Seattle Mariners: Dylan Moore talks injury, recovery, and return

SEATTLE — Dylan Moore settled back into the Seattle Mariners locker room on Friday and took a moment to notice the changes that had happened since he was last in there.

“It feels really good to be back. That’s probably the easiest part,” Moore told me before the Mariners took on the Colorado Rockies at T-Mobile Park. “The hardest part was being away from the guys and not being a part of Opening Day and things like that.”

While the faces and even some of the decor inside the Seattle Mariners clubhouse had changed while he was away, Moore is still very much a part of the fabric of the Mariners team that has been missing in the early part of the 2023 season. Sidelined by an oblique strain that came on the heels of core muscle surgery before even making his spring debut, the 26-year-old Moore has been a part of Seattle’s rise back to postseason relevancy since becoming a part of the team in 2019.

“I’ve been here since 2019, since the rebuild so this team and these people mean a lot to me, so to not be here for any length of time stinks, but especially with the expectations and excitement there was going into the season,” Moore said after spending part of the spring at Seattle’s spring training facility recovering and rehabbing from the injury. “It was just something that I had to overcome and realize I needed to try to play the long game.”

Dylan Moore taking another step back to rejoining the Seattle Mariners

That long game that started back in spring training is taking steps toward its end. Seattle manager Scott Servais announced on Friday that Moore would be working out with the Mariners this weekend in Seattle, and then will be heading out on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Tacoma.

“He’ll start getting some game action in and we’ll see how that goes,” Servais said. “We don’t have a timetable on when he’ll join us. We’ll have to wait and see how the rehab goes.”

Moore said that he has done a lot of research on his own about the best ways to recover from not only the core surgery, but the oblique injury as well. He also reached out to former teammate Mitch Haniger, who strained his oblique in 2017 with the Mariners and dealt with another oblique issue this spring in his first days with the San Francisco Giants.

“He was a help for sure,” Moore said of Haniger. “It’s about listening to my body and how it tells me what to do, what not to do, and how to recover.”

Moore dealt with back spasms and an oblique issue in 2022, part of the reason why he played in just 104 games last season in the Emerald City. It was a down season at the plate for him, where he slashed .224/.368/.385 in 255 plate appearances. His versatility, however, was critical for the Mariners as he spent time at every position in 2022, excluding pitcher and catcher.

That was then, however. Now, Moore is focused on what it takes to get back to the active Mariners roster. Part of that, Moore said, includes “getting those reps up to handle the volume of rotational hitting and all of those aspects and getting some games next week and getting it going.”