Today, for what seemed like the fiftieth time this year (it wasn’t), Carlos Peguero got the start at DH over Jack Cust. Now, I understand what Eric Wedge probably sees in Carlos. He’s young, he swings hard, and he’s got an awesome amount of raw power. In some ways, Carlos Peguero is a pretty damn exciting young player, and one who, with a couple of major adjustments, might one day be a good major league hitter. The only problem is, he isn’t one right now, and he’s being treated like one.
Unfortunately, his plate discipline and contact ability are still both seriously lacking, and Eric Wedge isn’t doing this team any favors by regularly sticking his .285 wOBA in the lineup. That being said, the point of this post isn’t that we should demote Carlos Peguero (conveniently, Brett already made that post!). No, what I’m trying to say is, if we’re going to keep him around, we need to keep him in left field. When he gets starts at DH, he’s taking away playing time from Jack Cust, whose 106 wRC+ happens to be the second best on the team among starters with 50+ plate appearances. With Mike Carp gone, the only player he can take time from in left is Greg Halman, which would be a lot less damaging to a team that’s still in contention. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far from Halman, but we have to keep in mind that he’s just about as raw as Peguero is. Strictly platooning the two of them probably makes the most sense*, as they’re fairly similar players who just happen to be opposite handed.
The fact is, with this offense, the Mariners simply can’t afford to let Jack Cust, one of their only above average hitters, sit on the bench four days a week. Ideally, they would simply option Peguero to Tacoma – he’s easily more deserving of a demotion than Carp was – but for whatever reason, that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards. So please, Eric Wedge, if he has to stick around, at least do us and Jack Cust the favor of keeping him away from the DH spot.
*If Peguero has to play