Another roster move inches Mariners closer to record for players used
The Texas Rangers used 64 players in the 2014 season, setting an MLB record. It doesn’t seem like that record stands a chance against the 2019 Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners made another of what have been countless roster moves this year on Friday afternoon, placing rookie second baseman Tim Lopes on the seven-day concussion list. To replace Lopes on the active roster, Seattle selected 31-year-old infielder Ryan Court from Triple-A Tacoma and moved first baseman Ryon Healy (back) from the 10-day to 60-day injured list.
Should Court appear in a game for Seattle, which seems very likely considering how shallow their depth at second base suddenly is, he would be the 58th player to play for the Mariners this season. It’s almost a certainty that Seattle will use more than the 64 that Texas employed five years ago, especially with expected trades to come before the July 31 MLB trade deadline. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto admitted as much earlier this week on his podcast, The Wheelhouse.
“We haven’t played well, and we are under-manned. We’re also really banged up,” Dipoto said. “We’re already I think three or four players away from eclipsing the all-time record for number of players used in a season – not the Mariners record, but the all-time record. I feel like not only are we going to pass that record, but we’re going to obliterate it well before we get to September, especially if we make trades here by this deadline.”
Should the Mariners pass the Rangers’ record, they will probably pass another record along the same lines that the franchise actually already owns a piece of. In 2017, Seattle used 40 different pitchers, which tied the 2014 Rangers. The Mariners have already used 37 different players on the mound this year, with plenty of time between now and the end of the season in late September.
As for Friday’s moves themselves, Lopes is out of action after taking a fastball to the ear flap of his batting helmet in Thursday night’s Mariners win over the Tigers. That was Lopes’ first start in the big leagues, coming just two days after he was called up for the first time from Triple-A Tacoma and one day after he made his MLB debut by playing the final half-inning of a win over the Rangers at second base.
The Mariners were already running low on available second basemen before Lopes’ injury. Dee Gordon strained a quad muscle earlier this week and landed on the 10-day IL, and the obvious candidate to take his spot, rookie Shed Long, couldn’t be called up from Tacoma because he himself is on the Rainers’ IL with a broken finger.
Court will be making his MLB debut with his first appearance on the field for Seattle. A 23rd-round draft pick of Arizona in 2011, he has played eight minor league seasons in the Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Cubs and now Mariners organizations. He also spent time playing in independent leagues in 2015 and 2019. Seattle picked up Court from the independent Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters in May, and he has hit .279 with nine home runs and a .958 OPS in 37 games with Tacoma. He has mainly played first base but has experience playing every other position in the infield and outfield.