Mariners Injury Updates: Eugenio Suárez to IL, Dylan Moore activated

A big part of the Mariners’ success thus far this season is heading to the injured list at an inopportune time.

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Third baseman Eugenio Suárez has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a fracture in the tip of his right index finger, an injury he suffered while fielding the ball in the fourth inning of Seattle’s loss to the Angels on Friday night.

There is some good news in that Suárez could be back to serve as a designated hitter after the minimum 10 days out on the IL, according to Mariners insider Shannon Drayer of Seattle Sports, who reported several updates from the clubhouse Saturday afternoon before Game 2 of the Mariners’ series set for 6:07 pm on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

Best case scenario is Suarez is able to DH in 10 days. Throwing is a problem without a fingertip. We should know more after he sees the specialist.

— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) September 17, 2022

Also good news is the player taking Suárez’s place on the active roster: utility man Dylan Moore, who is returning from his own IL stint for a right oblique strain.

The 31-year-old Suárez has not only been one of the most consistent home run hitters in MLB over the last six seasons but perhaps the Mariners’ best run producer in 2022, leading Seattle with 31 homers and 84 RBIs in 142 games. He has been advertised at the plate, which means a lot of power as well as a lot of swing and miss, with his 183 strikeouts the most in baseball. He has made up for that with a .235/.335/.470 slash line for an .805 OPS that ranks second on the team, plus by playing much better defense at third base than what was anticipated when Seattle traded with Cincinnati to acquire him and Jesse Winker in spring training.

Per Drayer, Suárez will see a hand specialist on Monday, and he said the news received Saturday about his injury was better than expected.

The Mariners can ill afford to lose such a key contributor with only 19 games remaining as they fight not just to clinch their first playoff spot in 21 years but for the top wild card from the American League and the guaranteed home postseason games that come with it . Seattle (80-63) enters play Saturday back 1 1/2 games of Toronto (83-63) for that top wild card but a half-game up of third wild card Tampa Bay (80-64), and 5 1/2 games ahead of Baltimore, the first team outside of a playoff spot.

Moore, 30, has a slash line of .206/.353/.388 for a .741 OPS with six homers and 15 steals on 20 attempts in 89 games this season. He can play strong defense at every position on the field except catcher and pitcher, and is a weapon as a right-handed hitter against lefties, owning an .810 OPS versus southpaws in 2022.

The Mariners will turn to Abraham Toro (switch-hitter), Jake Lamb (left-handed hitter) and Moore at third base, with Toro getting the majority of the playing time, reports Drayer. Starting first baseman Ty France, who has played third in the past, will also start getting in practice reps at the position in the event that he’s needed there.

Servais said they will use a number of options at 3B. Toro will get the bulk initially, the hope is he grabs the opportunity and runs with it.

Ty France will begin taking work at 3B in case they need to move him. Other options are Moore and Lamb.

— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) September 17, 2022

The Mariners have catcher Cal Raleigh back in the lineup Saturday after he missed Friday’s game with a jammed thumb. Right fielder Mitch Haniger, who last played in a game on Sept. 11, is out of the lineup again with a back issue, though Drayer reports he could be available off the bench late in the game.

In a late scratch, Julio Rodríguez was removed from Seattle’s lineup just before first pitch. Daniel Kramer reported that Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto cited the reason for lower back tightness.

Here are the full lineups for the Mariners and Angels on Saturday night with starting pitchers George Kirby and Shohei Ohtani set to duel:

Updated lineup:

SS Crawford
1B France
DH Santana
LF Winker
2B Frazier
RF Haggerty
CF Trammel
3B toro

P Kirby

— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 18, 2022

Another beach day vs SEA 🏖

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— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) September 17, 2022

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