Torrens lands on COVID list; several staff members also out

April 20th, 2022

SEATTLE -- The Mariners’ bout with COVID continued on Tuesday, as catcher Luis Torrens tested positive and was placed on the injured list, joining right fielder Mitch Haniger, who was shelved on Saturday.

In a corresponding move, first baseman Mike Ford was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.

Multiple club support staff officials also tested positive and will be out indefinitely, including Major League replay coordinator Andy Bissell. All team employees are required to wear masks in restricted areas, including the clubhouse, beginning Tuesday. Many players and coaches, including manager Scott Servais, were masked.

“I want to try to take all precautions, and again, I think hopefully, everybody is vaccinated and we go from there,” Servais said. “With the protocols that MLB has in place, we just don't want to lose players. You start losing four, five, six, eight players, that can really affect the outlook of your games going forward, so hopefully we can keep everybody healthy.”

In order to return, players who test positive must test negative on consecutive days and show no symptoms.

Haniger has been in quarantine, but continues to take part in daily hitters' meetings via Zoom. The Mariners are still unsure when they’ll return their top run producer.

Torrens played as recently as Sunday, when he made his third start as catcher. He’s also made one start at DH, and for the season, is 3-for-13 with one walk and four strikeouts. The backstop has been working within Seattle’s three-catcher rotation with Tom Murphy and Cal Raleigh, both of whom will now see increased playing time.

Ford will likely only be used in a pinch and not figure into the player rotation at DH. In 11 games for Tacoma, he has hit .317/.404/.488 (.892 OPS) with two homers, one double and five RBIs in 47 plate appearances. He also played in 13 Cactus League games for the Mariners this spring.

Seattle will temporarily back-fill Bissell’s replay post with a few advance scouts.

“It's not just watching the screen, it's how you handle the equipment, and what views and angles to look at and stuff like that,” Servais said. “So, of course, there will probably be about six close calls tonight and we'll be on top of it.”