Mariners utility player Dylan Moore was diagnosed with a Grade One strain in his oblique, he informed reporters this afternoon (relayed by Daniel Kramer of MLB.com). While that’s the lowest degree, any oblique strain typically comes with a recovery time of multiple weeks.
Moore indeed indicated he’ll be shut down from baseball activity for between two and four weeks. While the earlier end of that timeline could have him beginning to ramp back up around Opening Day, he certainly won’t jump right into game action as soon as he’s cleared to start working out. It seems a lock he’ll open the season on the injured list and, considering he didn’t play in a single Spring Training game, likely head out on a minor league rehab assignment to get some game action before his 2023 debut at the MLB level.
This will be Moore’s fifth big league campaign. He has posted alternate below-average and above-average showings at the plate, typically in a part-time capacity. He’s coming off a strong 2022 campaign. Moore hit only .224 but worked walks at a 13.3% rate, resulting in a .368 on-base percentage that was well better than the .312 league average. He also swiped 21 bases in 104 contests, his second consecutive season topping 20 steals.
The Mariners signed Moore to a three-year, $8.875MM deal over the offseason to buy out his final two arbitration seasons and a would-be free agent year. He’d been set to reprise his role as one of Scott Servais’ top options off the bench. Moore has played everywhere aside from catcher in his career, with the majority of his work coming in the middle infield and corner outfield spots.
Seattle has Kolten Wong and J.P. Crawford lined up for middle infield work. The lefty-hitting Wong and right-handed Moore were expected to platoon at second base and while that could eventually still be the case, that’ll be put on hold for the time being. Tommy La Stella offers some insurance at second base but, like Wong, hits from the left side.
Sam Haggerty is a switch-hitter who has been far better against left-handed pitching, though he’s worked far more in the outfield than at second base as a big leaguer. Drew Ellis and Mason McCoy are right-handed hitting infielders in camp as non-roster players. Ellis has struck out in 10 of 17 at-bats this spring, while McCoy is 9-25 with four strikeouts and a walk.