The Mariners announced a series of roster moves today, with infielder Abraham Toro being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma. He will take the spot of infielder/outfielder Sam Haggerty, who has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a left groin strain. Additionally, left-hander Justus Sheffield was appointed the club’s “29th man” for today’s doubleheader.
Haggerty, 28, left last night’s game in the ninth inning, requiring assistance to leave the playing field due to his injury. Though the Mariners have qualified for the Wild Card round, today’s IL placement will officially prevent Haggerty from being with the team until the ALDS at the earliest. Even if the club is able to push deep into October, it might not matter much in this case, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times relays that Haggerty is likely done for the year.
Despite the sour ending, it’s been a nice campaign for Haggerty, who was outrighted off of Seattle’s roster at the end of last year. At that time, he had 59 career MLB games under his belt but had hit just .207/.265/.321, wRC+ of 66. He played well in the minors to begin this year and got himself back onto the big league club by mid-May. He eventually got into 83 games at the major league level and stepped to the plate 201 times. He launched the ball over the fence on five occasions and stole 13 bases while producing a batting line of .256/.335/.403 for a wRC+ of 114.
Defensively, he made very brief appearances at second and third base but spent most of his time in the outfield. His work on the grass has been reviewed favorably by advanced metrics, with Haggerty earning five Outs Above Average out there this year, along with eight Defensive Runs Saved and a 6.2 mark from Ultimate Zone Rating. Due to his strong work in all facets of the game, he produced 1.5 wins above replacement, in the eyes of FanGraphs, despite playing a limited role.
Going forward, Haggerty will still be shy of qualifying for arbitration this winter and will have four years of club control remaining, meaning Seattle can keep him around at very affordable rates if they expect him to continue producing like he has this year. The outfield mix in Seattle has some fluidity to it, with Mitch Haniger and Adam Frazier both set to reach free agency this winter. That leaves their 2023 group consisting of Julio Rodriguez and Jesse Winker, alongside utility player Dylan Moore and guys with question marks like Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis and Taylor Trammell. In the short term, that group will head into the Wild Card round and hope to survive long enough to give Haggerty a chance to return.