Mariners Outfielder Embroiled In Controversy, Will Have Two Surgeries

When the Seattle Mariners' season ended at the hands of the Houston Astros, one player was notably absent. With reports swirling that players were "tired of his act," outfielder Jesse Winker was not with the team for their Divisional Series loss to the Houston Astros. 

His work ethic has been questioned, as well as his "anti-clubhouse behavior." But it appears that his absence from the team as well as his very poor first season in Seattle was apparently somewhat explainable:

Winker had surgery on his left knee right after the M's were eliminated, and, according to president of baseball operations Jerry DiPoto, he'll be having another surgery on his neck later this offseason. "Injuries he was dealing with at the end were very real.”

The 29-year-old Winker came over to the Mariners last offseason in the big trade that also landed them their rock third baseman Eugenio Suarez (who, ironically, was the 'throw-in' in the deal as the Cincinnati Reds just wanted to unload his contract).

Winker went on to hit a career-low .219, 50 points below his career average, with a .688 OPS — 250 points below his high-water mark in 2021 with the Reds. He hit just 14 HR with 53 RBIs, far below his marks the previous season. 

Perhaps the knee and neck injuries were partly (or even mainly) to blame. But we'll have to see going forward if he can mend fences with the Mariners clubhouse. 

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports