There’s no doubt that things have been done to improve this team over the last week or so. Milton Bradley is back, Sean White is gone, Shawn Kelley is being used slightly more properly, and Griffey isn’t starting. These are all positives, and together, they can go a long way towards getting this team back on track, as you’ve witnessed over this last little hot streak. However, this organization isn’t done yet – as constructed now, the Mariners probably still aren’t good enough to contend – there are several problems yet to be fixed.
- Jesus Colome needs to go. He’s really bad, he’s not even being used, and Don Wakamatsu’s notion that he wouldn’t be able to pass through waivers is just plain silly.
- Something needs to be done about Ken Griffey Jr. He isn’t getting playing time – that’s a start, but why is he still on the active roster? He’s currently just sitting around, taking a spot away from a, without a doubt, superior player. If he isn’t going to retire, and you aren’t going to release him, at least stick him on the 60-day DL with some fake injury.
- Matt Tuiasosopo has no place on this team – not now, and not in the foreseeable future. If he could play defense, it might be another story, but he’s a butcher in the field, and he can’t hit big league pitching. In limited PA this year, he has a .182 wOBA, a .167 OBP, and an 18:1 K/BB ratio. Send him back to Tacoma, and bring up Hannahan or Woodward or something. They may not exactly be tearing it up down in AAA, but at least they serve as decent defensive backup infielders. Tui is just useless.
- Don Wakamatsu still sucks at putting together lineups. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s gotten a little bit better – he’s been DH’ing Bradley more often and batting him cleanup, which is definitely a step in the right direction – but he still has frequent lapses. Doing things like starting Tui against a RHP and hitting him 6th, or sticking Saunders (when he actually starts) behind the catcher spot, just aren’t acceptable at this point.
If you take care of these remaining issues, at least you’re doing all that you can as an organization to give this team a shot at making a real run.