SEATTLE -- All is well with Cade Marlowe, according to Mariners general manager Justin Hollander, but the lower back stiffness that’s sidelined Seattle’s outfield prospect is the latest obstacle in a season that began with injury issues.
Marlowe, who was shelved for six weeks with a right oblique injury in Spring Training, was lifted during Thursday’s game for Triple-A Tacoma after two at-bats and hasn’t returned to the lineup since. Hollander said that Marlowe is “fine,” suggesting he should be back sooner than later. Seattle’s No. 16 prospect felt lower back tightness after an at-bat and was removed.
On Wednesday, Marlowe ripped a walk-off single at Cheney Stadium to lift the Rainiers to a 5-4 win. Playing against a five-man infield with the bases loaded, the lefty-hitting outfielder lined one 106.1 mph off the bat for the win.
Marlowe is hitting .267/.319/.450 (.769 OPS) with three homers, 19 RBIs, 41 strikeouts, 10 walks, nine stolen bases and 23 runs scored in 144 plate appearances across 32 games. He came into spring vying for a chance to contribute to the big league club at some point in 2023.
Jake Scheiner, unranked among the Mariners’ Top 30 prospects, continues to put together a productive season, having entered Sunday slashing .290/.400/.601 (1.001 OPS) with a team-leading 15 homers.
Also, if you haven’t already, check out this great story on Mike Ford from MLB Pipeline and his journey in 2022, when he played for four different MLB teams and each of their Triple-A affiliates. He was part of a whopping 32 transactions last year.
"I don't think many guys have gone through that, in the history of baseball," Ford told MLB Pipeline’s Ben Hill. "But yeah, it was really tough. I mean, the thing I probably learned the most about myself last year was to just go out and play when you have to.”
No. 12 prospect Jonatan Clase extended his on-base streak to 16 games on Saturday, a span in which he hit .279/.416/.607 (1.022 OPS) in what’s been a mostly seamless transition after being promoted on May 5. He’s also remained a threat on the basepaths, as he’s tied for first in the Minor Leagues with 33 steals.
Alberto Rodriguez’s impressive season continues, as the outfielder is now hitting .326/.415/.645 (1.060 OPS) this year, raising his OPS by 328 points from last season. His eight homers are also two shy from his 2022 total in 119 games. If the No. 27 prospect continues to rake, it’d be hard not to envision a promotion as soon as this summer.
Meanwhile, the turnaround season for Milkar Perez continues to grow, as the former Top 30 prospect who went into this year unranked is now hitting .266/.379/.363 (.742 OPS) after an incredibly disappointing 2022, when he slashed .145/.325/.168 (.493 OPS).