After what seemed to be another hot start to a season for the Seattle Mariners, their offense once again seems to have imploded.
After a second no hitter at home in 13 days (and a third game where they were no hit into the 8th inning) the Mariners should be desperate for a shake up. While calling up Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert were a good start, it didn’t do much in the way of solving real issues the Mariners have in their lineup.
For weeks, the chatter of Taylor Trammell needing more time in the minors had been slowly growing. After showing glimpses of brilliance with his bat as well as in the field, Taylor’s lack of experience at the big league level began to show. Despite the four home runs in just 27 games, Trammell was sporting a .157 batting average and a painful 43% strikeout rate. Since his demotion, though, he’s become a hitting machine.
In the subsequent 6 games in AAA Tacoma, Trammell has been a man amongst boys. With four home runs, three doubles and 14 RBI and a .577 batting average he’s proven his bat is more than major league ready. More importantly his 13.8% strikeout rate and .586 OBP show he’s seeing the ball much much better. Good enough, in fact, that I believe it’s already time to once again give Trammell a real shot at the major league level.
Although getting sent back down does potentially do a lot of good, sending someone down and leaving them down for longer then necessary can begin to wear on a players psyche. Especially when the players ahead of him are struggling even worse. Trammell did show his bat may need refining, but he also showed flashes of elite defense and a love for the game that immediately brings more to the table than the likes of Jose Marmalejos and Sam Haggerty.
If the Mariners truly want to go all in on letting this young team learn and grow together, leaving Trammell in the minors at this point does nothing but hurt the teams future. While not every player on a starting major league roster is going to be elite, they do need to at least be serviceable and bring some sort of excitement to the lineup. When’s the last time Marmalejos came to the plate and you thought “This is definietly gonna go well”…Same goes for Haggerty, Torrens, or even Dylan Moore for that matter.
The Mariners just so happen to have the roster flexibility to slide Trammell right in as well. Assuming Ty France is back soon from the IL, his career .979 fielding % at second base means he can slide into an everyday role there, freeing up the DH spot for Mitch Haniger and that lethal weapon of a bat he’s swinging this year. Not only that, it moves Dylan Moore back into the utility role he’s better suited for and gets Marmalejos out of the lineup entirely.
In terms of Trammell, he’s done enough to prove he’s got nothing else to learn at the minor league level. Top prospects are top prospects for a reason and although not all of them become superstars, that’s not what anyone is expecting Trammell to be. Let him keep that speed and plus defense in the outfield on a nightly basis, bat him lower in the order and let him work the kinks out.
Adjusting to major league hitting takes time and in a year where playoffs were never in the cards to begin with, there’s no reason not to see how the Trammell experiment plays out. If it comes down to continually getting no hit with below major league level talent, or letting your high upside young guns work through their slumps…The smarter choice feels like a no brainer.