Mariners Report Cards: Second Base
Our report card series continues with second base! Spoiler alert.... it wasn't a positive grade.
The report card series for the 2023 Mariners continues, and it hasn’t been very positive so far. First, we talked about the failures of the front office, then the failures of the first base position. Unfortunately, we now have to talk about second base, perhaps the worst position on the roster for most of the last few seasons.
I hate to harp on the struggles that players endure, but unfortunately, these were so glaring we cannot ignore them. Let’s look at second base and any positives the Mariners may have moving forward. Make sure to check out my video analysis on the position located at the end of the article.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it, there isn’t a lot here. Jose Caballero kept the position afloat for most of the first half, igniting the team with his pesky nature and high baseball IQ.
It was clear Caballero’s success wasn’t going to be sustainable, but he did an admirable job filling in for Dylan Moore and holding down the everyday job while Kolten Wong struggled.
Moore played decent in his return to the field and should be better with a full healthy offseason.
Josh Rojas is the overwhelming positive here. While he isn’t likely going to be an everyday guy, he did a good job filling in and has the looks of an awesome bench bat moving forward. He posted a 95 wRC+ in the second half of the season, and could look to get back to being a left handed, average MLB bat for Seattle next season.
Seattle also acquired minor league second baseman Ryan Bliss in the deal, and although he didn’t debut for the team this year looks like a very promising, high upside player moving forward.
Seattle has ignored the position altogether since Robinson Cano left, with a few one-year stopgaps mixed in. Kolten Wong was a massive failure as an acquisition, providing no value offensively or defensively. His decline was extremely alarming and sharp, and left Seattle searching for answers.
They had no choice other than to DFA the second baseman, leaving a halfway healthy Dylan Moore and Jose Caballero to fix the position. Even Josh Rojas was below average, and that seemed like a massive upgrade from the production they received most of the season.
The issues at second base can’t be directed at the most recent free agent shortstop class, although many will undoubtedly say they should have signed Swanson, Correa, or Turner.
Seattle has neglected infield in their farm system and as a position for much of the Dipoto regime, something I have been extremely outspoken against. Ultimately it would make sense for the Mariners to move J.P. Crawford there if they could acquire a player like Willy Adames.
Cole Young may arrive late in 2024, but it will be interesting to see how Seattle attacks one of their greatest needs moving forward. Check out the video below for my full analysis on the position in 2023 and what they can count on moving forward.