Game 74, Mariners at Dodgers
Hernandez vs Milton, 7:05 pm.
Happy Felix Day, sort of. Because….
Larry LaRue delivers the bad news – Adrian Beltre will have surgery on his shoulder in the next week or so, which will put him on the shelf for 6-8 weeks. That puts him out until September, realistically, and even his performance then would be a question mark, given the missed time.
This, obviously, is a huge blow to the M’s. Even with his offense struggling, he’s still an elite defensive player who has been playing at a +3 win level so far this year. The M’s don’t have a capable replacement in the organization, and the options for how the team will replace Beltre range from bad (Mike Morse) to experimental (Branyan to third, Carp at first).
And, obviously, this eliminates any chance of the team trading Beltre at the deadline. This also should push the M’s heavily towards sell mode, as the team had a slim chance of winning the division with their star third baseman, but this puts a pretty serious crimp in those plans. Minus Beltre, and with Bedard’s health a question mark, this team just isn’t that good.
Zduriencik confirms, via Baker, that tonight is Beltre’s last game. Jack mentioned Chris Woodward and Jose Lopez as options to replace Beltre, but not Branyan. If Lopez moved to third, Cedeno/Wilson would probably share second base after Yuni came back, which would make the dropoff from Beltre to his replacement probably something like two wins over the rest of the season. Those are two wins the M’s couldn’t afford to lose. Sell, sell, sell.