Ryon Healy is hurt. Again. After finally delivering a big hit with a bases-clearing double Saturday the Mariner first baseman injured his ankle during a post game workout, and it sounds like a trip to the DL is impending.
The last time Ryon Healy ended up injured, I wrote that it was probably of minimal consequence, and I stand by that today. Healy is a far better hitter than his horrific start to the 2018 season makes him look, but not sufficiently so to make being without him a significant loss.
Daniel Vogelbach, who at least theoretically appears poised to inherit a large amount of the the playing time Healy’s injury has vacated, is a fun, easy to root for player. He also has shown no ability to hit consistently in the major leagues, and has no business playing first base defensively at the major league level. In the Mariners most recent game Saturday, Vogelbach was pinch hit for with Taylor Motter, another potential first base fill in who had a 57 wRC+ in almost 300 plate appearances in 2017.
We talk a lot about process, and for the 2018 Seattle Mariners first base position, the bad process is everywhere. Ryon Healy was never the kind of talent to hand pick early in an offseason loaded with cheap, veteran options. Going into a make or break season with Healy, Vogelbach, and Rule V draft pick Mike Ford was not the kind of solution that indicated a desperation for squeezing every ounce of productivity out of the roster.
Even more concerning, with Vogelbach having options, and Ford needing to stay in Seattle to stay within the organization, the team nonetheless allowed Ford to walk back to New York, seemingly allowing the practically meaningless factor of Spring Training statistics to factor into their decision making process. Ford may be nothing (he is probably nothing), but Healy, Vogelbach, and Ford gave you three almost certainly nothings, which increases your odds of maybe one of them turning into slightly something. The process, from the beginning of the offseason until now, has been bad.
Now, the full weight of that mismanagement will be on display. For however long Healy is out, the Mariners first base position will be a cobbled together hodge podge of AAA talents and/or DHs. Whenever Healy returns, that appraisal improves only slightly. The Destitute Man’s Mark Trumbo is not a skill set that sets one ablaze with excitement.
Losing Nelson Cruz and Mike Zunino to injury is a significant loss. You can argue Zunino truly represents some misfortune for the team. But Healy’s injury is no great loss on the field except that, despite a winter full of opportunity, the Mariners allowed for this roster hole to develop, seemingly at will. They can cry about injury luck all they want, but this one at least, is on them.