Drayer: Why Mariners are sending Jonatan Clase back to Triple-A

Apr 29, 2024, 12:22 PM | Updated: 5:59 pm

Seattle Mariners Jonatan Clase...

Jonatan Clase of the Seattle Mariners runs the bases against Colorado on April 20, 2024. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

(Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners have optioned outfielder Jonatan Clase to Triple-A Tacoma and recalled utility player Sam Haggerty ahead of their series opener Monday with the Atlanta Braves, ending a two-week look at a very interesting M’s prospect.

Ahead of facing Mariners, Kelenic says he’s learned from past struggles

When left fielder Dominic Canzone suffered an AC joint strain crashing into the wall on a tremendous play in a game against the Cubs, there was much speculation who would be called up to take his place on the Mariners’ 26-man roster. There were outfielders in Tacoma with big league experience, and the option of calling up an infielder was there as well. Instead, the Mariners went with the 21-year-old Clase, who had played just 12 games above Double-A at the time.

Clase’s call-up was a surprise to most, but with the team struggling out of the gates, president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto decided to take a chance and see if Clase could provide a spark.

“Clase is a switch-hitter, he gives us something in the electric category,” Dipoto explained on his Wheelhouse podcast after the move, “and he may or may not be ready for the challenge that we’re throwing at him. But he is the type of guy that for three days or three weeks could conceivably give us that kind of energy, that just changes the way you feel about coming to the ballpark every day, and we need that a little bit.”

While the spark is tough to quantify, the team that was 6-10 on the day Clase was called up went on to win nine of the next 12 games with Clase on the roster. Clase appeared in nine games, posting a slash of .222/.250/.259 (.509 OPS) over 29 plate appearances, driving in three runs, stealing two bases and walking once while striking out nine times.

Mariners manager Scott Servais found plenty to like about Clase but acknowledged there was also plenty to be learned.

“He’s a very young player,” Servais said. “We needed a little shot in the arm. He did that and I think he’s got things to work on. He’s a learner. You can see him asking the right questions, listening to the right players and what they’re talking about. He’s got a very bright future ahead of him. He’s still got room for growth.”

Haggerty rejoins the team after starting the season on the injured list with a medical issue. In 16 games with the Rainiers, he has hit .333/.412/.367 (.779).

While he provides some insurance in the infield while shortstop J.P. Crawford is likely to miss a month with an oblique strain, the bulk of his playing time will come in the outfield.

“We like Hags against the lefties,” Servais said. “He’s had pretty good track record getting on base, creating havoc on the bases when he gets on, so you’ll see him in left field against left-handed pitching.”

The American League West-leading Mariners (15-13) play the first of three games against the National League East-leading Braves (19-7) at 6:40 p.m. Monday. Mariners Radio Network coverage will air on Seattle Sports 710 AM, the Seattle Sports app and beginning at 5:30 p.m. with the pregame show. It will be the first time the M’s square off against outfielder Jarred Kelenic since an offseason trade sent him to Atlanta. For details on how to stream Mariners broadcasts from Seattle Sports, click here.

More on the Seattle Mariners

Report: MLB to modify Nike uniforms after complaints by players, fans
Watch: Mariners call-up has memorable first MLB at-bat
By the numbers: Mariners pitching in midst of historically great stretch
Mariners ‘concerned’ as key reliever Matt Brash shut down
Watch: Breakout Mariners player gets revenge against his old team

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Rain Showers
High 56° | Low 44°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Orioles today at 1:05pm

Shannon Drayer

Seattle Mariners Josh Rojas Julio Rodríguez...

Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Rojas helping Julio an example of Mariners’ offense evolving

"This might be the hardest working team I have had since we got here," ninth-year Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais said. Shannon Drayer dives into how.

2 days ago

Seattle Mariners Luis Urías...

Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Mariners’ 3B platoon has taken off, and earned more action

The Seattle Mariners' third base combination of Josh Rojas and Luis Urías has been among the best in the AL, and one half was glad to play in the outfield to get them both in the lineup.

12 days ago

Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh Josh Rojas Jonatan Clase Mitch Garver...

Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Mariners break down keys to their turnaround on offense

The Seattle Mariners have won two straight series, and an offensive turnaround has been a big part of it. Shannon Drayer has the story.

26 days ago

Seattle Mariners Dominic Canzone...

Shannon Drayer

The interesting story behind big series by Mariners’ Dominic Canzone

The Seattle Mariners' Dominic Canzone shook off a rocky start to the season by going 5 for 13 with two home runs on the road trip. How?

1 month ago

Seattle Mariners Toronto Blue Jays...

Shannon Drayer

Seattle Mariners Notebook: Will dramatic win give M’s a jump?

Cal Raleigh and Scott Servais react to Wednesday's Seattle Mariners win in extra innings, Mitch Haniger weighs in on the offense's struggles and more.

1 month ago

Seattle Mariners Collin Snider...

Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Thoughts on offense, more from the road

Seattle Mariners insider Shannon Drayer checks in from the road trip, including the options the M's may be looking at with their pitching staff this week.

1 month ago

Drayer: Why Mariners are sending Jonatan Clase back to Triple-A