Jake Fraley has seven home runs in 40 games for the Mariners this season. (Getty)
The Mariners are getting a key member of their lineup back, but they unfortunately weren’t able to make the move without losing another contributor to the injured list.
Outfielder Jake Fraley has been activated from the COVID-19 IL in time for Monday’s series opener on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays, but second baseman/left fielder Shed Long Jr. is headed to the 10-day IL in a corresponding move.
Long’s injury designation is right shin stress reaction, which is certainly worrisome as his 2020 season ended early and 2021 season began late as a result of a right shin stress fracture that required surgery during the offseason.
Fraley has been out since the Mariners returned from the All-Star break on July 16. He first was a late scratch for Seattle’s second half opener against the Angels in Anaheim, and a few days later was placed on the IL as manager Scott Servais informed the media Fraley had tested positive for the virus. Fraley spent over a week in quarantine at the team’s hotel in Anaheim and recently finished a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma.
The 26-year-old Fraley has been enjoying a breakout season when healthy this year. In 40 games, he has a .237/.409/.439 slash line for an .848 OPS. He also has seven home runs, two doubles, 23 RBIs, and seven stolen bases in eight attempts. His season has been highlighted by an impressive amount of walks (33 in 149 plate appearances) and multiple outstanding plays in the outfield.
Fraley was Seattle’s starter in left field on opening day but was out of action from May 7 through May 30 due to a hamstring strain.
Long, 25, has a .198/.258/.360 slash line (.619 OPS) with four homers, four doubles, a triple and a stolen base in 34 games. The biggest play of his season was a walk-off grand slam on June 20 against the Rays off his now-Mariners teammate Diego Castillo.
The Mariners made two more moves on Monday, claiming outfielder Marcus Wilson off waivers from Boston and designating fellow outfielder Dillon Thomas for assignment. The 24-year-old Wilson, a 2014 second-round pick by Arizona, has been assigned to Triple-A Tacoma. He had a .242/.370/.452 slash (.822 OPS) with 10 home runs in 64 games with Triple-A Worcester this season. Thomas, 28, made his MLB debut this season with Seattle and has appeared in four games for the Mariners, going 1 for 9. He has spent the majority of the season with the Rainers and has a .273/.379/.458 slash (.838 OPS) with nine homers.
The Mariners open their three-game series with the defending American League champion Rays at 4:10 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle, with the pregame show starting coverage at 3 p.m. Seattle also has a four-game set in New York against the Yankees this week before it returns to T-Mobile Park next Tuesday, Aug. 10 for a six-game homestand.
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