Jerry Dipoto shares insight on how Daniel Vogelbach fits with Mariners next season
Despite falling off pace in the standings over the past month, the Mariners have put together a nice run over the last week, winning five of seven games to keep the potential of a 90-win season alive. A highlight of that recent run has been the play of rookie Daniel Vogelbach.
The 25-year-old first baseman homered in back-to-back games last Sunday and Monday, the second of which was a pinch-hit, eighth inning grand slam that lifted Seattle to a 4-1 win over the Astros.
Vogelbach has appeared in 55 MLB games over the past three years, including 31 this season, and while his average is .216 with the Mariners, he has shown some pop with four homers and 13 RBIs as well as valuable patience with a .333 on-base percentage. Vogelbach spent the majority of the year with Triple-A Tacoma, however, where he put together a strong campaign, posting a slash line of .290/.434/.535 with 20 home runs, 60 RBIs, 77 walks and just 59 strikeouts over 378 plate appearances.
The Mariners will be forced into making a decision on him next season, however. He will be out of minor league options, so they would have to make him available to other teams on waivers if at any point they decide he doesn’t fit on the active roster.
General manager Jerry Dipoto spoke about Vogelbach, a player he traded for during the 2015 season, and what the future may hold for him during his weekly interview on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore on Thursday.
“Clearly we think the same of him now as the day we acquired him, which is that there is no question in our mind that he is an asset,” Dipoto said. “As an offensive player, he can do a lot of things with the bat. He gets on base, he’s patient, takes his walks, he’s been dynamic at the Triple-A level and frankly throughout his minor league career.
“As we get into next year, he’s now out of options and we have to make a determination to where he fits. Whether that is a timeshare at first base, whether it is taking DH at-bats, it’s going to be one of those because we do feel like he is an asset. With that being said, some things on our roster have to play out before we can answer that question. There’s so many moving parts with our current 25-man roster and some of the land-lock that we have that we have to be flexible and amenable to anything that might help put a better team on the field both for the present and the future.”