eliminated from postseason contention on the trade deadline move that sent closer Paul Sewald to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“I love that our expectations are high. I want them to be emotional and upset when they get to the end,” Dipoto said of the Mariners players. “The fact that they would express themselves emotionally is understood. It’s not going to change the fact that moving forward we have to use what we feel is appropriate short- and long-term balanced judgement in how we build the roster and then hope the results are as good as this one was.”

Dipoto said in hindsight there were no regrets about the deal, which brought veteran infielder Josh Rojas, rookie outfielder Dominic Canzone and infield prospect Ryan Bliss to Seattle.

“I think Josh Rojas and Dom Canzone were very well received in the clubhouse and I am thrilled for Paul he gets the experience to go pitch in the postseason,” Dipoto said. “The reality is, at that point second base was a tremendous concern of ours and has been for a couple of years, and we identified Josh Rojas as a player we felt could be part of that solution moving forward, as well as a couple of young players we felt really made sense for us in Dom Canzone and Ryan Bliss. Nobody loves Paul more than we do. He’s a great guy.”

Dipoto pointed to why he believes the trade was a success.

“The reality is when we made that trade, our second base play improved exponentially for the rest of the season, and from the trade deadline to season’s end we led the American League in saves. We led the American League in save percentage and we had the second-best bullpen ERA in baseball. That’s not to be defensive, it’s just to say sometimes an expression of what bothers you in the moment is an emotional thing rather than an evidence-based thing. The evidence says we did the right thing. I don’t think it tipped the clubhouse; we proceeded to go 21-7 in the (first) 28 games we played after the trade deadline. Players should feel differently than front offices or staff about how teams come together or moves that are made, it’s personal.”

Roster and staff notes

• End of the year injury updates: starter Marco Gonzales, first baseman Evan White and rookie pitcher Emerson Hancock are expected to be ready for spring training in February. Pitchers Robbie Ray, Easton McGee and Penn Murfee, who are all recovering from surgery to repair the UCL in their elbows, are expected to miss significant time in 2024.

• For a third straight year, the entire coaching staff will be invited back for the upcoming season, although Servais said some could be in different roles.

More on the Seattle Mariners

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Four Takes: Reaction to Seattle Mariners player comments after missing playoffs
Remembering sportswriting great Jim Caple – By Christian Caple
Ranked: Five most surprising things from Seattle Mariners’ season
Passan: Seattle Mariners brass ‘needs to recognize’ Rangers’ path to success

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