Seattle Mariners Midseason Grades: The Infielders

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Jul 12, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) reacts after striking out to end the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Taylor – 77 PA, .167/.221/.222, 24 wRC+, -0.2 WAR

There was supposed to be a lot of competition for the Mariners’ starting shortstop job, and for a second before a broken wrist ended Taylor’s spring there totally was. But now Taylor’s back in the majors… as a utility infielder, and one that isn’t getting lots of playing time (aside from the occasional start at short). His defense makes him worth holding on to, but so far this year he sure does look like a guy who absolutely needs a high BABIP in order to be more than a late-innings guy. Grade: D

Jesus Montero – 9 PA, .143/.323/.143, 59 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Montero won’t be saving the M’s season. He probably won’t even spend much time in the majors before heading back to Tacoma. By all indications he’s a classic AAAA slugger. But props to him just for making it back. After directing so much negative energy his way in recent years, I now find myself hoping that he gets hot and earns some playing time. And yes, this is probably 100% because of the season Michael Pineda is having. Grade: C-

Robinson Cano – 369 PA, .251/.290/.370, 85 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

A year after posting a 5.5 win season, Cano is on pace to finish this one at exactly replacement level. It’s hard to say what’s to blame for his struggles, though “his stomach is a mess” seems like the safest bet. That, or that it’s just easier to accept that he’s been dehabilitated than it is to stomach (I’m so sorry) the serious possibility that this is just extremely swift decline. Eight and a half more years! Grade: D