It seemed inevitable a week ago when Ryan Divish published a story about how displeased the Mariners were with Daniel Vogelbach‘s conditioning following the shut down. Now, it is reality. Out of options and out of time, the Seattle Mariners designated the 2019 All-Star for assignment, placing him on waivers. The writing was on the wall when Seattle, a tightly run ship with few leaks, put Vogelbach on blast for coming into camp out of shape, a leak that surely came directly from a front office member.
Vogelbach has struggled in 2020, hitting just .094/.250/.226 in 53 at bats. But the struggles for Vogelbach go beyond this season. In his final 70 games of 2019, Vogelbach hit just .161/.286/.341 and never showed an ability to left-handed pitching with any regularity. Limited in the field and on the bases, a DH only who can’t hit isn’t going to last long, even on a rebuilding team.
To replace Vogelbach, the Mariners recalled outfielder Braden Bishop from the alternative site and also added Sam Haggerty to the 28-man roster, sending Art Warren back to Tacoma to make room. Bishop is a premier defensive outfielder with solid bat to ball skills, plus speed, and 40-grade power. A Gold Glove caliber centerfielder by trade, Bishop will likely see most of his time in the corners to allow Kyle Lewis to continue to show whether or not he can play the position long-term. Bishop has struggled to stay healthy and has yet to receive regular playing time at the big league level. At the age of 26, Bishop has to make a statement this season, or risk his roster spot heading into 2021.
Haggerty, a minor league free agent signing, also brings plus speed and good bat to ball skills to the table, with solid outfield defense and the ability to play around the infield if needed. He has even less power than Bishop, so he’ll need to get on base and steal bags to bring any value to a big-league team.
As we wrap up, it is worth noting that hope is not lost for our large adult son, aka Cornelius Vogelbombs. There is a strong chance he gets through waivers and is optioned to the alternate training site. There he can rededicate himself to his craft without the pressures of performing. Whether he stays in the organization or not, you cannot help but root for one Mr. Daniel Vogelbach.