Mariners: Can Jose Marmolejos prove the bat is good enough?
The Mariners have made a surprising call-up in advance of the September roster expansion from 26 to 28 players. Jose Marmolejos is now on the big league club, and it’s time for him to prove that he, and his bat, belong at the major league level.
Marmo is definitely one of the players that Mariners fans thought was going to be called up, as it wasn’t a matter of if, but when they would make the decision to bring him back. They’ve decided to do so in advance of the Houston series, just two days before the expansion.
Jose Marmolejos was crushing it in AAA, but will need to hit for the Mariners to stay in the bigs.
Take a look at how well he was doing in AAA at Tacoma, and you can see why so many people were clamoring for him to get another shot with the Mariners.
.360/.452/.700, 23 HR, 13 2B. Just 253 ABs. Those are great numbers, regardless of the minor league level that you are at. Marmo was doing it at Tacoma and definitely deserves the call-up. Don’t expect him to hit that well (no one likely will ever hit .360 again, even Ty France), but the bat could play, giving the Mariners a hitter in the low-mid .200s with good power.
There’s still a reason to be concerned though. Jose Marmolejos might be a “AAAA guy”, which means that he dominates at AAA, but struggles in the majors. You see it every once in a while, and with Marmo almost 29 years old already, he is starting to fit into that mold.
The flipside/positive is that he is still at just 186 career ABs, all coming over the last two seasons. This will be his third trip up to the big league level, and I think that gives a good chance for us to see a different hitter than we saw the first two times. He hit .206 last year, and just .139 this year. With so many recent successful at-bats in his system, Marmo seems like a prime candidate for a strong September finish.
The Mariners have been using France a lot at first base, with Moore and Bauers in LF. I’m interested to see what Servais does with Moore and Bauers, and if he starts giving Marmo looks in LF/1B/DH while other players are getting their rest days. He could definitely be a big power boost to the lineup, one that has been sorely lacking outside of France/Seager/Haniger. With a month left in the season, Marmo has a lot to prove to the Mariners, and we could all benefit from it.