Bishop was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Bishop was a part of the active roster for the season-opening series against the Athletics in Japan and struck out in a pinch-hit appearance, but will head to the Rainiers for the traditional beginning of the regular season. Mallex Smith (elbow) remains on track for the home opener March 28, likely prompting the move. The 25-year-old slashed .284/.361/.412 in 84 games at Double-A last season.
Bishop will be included on the team's roster for the season-opening series against the Athletics in Japan, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Bishop has never played above the Double-A level and saw his 2018 season cut short by a broken forearm, but the combination of a strong spring and Mallex Smith's ongoing absence due to an elbow injury have afforded him a spot on the initial version of the regular-season roster. Mitch Haniger is slated to play center field in Smith's absence, and Bishop will serve as his backup while also being available to fill in at either corner outfield spot.
Bishop is in the running for a reserve outfield spot on the Opening Day roster due to Mallex Smith's (elbow) ongoing absence, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Bishop has never played above the Double-A level and saw his 2018 season with the Arkansas Travelers cut short by a broken forearm, but he's positioning himself to benefit from his teammate's injury. Bishop is hitting .438 (7-for-16) with nine RBI over 10 spring games, making a case for inclusion on the Opening Day roster as a fourth outfielder. Already boasting plus speed and defense, Bishop has also worked on getting stronger during his minor-league tenure, an approach that seems to be paying plenty of dividends thus far this spring. If he does indeed break camp with the big-league club, the 25-year-old's season-opening Mariners tenure likely lasts until Smith's return, at which point Bishop is likely to head to Tacoma for his first taste of Triple-A action.
Bishop, who went 1-for-3 with a three-run home run in a 7-4 Cactus League loss to the Athletics on Thursday, is now hitting .357 with two homers and six RBI in 14 spring at-bats.
The promising 25-year-old appears to be fully recovered from the fractured forearm that curtailed his 2018 season at Double-A Arkansas, with Wednesday's power display the latest evidence of such. Bishop was potentially headed for a promotion to Triple-A Tacoma before his July injury last year, so kicking off the 2019 campaign with the Rainiers is within the realm of possibility. For the time being, however, Bishop's success versus big-league arms is the latest sign that he remains on a steady path to a potential opportunity at the major-league level at some point over the next couple of seasons.
After fracturing his forearm last July, Bishop required surgery and was sidelined for much of the second half of the minor-league season. The young outfielder didn't hit any snags during his rehab over the winter and should get the chance to play regularly throughout the spring before being assigned to the minors to begin the 2019 campaign. Due to the extended absence a season ago, Bishop could be bound for a return trip to Double-A Arkansas, where he slashed .284/.361/.412 across 394 plate appearances in 2018.
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