September 3, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Corey Hart (27) and third baseman Kyle Seager (15, right) celebrate after the game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. The Mariners defeated the Athletics 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Can Corey Hart Finally Be That Missing Bat for the Mariners?

In Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over the Wild Card leading Oakland Athletics, the Mariners staked King Felix Hernandez to a one-run lead with back-to-back solo shots off Jon Lester in the 7th inning.

That first solo shot was off the bat of Kyle Seager, his 22nd of the season, tying his career-high set just last season.

The second home run came off of the bat of recently recalled Corey Hart.

Since being one of the biggest offseason signings for the Mariners (aside from the Robinson Cano mega-deal) Corey Hart has majorly disappointed the Mariners’ fan base.

He’s played only 59 of the Mariners’ 138 games this season due to injuries and poor play. His triple slash is a paltry .204/.278/.327 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI, and he’s only defensively valuable when playing DH (that’s a joke).

However, in 19 games at Triple-A Tacoma this season, Hart hit .286/.351/.571 with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs and 9 RBI. If Hart can continue averaging an extra-base hit every 7 at-bats, he will have a positive contribution to this Mariners lineups as the playoffs near.

Just stop for a second and think: who is the Mariners’ impact right-handed bat?

Kendrys Morales? He’s done a whole lotta nothing since he arrived in Seattle; oh and he’s also a switch hitter.

Chris Taylor? He’s an unproven rookie, and he doesn’t exactly qualify as a power bat.

Austin Jackson? Though he’s provided stability in the leadoff spot, he hasn’t had stellar numbers since joining Seattle.

Jesus Montero is suspended for the season, Brad Miller is FINALLY starting to hit a bit, Chris Denorfia isn’t going to win you games.

So that leaves Hart, a one-time Comeback Player of the Year potential candidate. He has the history of power, though it came before his knee surgeries.

But that doesn’t mean he cannot provide what the Mariners desperately need on offense.

If last night is any indication of his contributions into September and beyond, M’s fans may have just a little less to deride him about come season’s end.

Tags: 2014 Playoffs Corey Hart Seattle Mariners

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