Last year there were plenty of interesting stories about the Mariners’ seeking their first winning season since 2009, and about new manager Lloyd McClendon. Though last year in late March the Mariners signed veteran outfielder Endy Chavez to their Spring Training roster.
Most people were thinking that this was just a temporary signing but as for myself I loved that we brought Chavez back!
People forget that in 2009 Chavez was a huge part of the Mariners winning season. After he went down with a torn ACL in late June, the Mariners began to slowly slip in the standings, but they did finish with 89 wins.
So, this year the signing of Chavez pleased me. Despite being 36 years old, Chavez can still do it all. He can still hit and run pretty quickly and he’s still a great outfielder too. Chavez played in 97 games for the Mariners this year finishing up with a .276 batting average, 23 RBI’s, and two home runs. One of those home runs came against the Cleveland Indians and it was a huge homer as it ended up being the game winning run.
People have dogged Chavez because he hasn’t come up with a lot of clutch hits, but if anyone remembers Felix Hernandez‘s 15 strikeout performance, with two outs in the ninth Chavez drove in the winning run to put the M’s ahead. Chavez perhaps is one of the most clutch hitters the Mariners had this entire year.
When Lloyd needed to give one of his outfielder’s a day off, Endy was there. When he needed a speedy pinch runner Endy was there. People need to stop overlooking Chavez and need to focus on what he brings to the Mariners.
He brings that veteran (non washed-up type) presence to the clubhouse. He provides the team with a great arm and glove in the outfield, and again despite his age he can still run the bases very well.
If the Mariners were to get another decent OF, I wouldn’t mind. But if Jack Z doesn’t find someone, then his only option to me is to bring back Endy again.