It is another day, another injury for the downtrodden Seattle Mariners. The Mariners announced that reliever David Phelps, acquired by the Mariners from the Marlins on July 20, 2017 for Brayan Hernandez, Brandon Miller, Pablo Lopez, and Lukas Schiraldi, tore his ulnar collateral ligmament (UCL) and needs Tommy John surgery. The reliever, a former product of a then-crappy Yankees farm system, had no velocity, but was a master of control pitches. Phelps was expected to be the top set up man to Edwin Diaz. At this point, the Mariners luck is bad.
Updated #Mariners injury list now at 11 players from the 40-man. A reminder — two came from linedrives, another came from a fall, and one is a surgery. pic.twitter.com/no4VlDpBBr
— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 15, 2018
This Spring Training has been bizarre. By March 14, no less than ten different members of the Mariners suffered some kind of injury. This list includes Ryon Healy, Erasmo Ramirez, Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, Nick Rumbelow, Felix Hernandez, Ben Gamel, Marco Gonzales, Andrew Romine, Ichiro Suzuki and Jean Segura. Of that list, the severe one is Gamel, who will start the season on the disabled list. Rumbelow will likely start on the DL as well. Dan Vogelbach being on fire has reduced the pain of losing Ryon Healy.
The Mariners seem to be snakebit season after season. Injuries keep returning each year. The 2017 season turned into disaster with injuries, and lots of them. At one point, the rotation was a shell of 6th, 7th and 8th string starters. Other than the freak accident to Hernandez and Gonzales being slowed by a contusion, the Mariners have had better luck with their rotation in Spring Training. Mike Leake, James Paxton, Felix Hernandez, Marco Gonzales and Juan Nicasio seem destined for a rotation that is rather subpar. They have Hisashi Iwakuma in camp, but he has been mediocre.
That leads to the question of when does Jerry Dipoto call it quits? This team has been snakebit year after year. With all the changes that the gunslinger General Manager makes, it seems like the team continues to be mediocre. The American League West is stacked with the Astros and the Angels. More likely than not, the Mariners are competing for a Wild Card, if that. At some point, it is time to call it quits on this team and begin a sell off. The future seems bleak.
Nelson Cruz is a free agent this coming offseason, Robinson Cano is continuing to fade from his peak. Kyle Seager has the most trade value left of the main group. Dee Gordon in center field is a ginormous disaster waiting to happen. Felix Hernandez is a shell of himself. The rotation and the bullpen are subpar. There is a future core in this team (Vogelbach, Mitch Haniger, Diaz). However, at this point, it is time to pull the plug. This team is not going to top the Astros. They could top the Angels if the latter cannot stay healthy, but they should have a healthy rotation in 2018. The Mariners rotation scares nobody.
The Mariners have an ugly future ahead. Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez’s contracts will continue to age poorly. There needs to a deadline here. The trade deadline would be the right time. If they cannot improve, it is time to call it quits.