I’ve talked a bit about how the Mariners should acquire an additional outfield, preferably someone left handed to be able to handle the outfield duties. Part of the thinking behind that is that we don’t know how healthy Gutierrez is going to be and who knows what could happen to either Ichiro or even Casper Wells again. I think back to last year when the Milton Bradley finally culminated and he was cut lose there was a serious gap in major league viable talent that could play the corner outfield. Langerhans fell off a cliff, Peguero was way too green and then there was Greg Halman who sadly didn’t show much success either. This season the Mariners need to have some major league depth in the situation that something unforeseen happens.
I’m not dead set again Mike Carp starting in left field, I just would prefer he didn’t and I don’t think I’m crazy for that opinion. It makes more sense to use him as a DH as then you don’t have to worry about his sub par defensive ability trying to work things out in spacious left field. It also removes the need to acquire someone that would fit in to the DH role.
I’ve gotten some comments both on twitter and on the site about the fact that we already have three viable major league options. The problem, I have is that all of them have stand out swing-and-miss issues. Looking back over the last 10 years worth of players it’s obvious that you can tell individuals with primary issues in making contact don’t develop much value at the plate.
Now that statement is of course a generalization and certain players have been able to put together solid years. Guys such as Russell Branyan, Mark Reynolds, ect have all shown the ability to drive the ball over the fence despite large strike out percentages against them. The problem is that’s a very tiny window of success and the success that each of those players displayed was only over a limited period of time. So while for one year there is a slim chance that they get lucky make a few adjustments and they find a way to bring value to the plate in lieu of the pitches that they aren’t able to connect with.
It makes more sense to allow those young guys, and they are still young, to work on these critical aspects of their game. Yes, that also is a slim chance but wouldn’t you rather hope they adjust and become major league quality hitters rather than replacement level players for one or two okay years possibly serving as team 4th outfielders. If stocking them in the minor leagues is the decision the front office goes with than you need some major league quality depth and the cheaper it comes the better. The past few years Ryan Langerhans has filled that with moderate success, but he stopped performing last year and out lived his usefulness financially.
Now is the time that the organization find another “cheap” outfield option, one with maybe limited upside but upside that is achiveable, which is why I suggested Blackmon the other day. I’m not ready to give up on Trayvon Robinson, I think there is still a chance he figures things out, same with Michael Saunders, but both have some serious adjustments to make at the plate and expecting them to be of use right now with the big league team is a bit of stretch unless you simply expect one of them to be a late inning defensive replacement for Carp, but if that is the case were is Casper Well’s playing?