Mariners outfielder Jarrod Dyson will miss the remainder of the season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports (Twitter links). He is slated to undergo surgery for “something similar to a sports hernia,” per the report.
That’s a tough blow for a Seattle organization that had leaned rather heavily on Dyson this year. The 33-year-old’s speed and glovework are of particular value when it comes time to matching up and trying to squeeze out victories late in the year, but the M’s will need to look to alternatives the rest of the way. Divish notes that Guillermo Heredia will likely take the lion’s share of the work in center, with just-claimed newcomer Jacob Hannemann also figuring into the mix.
Dyson has already passed his prior career high in plate appearances, picking up the bat 390 times this season for the Mariners. His .251/.324/.350 slash is closer to his career average than his strong 2016 season. The left-handed hitter struggling badly in limited exposure to same-handed pitching, managing just eight hits, all singles, in 63 trips to the plate.
On the positive side, Dyson did nearly double his career output by hitting five home runs. But that’s obviously not where the value lies. Dyson has continued to provide big value on the bases and in the outfield grass, ranking in the top twenty in both areas by Fangraphs’ measure (see here and here) despite not even being a full-time player. In spite of his limitations, Dyson has posted 2.0 fWAR on the year.
Seattle had shipped out righty Nate Karns to acquire Dyson over the offseason. The veteran outfielder came with just one final year of arbitration control, so he’s slated to hit the open market for the first time at season’s end. Dyson earned just $2.8MM in his last season of arb eligibility, but he’ll surely enter free agency looking for more.
The injury likely won’t hurt Dyson’s market too badly. He’s a known quantity after 661 MLB games and there’s no reason to expect the injury will drag into next year. Dyson ought to be one of the most appealing platoon/reserve outfielders available, particularly since he bats from the left side and can be used as a late-inning replacement even when he doesn’t start.