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Seattle Mariners place 2B Jorge Polanco on injured list, call-up INF Ryan Bliss

<div>MESA, ARIZONA - MARCH 12, 2024: <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/10975/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Ryan Bliss;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Ryan Bliss</a> #1 of the <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/teams/seattle/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Seattle Mariners;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Seattle Mariners</a> in the field during the seventh inning of a spring training game against the <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/teams/oakland/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Oakland Athletics;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Oakland Athletics</a> at Hohokam Stadium on March 12, 2024 in Mesa, Arizona.</div> <strong>(Chris Bernacchi / Diamond Images / Getty Images)</strong>

SEATTLE - The Seattle Mariners placed second baseman Jorge Polanco on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain and called up infield prospect Ryan Bliss to make his MLB debut Monday night against the Houston Astros.

Polanco experienced tightness in his right hamstring during a game against the Kansas City Royals on May 13. The Mariners attempted to avoid an injured list stint for Polanco with several days of rest to heal the injury. After a seven-game absence, Polanco returned to the lineup for the last five games of the just concluded road trip. However, Polanco again experienced tightness and left Sunday's game in Washington ahead of Monday's move to the injured list.

"If we’re being honest, it’s probably my fault we didn’t put him on the IL to begin with," Mariners general manager Justin Hollander said Monday. We had hoped to get him back within the 10-day period, and we did, just barely. Obviously, having him in the lineup, especially when you’re going east to those ballparks, is very valuable. And he wanted to be out there, and we were making progress, so we let it drift probably too long.

"And then he felt tight again yesterday in the game and just felt like it was the right thing to do now, to just let it heal."

Hollander said they believe the issue to be minor and don't expect him to miss much more than the required 10 days out of the lineup. Polanco will have an MRI done on Tuesday to confirm the severity of the strain.

Sam Haggerty was moved to the 60-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Bliss' addition. Haggerty had surgery this week to address a torn Achilles tendon sustained in a game with Triple-A Tacoma that will keep him out for the rest of the year.

Bliss, 24, is Seattle's No. 11-ranked prospect per MLB.com, and the No. 15-ranked prospect per Baseball America. He will bat eighth and play second base in his debut against the Astros on Monday night.

"I’m still smiling about it," Bliss said Monday afternoon. "It’s just the words that you’ve been waiting to hear, you know: 'You’re going to the big league.' So it’s been an experience so far, and I can’t wait."

Bliss' family and girlfriend and family were in town for the holiday weekend to watch him play for the Tacoma Rainiers. They had been set to fly home to Atlanta on Monday only for plans to change for an extended stay and a trip up I-5 to T-Mobile Park instead.

"Everybody's here. It worked out perfectly. I couldn't ask for much more," Bliss said.

In 50 games played with the Rainiers this season, Bliss is batting .247 with seven home runs, nine doubles and three triples. His 28 stolen bases also leads all of Triple-A. Bliss has heated up in May with a .289 average, four home runs and four doubles. He's also walked 17 times with just 17 strikeouts and has a .412 on-base percentage.

Bliss said he started producing more when he stopped trying to force the issue.

"I stopped trying to hit home runs. I think early I was just trying to do too much. Trying to make it up here. trying to impress when in reality, you know, what I do in my game is what they want," Bliss said. "So just going back to literally what I do, how I do it and just being myself, finding my identity as a player, as a person. All that has gone into me getting right here, so I'm excited about it."

There have been concerns about Bliss' defensive game. He struggled in the field throughout spring training and it has been a focus for Bliss in the first two months of the year in the minors.

"On the defensive side, just continue to take care of the ball, making sure that when the ball hits my glove, it sticks. You know, that's the main thing. I want to make sure that I'm helping his team on defense, helping these pitchers out," Bliss said.

He's excited to be back working with Mariners infield coach Perry Hill on that front as well.

"Oh my god, I missed him," he said. "That's the first person I wanted to see when I got here. I can't wait to go out there, take groundballs and just hear him yell all day. That's all I've been thinking about. He's helped me out a lot in spring and I can't wait to continue working with him. So I'm excited."

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